New Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluation Model Simplifies Standards-Based Observations, Aligns with New Art and Science of Teaching

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Developed in partnership between Robert J. Marzano and Learning Sciences International, the Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluation Model emphasizes just 23 essential teacher competencies to ease evaluation burdens in standards-based classrooms.

Co-creators of the Focused Model, Robert Marzano and Beverly Carbaugh

We now have new data from one of the largest validation studies ever conducted. We created the Focused Model without giving up the content. We put it into a format that captures what we consider to be the essentials.

West Palm Beach-based leader in K-12 education Learning Sciences International has announced a significant update in the evolution of teacher evaluation systems. Drawing on half a decade of research on teacher evaluation models currently implemented in U.S. schools, Learning Sciences has developed the Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluation Model in partnership with renowned education researcher Robert J. Marzano.

The Focused Model addresses weaknesses inherent in first-generation teacher evaluation models, most notably the time and resource burden placed on teachers and school leaders who desire fair and accurate measurements of teacher capabilities. “The assumption when we created the original Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model under Race To The Top,” Dr. Robert Marzano notes, “was that administrators would have time for at least four or five observations a year. The reality is that observers just don’t have that time. And we now have new data from one of the largest validation studies ever conducted. We created the Focused Model without giving up the content. We put it into a format that captures what we consider to be the essentials, and a scoring framework that allows observers to capture those essentials.”

The new model emphasizes just 23 essential teacher behaviors in four domains of expertise. This streamlined emphasis requires no time-consuming scripting processes, and allows educators to focus on what matters most: research-based standards-aligned instruction, as well as best practices in standards-based planning, creating positive conditions for learning, and professional responsibilities.

Other innovations in the model include a strong focus on evidences of student learning to increase the specificity and accuracy of observations. The Focused Model prioritizes deeper alignment to the instructional shifts required for rigorous new academic standards. These priorities ensure that teachers use strategies most likely to support rigorous instruction, developing their own competencies while also increasing classroom rigor school-wide.

Most significantly, the model supports competency-based scoring. Teachers can take risks in learning new strategies, because school leaders will use only the highest score in each of the 23 behaviors to determine a final evaluation score. In this way, teachers are encouraged to study and refine weaker skills during the course of the year, leading to real improvements in pedagogy. The Focused Model is fully aligned to Robert J. Marzano’s New Art and Science of Teaching, released this year, and the Marzano Center Essentials for Achieving Rigor.

Co-developer Dr. Beverly G. Carbaugh, Vice President and Senior Fellow of Learning Sciences Marzano Center, says, “What I love about this model is the focus on student evidence. The model effectively puts the emphasis back on what really matters to educators—whether students are learning, and what specific actions we can take if they’re not reaching their targets.”

Educators may attend a special preview webinar to learn more about the benefits of this innovative model, May 23, 2017, at 3 PM EST, hosted by Robert Marzano and Beverly Carbaugh.

Founded in 2002 by university faculty, Learning Sciences International partners with schools and districts to achieve significant, sustainable gains in student learning, including deep implementation of programs such as Demonstration Schools for Rigor and Intensive Support Initiatives for turnaround schools. LSI consults with districts and states to implement teacher evaluation systems in partnership with Dr. Robert Marzano, and conducts research and pilot projects in school districts across the U.S. to study the effects of educational interventions and technology. LSI supports schools and educational initiatives in 11 countries and serves 311,000 teachers and more than 4 million students in the United States.

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Gail Shepherd
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Learning Sciences International
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