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CITE 2.0

October 2, 2012

Last week the current version of CITE 2.0 was released throughout the system. Many principals planned meetings etc. to bring their staffs up to speed on the new instrument. I know you have questions and some of you need more details than others, so I have prepared information on CITE 2.0 by category for you to reference. It is always best if we are all working from the same set of facts. 🙂 If there is something I have missed and that your principal cannot answer, please do let me know. We don’t want anyone worrying needlessly. Here are the categories.

  1. Pay Raises (first because it seems to be the biggest worry)
  2. History of CITE
    a. Teacher committee
    b. SB191
    c. Governor’s Rules Committee at CDE
    d. DCSD Draft (2.0)
  3. Standard 1 – World Class Outcomes for Students
  4. Standard 2 – World Class Assessment
  5. Standard 3 – World Class Instruction
  6. Standard 4 – Culture and Climate
  7. Standard 5 – Professional Growth and Leadership
  8. Standard 6 – Student Growth and Achievement
  9. Special Education, Gifted, ELL, and At Risk Students
  10. World Class Education Targets for Teachers
  11. Pay for Performance System
  12. Pay for Performance Pilot in 2012-2013
  13. Data Systems and Evidence
  14. Professional Development for Teachers
  15. The 4 Cs Rubrics

Here we go…

1. Pay Raises

I think it’s important that we keep an eye on context here but I am going to first start right out of the gate and say something that I know is very important for all of you to hear.

If we have additional revenue and can afford a raise, (did you catch that first part…’cause it’s important) ALL Teachers who are rated partially effective and above WILL RECEIVE A RAISE IN FY 2014. 🙂

Ok…now for the contextual pieces and other pertinent information for those who like to understand the details. For many years the district has been paying new teachers to the district “off step.” We have done this in hard to fill areas and in other cases where low supply was a big problem. This practice (to work around a broken system) has led to inequities AND has held some of our best educators back in pay because the system also had nothing to do with how good of a teacher you were. We all know this…we have all lived with it for too long. Then, we took a broken system and put it on a 4 year (5 year for leaders) pay freeze. However, we still had to hire new staff each year (hired about 179 in our slowest hiring year during the recession) and we had to pay them, so we exacerbated the inequities. Now…we are committed to fixing it, but we have not received any new revenues from the state for several years. We don’t have the millions of dollars to dump into the broken system to create some sort of Band-Aid. We were left with very few options and since necessity is the mother of invention, we decided to innovate. We decided to push down the walls that have held us back from doing what is right for great teachers and reimagine the system. We have all longed to be paid like professionals, and this is the perfect time to make that change.

So…we carried forward with the idea of paying people more who are in short supply (an idea that is not new to the system). We didn’t want to do that in secret. Instead, we wanted to come out with the data and be honest with folks about supply and demand. Unfortunately, some people have spun this to be a negative – insinuating that this is about how much we value kindergarten teachers vs. calculus teachers instead of being honest about the bind we have been in for years and the Band-Aids that have been used to get by. We collected data this hiring season about the number of QUALITY applicants we get for X position, and what we have to pay to attract the best to DCSD. If we advertise for a calculus teacher and we only get one great applicant and that person is being recruited by other districts who are willing to pay off step we have to pay more to get that person here in DCSD – for our students. If this becomes a theme for that position, as a result of that data, that position goes into pay-band 4 or 5. Thus…the birth of market pay-bands based purely on supply and demand. The same is true of other professions.

We realize that market pay is the first step in getting our system back on track, but it is not enough. We can’t just then give everyone flat raises year after year because that violates our belief that teachers should be paid like professionals – that great teachers should make more than good teachers and good teachers should make more than fair teachers. So Market Pay is just the first step – it is for NEW HIRES ONLY and no one will have their pay reduced.

Back to the big inequities that broken systems and pay freezes have created in our system. ..The Market Pay is for new hires. It begins to fix the broken system for people entering the district. It does not fix the rest and we know that but it gives us important information that will help us build and begin to transition to a new system inside the system because it gives us some idea of how broken things really are. It does this by allowing us to compare the current pay of our teachers to the market BUT this is only one factor…remember that we value performance MOST. So…we want to use Market Data and Performance to drive a compensation transition because it is best for our students and our great teachers.

