Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teacher Quality Committee Meeting Minutes 03/23/2010

Teacher Quality – March 23, 2010 Minutes
The meeting was called to order by Dave Black at 4:17 p.m. Members present: Barb Grell, Linda Hahn, Jeanne Bartholow, Sean Dunphy, Pat Thomas, Al Lorenz, Mark Schweer, Kim Jones, Dave Black, Chuck Story, and Laurie Thies.

Approval of Minutes – Motion made by Sean Dunphy to approve the February minutes, seconded by Chuck Story.

Market Factor Pay Plan

Dave Black proposed adding content area specialties to the special education listing for the MS and HS certification areas. Sean Dunphy proposed adding an area of emphasis for candidates seeking the Middle School Generalist endorsement. The law changes on July 1, 2010 to require this addition. After this date, the grade 5-8 listing will not be sufficient and candidates seeking this endorsement must have an area of emphasis.

The committee approved these additions.

There are currently two teachers seeking the Middle School Generalist endorsement. Sean will speak with them about the new law requirements. The committee agreed that, if needed, these teachers can reapply to obtain compensation for extra classes required.

In round 1 of money distribution, 8 candidates applied. Two have completed their endorsements and 5 are still working toward completion. In round 2, the four applicants are still working on their endorsements.

There is currently $5,200 available, so the district will offer a round 3 application process. Information will be forthcoming. Applications are available on the district website and are due by April 15th to the building principal.

Some modifications to the form are being made: adding the endorsements discussed above, changing the monetary amount available, and fixing the date due to the principal.

Chuck raised the question about using the money to assist potential new hires in obtaining their required endorsements. The committee discussed the point. It was decided that this money would be used for people currently under contract at the time of the offering. The TQC could offer another round, if there is money remaining after round 3 that could be used for this purpose.

Barb moved to accept the changes and proposals and to offer round 3 with Mark seconding. It was a unanimous vote to accept the changes.

Reflection on the District Day
Dave shared the information gathered from the District Leadership Team as they reflected on the district day. The TQC shared similar views: felt the day went well, well organized, appeared that all participants appreciated some part of the day’s presentations, provided 2 ways of looking at the Iowa Core.

Teacher Evaluation System

Part I

Dave shared information from the accreditation team visit. The team found the district was lacking evidence that everyone was being evaluated on a consistent basis. Dave proposed having the principals complete a checklist that documents completion of the professional development plan, the two reflections (December, March) and the final reflection. Chuck wondered if it would be sufficient to put the professional development plan and the final reflection together in the file at the ERC. Barb and Sean said they already used a sort of checklist of their own to keep track. Kent agreed. Kim proposed a master list that would allow all the people at the high school to keep track so no person was overlooked. Sean suggested a Google doc where all staff would be listed and all principals could access it. Dave agreed that would be helpful in that all the district employees could be listed and all supervisors could access the same document.

Part II

Dave then brought up a question sent to him by Barb Motes concerning portfolios. There seems to be confusion about whether a teacher must create a portfolio or not. The committee checked the references to a “portfolio” in the evaluation document. It is in two places; the mentor section and the summary sheet. The summary sheet (pg. 39) also provides the district definition of a portfolio: A portfolio is an adequate collection of evidence for each teaching standard that reflects a teacher’s practice over time.

The committee discussed their understanding of the definition. The consensus was that a “portfolio” could take on any form (folder, box, electronic, etc.) The important component is the need for a collection of evidence, over time, for each standard. The TQC felt that the document language was sufficient. People with concerns may still address their TQC and LCEA representatives who can use the Evaluation handbook pg. 39 for clarification.

Part III

Dave raised the issue of incorporating student achievement data into the teacher and principal evaluations. This has arisen as part of the federal focus on tying school monies to requirements that include this expectation. The Race to the Top application made by Iowa includes language about this. The push seems to be towards a growth model (how much the student has improved over the year) rather than the current model of all shall be at grade level proficiencies. This would require multiple assessment measures tied to demonstrating growth.

While Lewis Central is not currently part of the Race to the Top application, this model is a part of the federal and state movement. Dave’s concern is that the district needs to look at professional development around writing good professional development goals that with a focus on improving student achievement. This will help keep the district in alignment with federal and state movements.

The committee members expressed some concern of what types of measures would be used, how many would be considered necessary, the need for the focus to be on growth of a student over the course of a year rather than proficient/not proficient, and the need for the district to work with teachers on this issue.

The TQC is seeking applicants at the elementary level to fill an opening on the committee. The LCEA is working to fill the position.

Laurie Thies moved to adjourn and Al Lorenz seconded. The meeting ended at 5:20 PM.