Executive Summary

Madeleine Bayard

Could you please describe a bit about your background?

I worked as a consultant in the private sector, and later for the National Governors Association, before returning to Delaware where I am currently the Vice President, Policy & Practice for the Rodel Foundation of Delaware.

I have been involved in developing components of Delaware’s Race to the Top (RTTT) application as well as supporting Delaware’s RTTT-Early Learning Challenge application. Most of my work now centers on supporting Delaware’s implementation of a number of RTTT initiatives, including teacher evaluation. 

The collaborative nature of having everybody at the table. Our businesses our philanthropists, our teacher’s union, and our administrators—all continue to stay at the table, thinking through the complex policy and implementation decisions.
 
Madeleine Bayard, Rodel Foundation

What are your top activities around RTTT?

●      Building understanding about Race to The Top through communications and convenings. The Vision 2015 conference held annually in Delaware is an example. This year a panel on the state teacher evaluation system (DPAS II) included representatives from the union, our Governor’s  administration, and others from out-of-state who are involved in teacher evaluation reform efforts.  

●      Bringing in outside perspectives, such as national policy experts we recommended for the state’s teacher evaluation Technical Advisory Group.

●      National Scans. We continue to do scans of other states’ and districts’ practices and policies to assess where Delaware is unique, where we can learn from others, and what other strategies we might consider.  

What has worked well for teacher evaluation reform in Delaware?

The collaborative nature of having everybody at the table. Our businesses our philanthropists, our teacher’s union, and our administrators—all continue to stay at the table, thinking through the complex policy and implementation decisions.

How do you balance getting things right against a tight timeline?

The balance is key. That’s the heart of the conversation right now. There are some strategies the state is developing right now, like having a menu of student growth measures from which administrators and teachers can choose. Our federal waiver placed some critical and aggressive milestones to balance the urgency and the complexity.

What would you say are the next milestones that Delaware is trying to achieve?

●      In December/January the internal (developed by Delaware teachers) and external (vendor-developed assessments) student growth measures will be available.

●      Communication in spring 2011 about upcoming changes to the system. Next year, the stakes will be higher, educators will need a deeper understanding of the components of their evaluation, and stakeholders will continue to have interest in the implications.

●      Training. Continued training to allow teachers to know what they are being evaluated on and to support evaluators as they implement the process.

Anything you want to say about teacher engagement in the process?

The number of districts, grades, subjects, and teachers represented in the working groups developing the internal measures has been encouraging. We have a strong commitment from a number of educators to do what’s right for students in a way that builds the profession of teaching. It will be up to all of the stakeholders at the table as well as those to come  to make sure this is  done in a productive and fair way.

The Federal Government and Teacher Evaluation

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