I think it’s important before getting into this too deeply to address the elephant in the room around performance. You see, the last 10 years of “No Child Left Untested” has given pay for performance a bad name – and rightfully so! Good teachers are not afraid of accountability. No way! Good teachers are afraid of accountability gone wrong – the kind we have experienced for the past 10 years. Be assured…this district is not going down that path. We are not going to use what is easy to measure to show how great a teacher you are. That doesn’t make any sense! We MUST decide what you do every day that is MOST important for our students and then measure THAT the RIGHT way before we can ever use it to assess your performance, and this is exactly what we are doing with CITE 2.0 and the Balanced Assessment System (BAS). We are identifying the most important outcomes for students (GVC+21st Skills including 4 Cs) and developing assessments that measure them appropriately! You all are doing this work! Hundreds of teachers are and have worked on the GVC and the BAS or Interim Assessments. We are committed to showing the world that we can identify the most important outcomes for students and measure them right to show how great our teachers are. So when I say performance, I don’t mean standardized test scores (although they are part of a balanced assessment system – a small, one-point- in- time data point).

Ok…I’ll get back into that more later, but back to fixing the broken system that was made worse by 4 years of pay freezes.

This year, if we have any new money, and I think we will, teachers will be given a raise according to 2 important factors.

  1. How far out of whack they are in their pay against the market
  2. Performance in the classroom

For example, if we have money (you tired of me saying that yet?), it could or might look something like this:

Rating Highly Effective Effective Partially Effective Ineffective
Below Market 8.0% 4.0% 2.0% 0.0%
At Market 6.5% 3.0% 1.5% 0.0%
Above Market 5.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0%

If you happen to be a teacher who was hired 4 years ago and have been frozen ever since AND you have good performance, you could be looking at a 4-8% raise! Do you see how this system works to fix what is broken? It works to bring people who are very under-paid and who are good teachers up the scale faster. This is good for teachers and good for students!

2. The History of CITE

CITE started over 3 years ago with a very large teacher committee who gave feedback about what should be included in a new teacher evaluation instrument. That committee turned into a smaller teacher committee who worked with Brian Ewart (when he was still here) and then with Pat McGraw through the end of last school-year tweaking and refining the standards, elements, and rubrics for CITE.

In the meantime, during 2009-2010 school-year, SB 191 was passed. This law says many things including that we must have 50% of the teacher evaluation based on student growth and achievement data. The law also gave birth to the rules committee which made many decisions about the implementation of SB191 including producing the current teacher evaluation posted on CDE website. So…our CITE team worked along with the state committee trying to make it work, and this summer finally gave us the teacher evaluation posted on the CDE website as our CITE. YIKES! We looked at it and we could not believe what had happened. I for one was not excited about putting a 30-page evaluation instrument in front of our teachers and leaders. We just couldn’t do it. The instrument is too long, too redundant, and too ambiguous. I, personally, did not feel that it was fair for teachers or for leaders. It is not a model rubric. We had almost no time, but we pulled together the work of the GVC folks, the assessment folks, the PD folks, and collectively worked to keep the integrity of the original CITE committee of teachers work, remove the redundancy, and improve the specificity. The first revamp at fixing it produced over 50 elements. Still YIKES! Working more and focusing on only the most important outcomes produced the 28 elements now on the rubric. Thank goodness! This is CITE 2.0, and it is fully cross-walked to both the state instrument AND the DCSD work of the past so we can show both are “in there.”

As you know, this is our last year to finalize and differentiate CITE. The law requires we are fully compliant with SB191 in 2014 and what seemed so far away is nearly here. While we still have a bit of differentiation to do (because we are committed to identifying the most important things unique teachers and others like nurses do and measure those – not do a one-size-fits-all approach. YUCK!), we are moving closer to having a quality rubric for everyone on time.

Despite the rumors, CITE 2.0 represents the work of the original CITE committee, the smaller CITE committee, the state requirements, the GVC committees and GVC Liaisons, the interim assessment work and BAS Advocates, and the Center for PD. It is backed by a mountain of current literature and research. It has been cross-walked to the CDE instrument and the original CITE committee work. Folks have worked very hard to maintain and integrate all of this teacher work.

