A Note from Dr. Lippert: Thriving in a World of Multiple Measures
Dear PPS Educators,
I continue to be inspired by all of your contributions to the creation of a District where teachers are evaluated fairly and recognized for their impact on students. We agree that teaching is complex, that student outcomes matter, and that no single measure of teacher effectiveness is perfect.
I would like to step back and highlight the progress we’ve made together in the development of our professional growth system, and identify our next steps. In August, we committed to the following priorities for 2011-12:
- Refine RISE (Teacher Practice): We kicked off this school year by celebrating the great work that began in 2008 to develop and use a new system for understanding and improving our professional practice – RISE. Together, we are now implementing a far better system District-wide. Schools have worked in differentiated ways, with the help of RISE consultants, to improve their implementation of RISE.
- Complement RISE with other measures of teacher effectiveness – Value-Added Measures (Student Academic Growth): We have spent almost two years collaboratively developing a robust and customized model for Pittsburgh with our teachers. This model will help us understand the contribution of each teacher to their students’ academic growth. Over the course of the school year, RISE teams have worked with their school staff to better understand value-added measures. In the New Year, teachers and principals will have access to their school-level VAM data, and all teachers with one or more value-added measures will have access to their individual data.
- Explore Other Student Outcomes. Our teachers have been clear that the impact of teaching goes far beyond what can be measured using only academic assessments. One of our current efforts to explore other student outcomes focuses on the Tripod student survey, a tool that nationally is proving to be a consistent and accurate measure of effective teaching. In 2011-12 we will complete our first District-wide administration of the Tripod student survey.
Over the next several months, and throughout 2012-13 we will continue working together to further refine how these measures are used for professional growth, evaluation, promotion and placement (e.g. Career Ladder roles), and our new Rewards & Recognition opportunities.
This work is also happening within a broader context. The state of Pennsylvania is moving forward with teacher evaluation systems based on multiple measures. The issues of evaluation and student feedback are also being grappled with nationwide. We want to continue to be leaders in this work.
We have come a long way on our journey together to create a fair and reliable evaluation system, and there is much to celebrate. With that I encourage us to keep in mind that, as with any truly groundbreaking work, there will be challenges along the way that together we will partner to solve.
Please take advantage of all of the tools available to you on the PPS Portal regarding RISE, Value-Added measures, and the Tripod student survey. Be encouraged to contact the Help Desk or reach out directly to your principals and District administrators with any questions. Look forward to additional information from your RISE Leadership teams and in the PPS Portal in the New Year.
I look forward to continuing to break ground together.