From the Editor
Teacher PD, Principal Recruitment
Anne Wujcik — Friday, July 18, 2014
Two interesting reports appeared recently. "Beyond Teacher Evaluation: Prioritizing Teacher Instructional Effectiveness with Meaningful Professional Development" was sponsored by School Improvement network and conducted by EdNexus Advisors, LLC. Based on surveys of states' departments of education about the professional learning component of their teacher evaluation policies, the study was designed to gain a better understanding of state policy on providing and funding meaningful teacher professional development tied to teacher evaluations. It highlights activates in Connecticut, Kentucky, New Jersey and South Dakota, states that are making a significant effort to implement teacher support related to evaluations. The Fordham Institute released "Lacking Leaders: The Challenges of Principal Recruitment, Selection, and Placement" examining how districts go about identifying talent, enlisting the best candidates for the job, and matching their distinctive skills and capabilities to the needs of specific schools, with an in-depth look at five urban school districts that have sought to improve their principal-hiring processes in recent years.
"Beyond Teacher Evaluation" reports that, while all but four states' teacher evaluation systems include a professional learning provision for teachers, most states could only speculate about how professional learning is playing out locally. States typically defer control over evaluation and its components to local education agencies. The report's authors note that state departments of education regard themselves as technical assistance providers, not compliance trackers. They also lack the capacity to support LEAs around teacher evaluations. It's been a heavy lift just to get their new educator evaluation systems approved and out the door. That said, 36 states provide funding for evaluation-related teacher professional support and resources.