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Waynesboro teachers to be evaluated according to upcoming state requirements

October 09, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Student performance on standardized tests will continue to be incorporated into Waynesboro Area School District teacher evaluations as the district eyes changed state requirements.

At Tuesday’s school board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Wendy Royer explained how the 2012-13 evaluations will be conducted in all Waynesboro schools. She said the newer evaluations mirror work already started locally.

Waynesboro Area School District has been participating in a pilot program for the evaluations as part of $37,500 received in Race to the Top funding, Royer said.

Now, all Pennsylvania public school districts will be required to do the evaluations for all teachers, effective next academic year. Royer said Waynesboro chose to go ahead and evaluate every teacher this year.

“All the teachers will be going through this process,” she said.

Evaluations are based on the Charlotte Danielson “Framework for Teaching” model. In that model, a building principal evaluates a teacher’s planning and professional responsibilities, observes him or her in the classroom, reviews rubric results with the teacher almost immediately and conducts quick “walk-through” assessments of classrooms.

So far this school year, more than 300 walk-throughs have been submitted, Royer said.

“Principals cannot provide support if they’re not in the classroom knowing what’s going on. ... It also gives me a good sense of what is going on in the classroom, even if I can’t be there,” she said.

The state continues to release new information about the components of the evaluation addressing students’ performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA, and other tests, Royer said.

One problem, she said, is 80 percent of Waynesboro staff members are not directly responsible for the English and math education of PSSA test takers.

Royer praised the evaluation model for being effective for all teachers, whether they are novice level or have master’s degrees.

“We’re not telling them how to teach,” she said. “It’s what to teach.”

Some school board members spoke highly of the initiative.

“I’m really glad to see it’s going in that direction,” Board President Ed Wilson said.

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