As part of the federal requirements for states’ receiving funding under Phase 2 of the State Fiscal Stabilization Funds Program, all school districts in New Jersey are providing information to the public on the procedures they use to evaluate teachers and principals. The information presented below will help you understand Woodcliff Lake’s policies and procedures for evaluating teachers and educational specialists such as librarians and counselors.
Confidentiality concerns: To protect the confidentiality of individual evaluations, districts are not required to provide a district-level statistical summary of teacher evaluation outcomes in those cases where there are fewer than 10 teachers in an entire district. Similarly, districts are not required to provide a school-level statistical summary of teacher evaluation outcomes if there are fewer than 10 teachers in a school.
Description of Teacher Evaluation System
Teachers, Education Specialists, and Principals are formally evaluated using the Stronge Evaluation Model; the model was adopted in 2012-13.
The Standards for Teachers
1: Professional Knowledge
2: Instructional Planning
3: Instructional Delivery
4: Assessment of/for Learning
5: Learning Environment
7: Student Progress
The Standards for Educational Specialists (Directors, CST, Nurses, Guidance)
1: Knowledge of the Learning Community
2: Program Planning and Management
3: Program Services and Support
7: Learner/Program Progress
The Standards for Principals
1: Instructional Leadership
2: Organizational Management
3: School Climate
4: Human Resource Management
5: Communication & Community Relations
7: Student Progress
The Woodcliff Lake School District follows the Achieve NJ Guiding Principles as established under the 2012 TEACHNJ Act. Our district, minimally, complies with all mandates set forth, but aspires to even higher expectations for teacher and principal performance.
The new Achieve NJ evaluation and support system guiding principles:
1. Educator effectiveness can and should be measured to ensure our students have the best teachers in the classroom. A three-year study by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently affirmed the impact of evaluations and showed that huge variations exist between the most and least effective teachers — in some cases, up to an 11-month difference in student learning.
2. Evaluations should always be based on multiple measures that include both learning outcomes and effective practice. No teacher or principal should ever be assessed based on test scores alone, much less a single test. Therefore, AchieveNJ includes a combination of student growth on objective measures and observations of a teacher’s classroom practices and a principal’s leadership practices conducted by appropriately trained observers.
3. Timely feedback and high-quality professional development, tied to evaluations, are essential to help educators improve. Evaluations provide educators with more opportunities to engage in high-quality professional conversations and nuanced data that can be used to tailor professional development to staff needs. Evaluations that do not contribute to these types of growth and development offer limited value.
4. Evaluation and support systems should be developed with significant input from educators. We have been working every step of the way over the past two years with those most affected: teachers and principals.
5. Tenure and other forms of recognition should be based on effectiveness. As codified in the new tenure law passed in 2012, educators should be recognized and rewarded based on the outcome of meaningful evaluations rather than simply time served.