Perfunctory.

This week, our TLI department started a conversation around the recently updated guidance from the Washington Office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) around Student Growth Goals.

About ten years ago, our state commenced a new evaluation model for educators, with an emphasis on professional growth, based on an instructional framework. Our district selected the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership’s 5D model. One of the requirements of the evaluation model was to include student growth as a component.

OPSI, working with educators, has updated the guidance around Student Growth Goals.

They explain, “It has been ten years since Washington’s Teacher and Principal Evaluation Program (TPEP) began with a small cadre of pilot districts from around the state. The last decade has provided opportunities to hone evaluation practices to better support educator growth. It has also allowed for drift from the original intent of growing teaching practice; regarding Student Growth Goals this has led, in some schools and districts, to a singular focus on assessment scores. When this process becomes perfunctory, we lose a critical tool for more deeply understanding our students, their learning, and how we must respond as educators.

Any writing that includes the word ‘perfunctory’ grabs my full attention. Adjective: (of an action or gesture) carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection.

Ouch. And even ouchier? It’s true. And good on OSPI for calling it out.

The new guidance leans into identifying critical standards in learning, opportunities for students to draw from their own academic and personal experiences to make learning meaning, student voice and engagement, student and family feedback.

All of this feels familiar, hopeful, and powerful for kids and educators. And districts have a whole year to learn about Student Growth Goals. Some schools or teachers may pilot the Student Growth Goal process.

Some may think that these changes are small steps. Small steps can add up.

Found this this week.

A counter to ‘perfunctory’ can be a big change, achieved by seemingly small steps.

Here we go!

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 38 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 7 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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