3. CITE 2.0 Standard 1 – World Class Outcomes for Students

Standard 1 of CITE is also Stage 1 of Understanding by Design with details or more specific expectations. It simply brings in the work that the GVC folks have been doing for a little over a year now and marries that with the 21st century skills our students need to be successful in their futures. The elements set the expectation that:

  • Teachers use the GVC + 4 Cs as outcomes in each unit they develop – Please keep in mind that units are big and contain many lessons that go together to teach students big, important stuff at the top of the GVC, and units proactively teach the 4 Cs. Research and literature are clear that we teach too many little things disconnected from one another. We need to teach big things that naturally hit the little stuff.
  • Teachers integrate content from other subjects or disciplines when it makes sense – we call this naturally integrative. Brain science is clear that you connect more neurons when the learning is connected to other important learning. For example, if you are teaching revolution in social studies, then read and write about revolution in language arts – do it together! You don’t have to stop here either…add in science, math, technology, and don’t forget the 4 Cs. 🙂
  • Teacher differentiates – this is simply not teaching to the middle – Do you provide menus and multiple pathways for students to access important learning that begins from where they are and takes them toward where they need to be? This does not require personal learning plans for each student; although that is a strategy a teacher can use to accomplish differentiated learning.
  • Teacher uses previous summative data and formative data to select the right outcomes for their students – This is simply having more than a gut feeling about where kids are. This is having data to back your selection of outcomes.
  • Teacher integrates other 21st century skills that make perfect sense in the lesson – Don’t teach financial literacy in a unit on revolution unless it makes perfect sense – to do so.

I know it seems sort of elementary to select outcomes before you teach, but a couple of things have sort of manifested themselves in education over the past ten years. First, there is too much dependency on textbooks for outcomes. I know as a first year teacher I depended on my textbooks waaaaay too much for outcomes. I did not have a clear understanding of the big, important outcomes my students needed to learn and the associated learning progression – I just assumed the textbook had that covered, and really, textbooks are just resources. I learned that in years two and beyond.

In addition, the world is clamoring for new outcomes – far different from the ones that we have focused on in the past. Companies are looking for innovators, collaborators, and creators. Just look at the hiring sites for Google, Apple, Nike, Microsoft, Cisco, Facebook, and many others to see for yourself. These are new – not the outcomes our assembly line past embraced, and it is important that we proactively consider what we are teaching – is it really important, are we teaching it in the right order (first things first – learning progressions), and are we integrating other content and skills that make sense? From there, we need to use formative data to differentiate our selected outcomes so that we are helping each student grow and achieve – unleash the genius in each one.

4. CITE 2.0 Standard 2 – World Class Assessment

Standard 2 on CITE is also Stage 2 on Understanding by Design, but again, more specific and improved (in my view). This is the standard about using assessment well – measuring the most important things the right way. This standard sets the expectations that:

  • Teacher uses a balanced assessment approach – specifically formative assessments to monitor progress toward the outcomes selected in Standard 1.
  • Teacher uses balanced assessment approach – specifically interim assessments to understand student progress toward the outcomes selected in Standard 1.
  • Teacher uses a balanced assessment approach – specifically summative assessments to measure student performance at the end of the learning progress on the outcomes selected in Standard 1.
  • Teacher gives students feedback – lets them know how they are doing throughout the learning process on the attainment of the outcomes selected in Standard 1.
  • Teacher uses performance assessments to measure student’s creativity, collaboration, etc. AND gives the student feedback about the attainment of these skills.
  • Teacher uses performance assessments to measure student’s attainment of other applicable 21st century skills that were identified as outcomes in Standard 1.

Please keep in mind that we need to do assessment right. That is, identify the right outcomes and then measure them well. The world needs a model of assessment done correctly. This will help end the love affair and misuse of standardized testing that makes all of us crazy. 🙂 Dr. Morgan and her team have amazing vision for all that is possible in modern assessment. They are working toward assessments that don’t actually feel like “tests.” They are working toward simulations and video-game-like opportunities where students use knowledge and skills – create!

Beyond selecting assessments, we value teacher assessments too, and we want to create the conditions whereby you can enter data from your own quality assessments into the BAS. We know that quality is the key here, so we are preparing opportunities for you to learn more about formative assessment, interim assessment, and summative assessment. We are also interested in helping you write and use better rubrics if you need that development.

