Additional District Resources
Options for Flexibility and Innovation
Districts may consider several avenues for adjusting their evaluation systems to best meet local needs. The Office of Evaluation has designated our Innovation Manager, Anthony Fitzpatrick, to work directly with districts who wish to explore the options listed below. We are asking districts to first complete this form to provide as much detail as possible about the changes that you wish to make and your contact information. Anthony will contact you promptly to help identify your next step in modifying the evaluation framework to best meet the needs of your district while ensuring your plan will lead to accurate and useful evaluations for all educators. We will review submitted proposals on an ongoing basis but encourage districts to complete this form by July 31, 2015 for changes for the 2015-16 school year.
- Not surprisingly, as a response to educators' requests, many district leaders have already adapted AchieveNJ to implement more than the minimum requirements of the system. These options are open to all districts across the state; for example:
- Observe a classroom teacher for more than the minimum 20 or 40 minutes required.
- Provide teams of teachers time and guidance to conduct non-evaluative instructional rounds and/or peer coaching.
- Many districts have taken deep ownership over the evaluation process, modifying the evaluation system within the confines of the requirements to better meet unique district needs. Districts have involved their District Evaluation Advisory Committees (DEACs), staff representatives, and professional associations when making these improvements. Such options are open to all districts for consideration; for example:
- Use differential weighting of domains within the educator practice instrument to emphasize areas of practice the district considers most critical.
- Encourage groups of teachers and supervisors to set similar SGOs based on common standards and assessments for a given grade or subject.
- Streamline vendor-provided data collection and reporting systems to meet local needs.
- Use video to augment the observation process.
- While local implementation choices described above can improve overall quality of the system within existing regulations, there are certain modifications that may not be possible according to AchieveNJ's rules. Additionally, in some rare cases, districts face certain logistical challenges that make adoption of certain evaluation procedures extremely challenging. In these cases, districts may, through an application for a State-approved Equivalency or Waiver, propose a plan that meets the spirit and intention of the regulations without diminishing the quality of the evaluation; for example:
- Use an alternative evaluation protocol for Highly Effective teachers to provide more appropriate professional learning opportunities.
- Replace one observation with multiple walkthrough evaluations to increase opportunities for feedback to teachers.