Where do we want our students to be in 2014? How will we use our resources wisely to get there? The six areas of focus in the 2014 plan support our two key goals: improving teaching and managing performance. The areas of focus are:
1: Effective Teaching and Leadership
2: Performance Management
3: Increasing the Graduation Rate
4: Teaching and Learning Through Technology
5: Environmental Stewardship
6: Parent and Community Connections
This plan includes a major shift in direction in how teachers are chosen, trained, paid and retained. Based on our results and experiences, we have concluded that relying on credentials is no longer the best approach to determining the effectiveness of educators. Eight years after its passage, it is clear that the No Child Left Behind Act is misguided in its reliance on credentials to measure good teaching. Our shift in direction with the 2014 plan is rooted in national and local research, as well as our own observation of teachers and teaching since 2006.
There is a growing consensus among educators nationally, as well as in CMS, that the best measure of effective teaching must include not only calculating the percentage of students who are proficient, but also measures of student growth.
The most effective instructors are those who can teach students to achieve more than one year’s growth in one year’s time. The ability to move students this way is particularly critical in addressing the achievement gaps, where students may be two or more years behind in basic skills.
For these reasons, the 2014 plan seeks to establish new benchmarks in measuring teacher performance. We will no longer measure effectiveness by credentials or years of experience. Instead, we will monitor year-over-year student progress in a variety of ways as the best indicator of effective teaching and leadership.