Note: the 4 C’s rubrics are developed and available. They are on the PK-12 learning and leadership site. If you want to start integrating creativity (for example) into your outcomes, the rubric to assess it is available now.

5. CITE 2.0 Standard 3 – World Class Learning Opportunities

Standard 3 correlates with Stage 3 of Understanding by Design. It is about selecting the best learning opportunities for your students that will teach them the World Class Outcomes you have selected in Standard 1. (The same ones you are assessing in Standard 2.) This is usually our favorite Stage and Standard. We love designing learning opportunities for students. That said, again, the world has changed and wants different things from us. We used to be a place that had a monopoly on knowledge, so students came to us to learn information. We also used to be a place that was preparing students for the assembly line so compliance was a key skill. Therefore, our system, and our learning strategies were all about memorization and compliance. However, today, we no longer have the monopoly on information and there is too much to cover in 13 years anyway. AND the world wants us to develop the most creative students, not the most compliant. Actually, compliance is at odds with developing creativity…

So as we think about teaching new outcomes and assessing them differently, we also have to think and plan to teach them differently. As a teacher, I am actually really inspired by this opportunity. I love to take down the walls that have boxed us in and reimagine how I can inspire students to explore high level concepts while simultaneously developing key skills for their futures. This is not easy. It’s actually very rigorous and I like that too. You see…I think that knowing learning progressions for key world class knowledge and skills, developing and selecting assessments and using them properly, and then developing high quality learning experiences that require students to analyze, evaluate, and create takes a real professional. Unlike the practice of following textbook teacher guides, pacing guides, etc. (which I find offensive to the art and science of excellence in education), I believe it takes a true professional educator to do what I have described above, and I love that. It’s amazing when you see it – it’s amazing for students when they experience it.

The expectations set in Standard 3 require:

  • Teachers to use backward planning (Understanding by Design is one approach)
  • Teachers to use BAS data to do their backward planning
  • Teachers to use BAS and more to design differentiated learning opportunities
  • Teachers to design learning that requires students to analyze, evaluate, and create with the knowledge and skills we want them to learn – the World Class Outcomes selected in Standard 1. This is probably the most often confused issue. There is a difference between teaching students to be creative (developing their ability to be creative) and asking students to create with new knowledge and skills. Now, students can demonstrate their creativity while they are creating but there is a difference. Creating is making something new with something you are learning or a skill you are developing. Being creative is about that product hitting the targets found in the creativity rubric.
  • Teacher engage all students – this is about one-size-fits-one and choice! There is more than one pathway to the outcomes you have selected. How can you give all students access in a way that ignites their love of learning? If you do, the retention is MUCH better!
  • Teacher gives students a chance to use World Class Tools. This is required by the state rubric BTW. What this does not mean is that every teacher has to know how to use every world class tool available. No way. What this does mean is that you set rigorous expectations through your rubric etc. and you give students the opportunity to succeed using tools like iMovie or Garage Band. Marc Prensky is a great resource if you need more help with this one. Check out his website, articles, and books. You’re not grading their ability to use the tools. Nope. You are grading the outcomes you set against the rubric you wrote and they can use whatever means they choose to get there. 🙂
  • Teacher gives students opportunity to LEARN how to be creative, collaborative, communicators, and critical thinkers. You know, we used to say…Johnny is so creative! It was like you were born that way or not. Now we know better. We know that we can TEACH creativity and the other Cs!! And we must. Our students need it.
  • Teacher gives students opportunity to LEARN or develop other 21st Century Skills. Again, sometimes these fit naturally with what you are teaching and sometimes they don’t. Don’t teach them if they don’t fit, but if they do, help your students develop these skills too. They are really important. Good news! Some of these fit really well in certain content areas and should mostly be taught and assessed there. Example is health and wellness in PE and Health.
  • Teacher demonstrates content-area expertise. This is from both the state and the original CITE team, so while it might fit in the others, it stands alone and is simply that you know your stuff and the associated learning progressions. It’s important, but like a lot of our lower level stuff…you really can’t do the higher level stuff (elements) if you can’t do this one.

