BOE hears study on evaluation systems

SUWANEE -- District staff updated the Board of Education on Thursday on a state study that looks at teacher and leader effectiveness in the classroom.

As part of the district's participation in Race to the Top, Gwinnett County Public Schools is involved in a number of effectiveness initiatives, including work on the state's new teacher and leader evaluation systems.

Teachers were evaluated on performance standards in select schools representing 10 percent of the teacher population from January through May.

According to a staff report, principals, assistant principals and teachers in the pilot schools were "positive and believe the application of the new standards have yielded stronger and richer conversations about instruction."

Those participating also felt, however, that "much work is yet to be completed on the student growth percentile and student learning objectives" and that "more work is yet to be completed on the surveys of instructional practice."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $4.35 billion for the Race to the Top Fund, a competitive grant program designed to encourage and reward states that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform; achieving significant improvement in student outcomes; and implementing plans in education reform areas that include adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy as well as informing teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction.

Gwinnett County Public Schools is one of 26 partner school districts in Georgia's Race to the Top application.