Instructional Leadership in Action

With ESSA, it’s (finally) time to put growth at the center of teacher evaluation

by Patty Maxfield May 10, 2016

In education policy — as in life — there are few second chances. So it’s exciting to see that as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), teacher evaluation seems to have gotten one of these rare opportunities to reassess and change course.

ESSA hands more policymaking power to states and districts. States will have complete control over teacher evaluations and more power over how test scores and other factors figure into accountability. In fact, state legislatures have already started to change assessment and accountability requirements.

So how should we use this second chance to design a teacher evaluation system with the right priorities that helps both students and teachers reach higher levels?

The short answer is: with a focus on growth.

[Continue Reading]

Revised 5D+™ Rubric for Instructional Growth and Teacher Evaluation now available

by UWCEL May 2, 2016

Strong instructional practitioners are constantly reflecting on their practice, grounding their practice in research, and working to improve and streamline their practice to be more effective in their impact on student learning. Following this spirit of instructional innovation and learning, the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) has released an updated version of the 5D+ Rubric for Instructional Growth and Teacher Evaluation.

As a research institution, CEL learns from district partners and revises its work based upon that learning. While version 2 of the 5D+ Rubric is a sound and complete evaluation and growth tool, the new version 3 is clearer, more concise and easier to use for teachers and principals.

[Continue Reading]

Now Available: 5D+™ Calibration Tune-up Tool

by UWCEL May 27, 2015

The University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) has released the 5D+ Calibration Tune-up tool. This new tool allows districts to support their ongoing rater reliability and is designed to be easily facilitated by district staff. 

Developing and maintaining reliable evaluators is a key component to the success of any school district’s teacher evaluation system. Teachers and students benefit from principals and evaluators who are trained and certified to observe, analyze and rate instruction, before they ever step into a classroom to observe a teacher for the purpose of evaluation. Research has indicated that in-depth rater reliability training should happen annually and calibration tune-ups should happen monthly.

[Continue Reading]

Are We Evaluating the Right Things in Schools?

by UWCEL May 10, 2015

For schools across the country, teacher evaluations are now part of the day-to-day work. This new reality brings many new questions. Are we linking the right data variables to teaching effectiveness? What's the future of teacher and principal licensure? How can decision makers best support teacher development and help new teachers see a sustainable and successful career path?

[Continue Reading]

3 New Resources to Keep Your Teacher/Principal Evaluation System on Track

by Patty Maxfield Jan 5, 2015

A few months into the second year of statewide implementation of new teacher and principal evaluation systems, most educators in Washington state seem to know their way around the new approach to evaluation and professional development. In a statewide survey, almost 80 per cent of teachers said that they were very or somewhat familiar with the revised evaluation requirements. Among principals and district leaders, almost 90 per cent reported understanding the various components of the teacher evaluation.

As I travel around the state to coach teachers and principals on how to use and implement our 5D framework and 5D+ Teacher Evaluation Rubric, I'm excited to see so many educators embrace this new growth-oriented evaluation mindset.

We all know that improving instruction doesn't happen overnight, it's an intentional and lifelong process that requires constant attention and focus. To keep the new system on track, districts need to look beyond the initial implementation and plan for the long run.

Here are three short updates on new state guidelines and upcoming Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) resources that can help you with this important task:

[Continue Reading]

Now available: 5D+™ Stage II Online Training

by UWCEL Oct 30, 2014

Helping educators understand what good teaching looks like is at the heart of all our efforts to improve instruction. That’s why we are excited to offer 5D+™ Stage II Online Training, a new convenient learning tool for principals, principal supervisors and teacher leaders.

5D+ Stage II Online Training develops and deepens learners’ knowledge of CEL’s instructional framework, teacher evaluation rubric, and inquiry cycle. 5D+ Stage I Online Training introduced participants to the Classroom Environment & Culture dimension of the framework and rubric as well as the 5D+ Inquiry Cycle. 5D+ Stage II Online Training provides learners an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of each of the remaining four dimensions. To get the most out of the new Stage I online training, learners should have completed Stage I, either online or in person.

[Continue Reading]

Central Kitsap Builds Shared Vision of Instruction

by June Rimmer Oct 15, 2014

Chris Mygatt (left), language arts teacher at Central Kitsap Junior High School, with a student in her classroom. Implementing CEL's instructional framework has  helped teachers give students greater control over their own learning.

At Woodlands Elementary in Bremerton, Washington state, Cindy Larson’s kindergartners don’t just answer her questions. They explain their thinking and evaluate their classmates’ reasoning. For example, during a lesson on measurement, one of the boys asked to come to the whiteboard and explain why another student’s answer was incorrect.

"He was basically up there teaching the class," Larson said. "That would never have happened in my classroom before." Discussing content at such intellectual depth early on bodes well for students’ future growth, she added. "If we’re starting this in kindergarten, the discussions in the upper grades are going to look qualitatively different."

[Continue Reading]

5D+™ Teacher Evaluation Colloquium in Tacoma, November 12, 2014

by UWCEL Sep 17, 2014

The 5D+ Teacher Evaluation Colloquium is a place to learn and share with other districts that are using the 5D+ Teacher Evaluation Rubric.

Possible discussion topics include giving effective feedback to teachers, collective bargaining agreements, and problem-solving your district’s obstacles to a research-based implementation.

Bring your hardest questions and your best practices and be ready to share in an Open Space Technology* format.

Open Space session topics at past colloquiums included:

  • Supporting and differentiating learning for principals.
  • How to prioritize ongoing teacher training – diverse needs.
  • Consistency in scoring / calibration.
  • Tools that generate formative conversations.
[Continue Reading]

Webinar: A Demonstration of Pivot with 5D+™

by UWCEL Aug 12, 2014

Watch this recorded webinar demonstration of Pivot with 5D+™, a mobile observation and walkthrough tool. This webinar will provide an overview of the web-based interface of Pivot with 5D+ for schools looking for an electronic tool to use on a laptop, tablet or other web-enabled device.  

Created by principals for principals, Pivot with 5D+ enables administrators to collect and code evidence from observations, conversations with teachers, student work, and artifacts in order to complete mid- and end-of-year formative and summative evaluations in a totally mobile and paperless environment.

Learn more and watch

[Continue Reading]

Developing a Replicable Feedback Process at 2014 Institute

by UWCEL Jul 8, 2014

What are the foundations for effective observation and feedback? How do you develop your own practice for feedback? Educators from 11 states explored these questions through two intense days of learning at the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership's 2014 Summer Leadership Institute, "Feedback for Teacher Growth: Tools and Processes to Support Teacher Evaluation."

[Continue Reading]

Subscribe to CEL's blog