|Expanding Professional Learning: The Impact of SB 290|
|With the passage of Senate Bill 290 in 2011 and Oregon’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility waiver in 2012, Oregon has embarked on a journey to significantly change education in the state as it relates to educator professional growth and support. In light of these two initiatives, Oregon districts have been engaged over the last year in the process of examining and refining their local evaluation systems. Districts have been assisted in this process by The Oregon Framework for Teacher and Administrator Evaluation and Support Systems , which provides state criteria (five required elements) that ensure local evaluation systems are rigorous and designed to support professional growth and continuous improvement of all educators’ practice, as well as the growth of each student.
Required Elements in Teacher and Administrator Evaluation and Support Systems:
1. Standards of Professional Practice. State adopted standards for professional practice define what teachers and administrators should know and be able to do to ensure that every student is ready for college, careers and engaged citizenship in today’s world.
2. Differentiated Performance Levels. Teacher and administrator performance on the standards of professional practice are measured on four performance levels.
3. Multiple Measures. Multiple sources of data are used to measure teacher and administrator performance on the standards of professional practice through evidence from three categories: professional practice, professional responsibilities, and student learning and growth.
4. Evaluation and Professional Growth Cycle. Teachers and administrators are evaluated on a regular cycle of continuous improvement that includes self -reflection, goal setting, observations, formative assessment and summative evaluation.
5. Aligned Professional Learning. Relevant professional learning opportunities to improve professional practice and impact on student learning are aligned to the teacher’s or administrator’s evaluation and his/her need for professional growth.
Aligned Professional Learning
Oregon teachers are familiar with the research around effective professional development – focused, sustained, and job embedded – that allows for deep learning that builds upon prior experience and results in positive changes in practice and increased student learning. They are also familiar with data-based decision making, and using student data to drive instructional decisions. While aligned professional learning is a term that may be new to many, it combines these familiar practices.
Aligned professional learning ensures that opportunities are relevant to the educator’s goals and needs. The key to aligned professional learning is that decisions about the professional learning opportunities teachers engage in are based on an examination of multiple sources of evidence related to teacher practice, including observations, collection of artifacts, self-reflection, and goal setting. This evidence provides a picture of the teacher’s strengths and weaknesses and offers opportunities to make informed decisions regarding individual professional growth.
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is providing a variety of resources to support district professional learning plans that integrate educator evaluation and support system and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). A series of three Professional Learning Team (PLT) conferences are being held around the state at which PLTs learn, and share strategies for successful implementation of Educator Effectiveness and CCSS. These conferences are designed to build capacity within districts to provide professional learning that supports not only the content that educators need, but the design and delivery of effective professional learning as described in the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning.
In addition, districts received non-competitive grant funds based on ADMw for professional learning to support implementation of Educator Effectiveness and CCSS in their districts based on local needs. ODE has also developed webpages and toolkits to support both Common Core State Standards and Educator Effectiveness that include a wide variety of resources that districts can use as they move forward with implementation.
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