Carthage Pilots Teacher Evaluation Program with Student Learning - KOAM TV 7

Carthage Pilots Teacher Evaluation Program with Student Learning Objectives


The ‘Every Child Succeeds Act’ replaces ‘No Child Left Behind.’

      The new education act allows states to create their own ways to evaluate teachers.

     The Carthage school district is piloting a Missouri program called Student Learning Objectives. It’s a way to measure a teacher's impact on students that goes beyond state testing.

Heather Hamilton goes over geometry questions with her class. Whether or not they get it, will eventually be part of how she is evaluated as a teacher.

Carthage assistant superintendent of instruction Kandy Frazier says, "Before, certain teachers had end of year assessments and those teachers would say, ‘Oh my scores weren't good. That’s a poor reflection on me.’ But that didn't really tell us what was going on in the classroom. Student learning objectives tell us what's happening in the classroom and what growth has been made."

Hamilton says it's a little more work for teachers, who create learning objectives for every student, conduct pretests at the start of the year and follow up assessments at the quarter or semester.

But Hamilton says, “I do like that we were able to customize the goals for our students. They were still based on old test scores and previous work, but we were really able to provide more of a tiered level of expectations for the students."

Carthage piloted the program after learning about it from the Hazelwood district which developed it for the state of Missouri. 

Next year all districts will be mandated to do student learning objectives.

The Southwest Center for Education Excellence is training districts on the system. Executive director Jim Horton says, "For a long time we looked at teachers evaluation as measuring what a teacher does, what their lesson is like, what kind of classroom management they have. But a teacher can have all the components of a good lesson and if the students don't learn,  that's not necessarily a good teacher."

Those other things are still measured. But student learning objectives will be sixteen percent of a Carthage teacher’s evaluation. However, its weight can vary among districts.    But Horton says its an important measure. "That's the key. Where the students start. Where the students end."

Setting individual goals allows teachers to individualize instruction to benefit students which should leader to better outcomes for both.

  Student learning objectives become part of teacher evaluations statewide in the 2016-2017 school year.

     Districts can adopt the same system model Carthage is using or create their own.

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