Alaska Board of Education & Early Development Approves Marzano Teacher Evaluation; Model: Model Meets New Educator Evaluation Regulations

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Learning Sciences Marzano Center will support Alaska districts as they choose their teacher evaluation and administrator evaluation systems to implement in the 2015 school year.

marzano teacher evaluation, teacher professional development

Learning Sciences Marzano Center Executive Director Robert J. Marzano and CEO Michael D. Toth

Teacher associations have been very receptive to the model due to the accuracy of the observation tools and the way the model honors the complexity of teaching. It actually helps teachers get better, and that is powerful.

The Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model is one of three evaluation systems recently approved by the Alaska State Board of Education & Early Development. The Board announced that it has adopted new regulations regarding school districts’ evaluations of teachers, administrators, and special service providers. Under the new system, teachers will be evaluated on a four-point scale based on multiple measures including classroom observations, content standards, and assessment of student growth. Districts must choose their teacher evaluation models by October, 2014.

The state website notes in its evaluation FAQ that the intent of the new regulation, which phases in measurement of student improvement over a period of years, is to “expand the evaluation beyond characteristics of the teacher to include conversation about the students. It is reasonable to evaluate teachers based on student growth . . . .all students can improve.”

The Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model, developed in collaboration with Learning Sciences International, makes student improvement a non-negotiable goal. The model is an instructional model, rather than a model that merely measures teacher performance. As teachers learn to use the 41 classroom strategies in Domain 1, studies have shown student achievement to increase by an average 16 percentile points. Gains associated with specific classroom strategies in the Marzano model have demonstrated increases as high as 31 percentile points.

Developed over five decades of research, the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model is comprised of four interrelated domains focused on classroom strategies associated with student learning gains, lesson planning, reflection on teaching, and collegiality. The model allows districts or individual schools to phase-in aspects of the model, and gives administrators the flexibility to align professional development to support teachers as they learn to use the strategies and incorporate them into planning lessons and units. As teachers become more expert within the system, they will expand their practice into targeted reflection on professional development and building relationships with colleagues. The model includes a field-proven classroom observation and feedback instrument to identify levels of teaching performance.

Two companion models for school leader and district leader evaluation have also been developed by Learning Sciences Marzano Center.

Learning Sciences Marzano Center for Teacher and Leader Evaluation has successfully implemented the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model to support State Departments in Florida and Oklahoma. “We have implementations of model in a number of states with thousands of observers and tens of thousands of teachers,” said Learning Sciences Marzano Center CEO Michael Toth. “Teacher associations have been very receptive to the model due to the accuracy of the observation tools and the way the model honors the complexity of teaching. It actually helps teachers get better, and that is powerful.”

The Center provides the tools, training, and resources to ensure that districts implement the model with fidelity. The Center’s expert consultants train teachers, coaches, and administrators to ensure the model’s long-term success: developing observer skills such as inter-rater reliability; obtaining accurate teacher and student data; using Deliberate Practice to grow teacher expertise; and providing the targeted feedback most likely to drive long term improvement.

Says Marzano Center Executive Director Robert J. Marzano, “Marzano Center consultants know the teacher evaluation model backwards and forwards. We get together on a regular basis multiple times a year to score videos of teachers, and I’m amazed at the level of agreement we have. I believe they are the best evaluation consultants in the country, maybe even in the world.”

“We were extremely pleased to hear that the state of Alaska had selected our model,” says Toth. “It’s a particularly good choice for Alaska as the state moves toward evaluating and growing the expertise not just of teachers, but of principals, administrators, and non-classroom personnel. Because the teacher evaluation model is part of a carefully aligned system of models for educators at every level – from district leaders to support staff – this is a model that can accommodate growth in policy over time. We hope to play a role in improving the culture of education in Alaska for many years to come.”

Learning Sciences Marzano Center for Teacher and Leader Evaluation, located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, promotes excellence in public education by providing and developing next-generation teacher and leadership evaluation tools and training. Built on a foundation of expert research into best practices in partnership with national researcher and author Dr. Robert Marzano, the Center identifies, develops, and disseminates cutting-edge resources in educational best practices. The goal is to support teachers to be highly effective, lifelong learners, and in doing so, to significantly impact student growth and achievement over time.

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Gail Shepherd, Corporate Communications
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