Wish you could be in the driver’s seat for how to improve teaching?

For Oakland teachers: This year, you can.

This past spring, two new teacher evaluation pilots were approved by the OEA and OUSD. For a school to participate, 66 percent of its teachers need to approve and submit an application to the District and OEA by August 30. We encourage school communities to take advantage of the opportunity.

Click here to download the application.

These systems can help OUSD move to a place of honoring the expertise of teachers with clear definitions of success, reliable feedback and meaningful supports.

The success, failure and future of these pilots is dependent on the leadership, vision and voice of participating teachers. Piloting means that you will get to help shape how the district supports Oakland’s teachers at a systemic level.

Schools can choose one of two pilot systems this year (more information on the OUSD web site):

  • Teacher Growth and Development System (TGDS): Uses framework with four areas to measure a teacher’s effectiveness: (1) planning and preparation, (2) classroom environment, (3) teaching and learning and (4) professional responsibilities. Last June, parents, teachers and community leaders from the GO community and our partners gathered to urge the school board to prioritize resources for this pilot. The board then voted to allocate $300,000 to support teachers in this system.
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  • Teaching Excellence Network: TEN is powered by the Urban Teacher Quality Index (UTQI), a tool that uses technology to create dynamic teacher feedback loops, providing teachers direct, instant and consistent feedback from students, families and other key stakeholders. The UTQI tool organizes the research on excellence in urban teaching into three key domains of effective pedagogy (relevance, relationships and responsibility) and uses a five-step process to provide teachers access to a tool and the Teaching Excellence Network (TEN) so that they can improve their classroom practice. See http://iseeed.org/programs/ten for more information.
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There is one additional pilot, but it is no longer accepting applications. The Teaching Effectiveness Pilot uses observation, 360 degree feedback and student achievement. The model was developed through collaboration among teachers and administrators at Elmhurst Community Prep and United For Success Academy.

Join the OEA Joint Committee: Another way for teachers to participate is to join the OEA’s joint committee for the reviewing the pilots. They, and partners from the district, will meet to review the pilots’ progress and make recommendations. To get involved, please contact OEA President Trish Gorham at oaklandeapresident@yahoo.com. OUSD has said the findings and recommendations from the pilots will inform a future evaluation system used for Oakland teachers. Click here for a copy of the OEA/OUSD MOU on this issue.

Please take the time to share this with other Oakland teachers and encourage your school community to apply.

Editor’s Note: This piece reflects an individual opinion and is not a reported story from Oakland Local. Oakland Local invites community residents to share their views about events and issues in Oakland. See our guidelines.

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