Acceleration 2020: Every child college and career ready

 
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Teacher evaluation
Teacher evaluation
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In Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), we have one clear and unambiguous priority: great learning in great schools. Teachers are the foundation of our success as a school district. When teachers succeed, our students succeed. That is why MPS is committed to making sure teachers get the support they need to do their best work. 

MPS staff and teachers have collaborated since 2011 to determine the best way to evaluate teachers. Many MPS teachers were involved in the creation and implementation of our teacher evaluation system. They also provide ongoing feedback to ensure it remains beneficial to teachers, leaders and students. The system helps us:

  • Recognize teachers making significant gains with all of our students (especially our lowest-performing students) so we can study and replicate their practices;
  • Identify teachers not making gains so we can provide tools and resources either to help them improve or work to respectfully transition them out of the profession;
  • Provide teachers with meaningful feedback and targeted professional development to strengthen their teaching;
  • Recruit highly -effective teachers to coach and mentor colleagues; and
  • Build stronger and more effective teacher teams and schools.

A quality education is the gateway to infinite possibilities. To achieve our goal of closing the achievement gap by 2020, we must have high quality teachers. Our young people deserve great teachers – and our teacher evaluation system helps us ensure that our teachers are delivering that quality or receiving the support they need to be great.

Teacher collaboration
In Minneapolis, we are proving that establishing a comprehensive teacher evaluation system does not have to be divisive. MPS and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers are tackling this challenge with a collaborative spirit, just as we have done on so many other important issues in recent years. The MPS system is being developed based on feedback from over 900 teachers and principals from across MPS, with a simple goal in mind: to provide teachers with useful feedback and targeted professional development. This system will help us celebrate successes, share what works and find ways to improve where needed. 

Clear goals
If we want all our students to graduate from MPS on track for college or a successful career, we need to focus on a single goal: great teaching  in every classroom, for every student, every day.  We aim to strengthen our entire teaching and learning framework by:

  • Giving us a consistent way to provide regular feedback for every teacher, and to couple that feedback with support and professional development;
  • Building on our commitment to Focused Instruction, which provides consistent tools and resources district-wide; and
  • Delivering a quality result: equitable, excellent educational experiences for all students.

Leading reform
MPS is leading the state when it comes to collaboratively designing an evaluation system that gives educators regular, meaningful feedback on job performance. We decided as a school district not to wait for a state mandate on teacher evaluations. All school districts in Minnesota will be required to implement teacher evaluation systems by 2014. Our work started almost two years ago and has included teachers and principals in the process from the beginning.

We are also working cooperatively with teachers to implement our other educational reform priority – Focused Instruction. Most of the main features of Focused Instruction were suggested by educators who work with our students on a daily basis. Teachers from across the school district worked together with administrators to write curriculum guides and benchmark assessments for math, literacy, science, arts, physical education and social studies.

Student support 
As we continue to move forward with innovative ideas designed to close the achievement gap, MPS remains committed to working alongside teachers to make the necessary system changes that will benefit our students.