6. CITE 2.0 Standard 4 – Culture and Climate

Back to our assembly line past and the need for compliance in all of our graduates originates from the history of our traditional school culture and climate. We have long had a fairly traditional approach to culture and climate – inspired by assembly line floor bosses. 🙂 Seriously though…today we know more than ever before that, like the idea creativity can be taught, comes the idea that making good choices behaviorally can be taught too. AND not only can it be taught, it needs to be taught because the ability to collaborate and be a good teammate can be a make it or break it situation for our students in their future jobs. Beyond just teaching it, we also know that intrinsic motivation to make good choices is MUCH better than extrinsic motivation to do what is right. So…I make good choices because this is my classroom/school and I want a healthy environment for all is more powerful than this is someone else’s classroom/school and I have to do what X says when X is looking or I will get in trouble. So…the idea of restorative practices was born and concentrates on the notion that we want to develop the ability to make good choices in students AND we want students to make those choices because they want to – intrinsic motivation. This is a win-win for all. Standard 4 is all about building restorative cultures and climates where students develop various 21st Century Skills by practicing (making choices) and learning from them in a safe way. Standard 4 sets the expectations that:

  • Teacher creates an environment that is safe. Safety is our number one priority and while many things can be handled restoratively, there are things that cannot and those are generally related to endangering the safety of others with alcohol, drugs, etc.
  • Teacher facilitates the opportunities for students to construct, understand, and practice in a restorative environment.
  • Teacher establishes an environment that honors students’ differences – where students explore and respect different points of view. This means that students know how to handle themselves when they vehemently oppose someone else’s ideas.
  • Teacher models and establishes positive relationships with all students.

I think most teachers do most of this already, so this standard is not a heavy lift. Involving students more in establishing the environment is key and might be an adjustment. It’s hard to let go a little, but as many great teachers know, it makes a huge difference.

7. CITE 2.0 Standard 5 – Professionalism

Standard 5 highlights the key qualities of professionalism that coincide with great teaching. The expectations related to Standard 5 include:

  • Teachers collaborate with colleagues for the benefit of students. We know that when teachers share information about common students, students benefit. We are a bit of an isolationist profession. We are getting better, and in cases where we have really maximized student information by transferring important information level to level or across teams, we know that students are more successful and often teachers are less frustrated with more challenging students. This is because successful strategies are easily shared by teachers and transferred classroom to classroom as opposed to each teaching working in isolation trying strategy after strategy without success for a longer period of time.
  • Teachers create professional growth plans aligned to best practices. As educators we have a commitment to life- long learning, and this is the element that celebrates that belief and formalizes the idea that teachers model their growth. I often think of doctors. We want our doctors to be current in their craft. We want only the least invasive and lowest risk procedures done on our children, families, friends, and self. The same is true of our profession. We know more about teaching today than we did yesterday and a lot more than we did ten years ago, and it is important that we stay current so we can give our students the best.
  • Teacher demonstrates learning to practice. This is about no “drive-by PD.” You know the kind…you sit through some PD and then go back to your classroom and never think a thing about it again. Well, sometimes that is more about the quality of the PD than the professionalism of the teacher…no question, but since we are revamping all of our PD to be World Class – teach World Class Outcomes and model World Class Instruction.
  • Teacher differentiates communication to families. This is just about creating great relationships – a partnership with each family.
  • Teacher demonstrates professional and ethical conduct.

8. CITE 2.0 Standard 6 – Student Growth and Achievement

Each of the components in the system performance framework has a criterion-referenced focus, rather than a norm-referenced focus.  The teacher evaluation system includes two parts, the Continuous Improvement of Teacher Effectiveness (CITE) half that focuses on standards of practice and the Balanced Assessment System half that focuses on the standard of student performance.  Each teacher will have the opportunity to present the evidence of his/her performance on each of the standards, the compilation of which will give a holistic demonstration of the teacher’s effectiveness.

For the student performance standard, the balanced assessment system produces a body of evidence about each student’s performance.  The body of evidence for teachers will be compiled based on compilations of their students’ performance.  Decision filters will be developed in collaboration with DCSD leaders, teachers and educator evaluation experts to determine the data that will be include in the body of evidence for each teacher category.  The teacher body of evidence will be made up of multiple measures to illustrate levels of growth and progress toward and/or beyond achievement expectations.  The body of evidence will include standardized assessment data as well as authentic demonstrations of student performance. 

9. Special Education, Gifted, ELL, Nurses, Psychologists and Other Unique CITE Circumstances

CITE was created as a summative evaluation under the parameters of clearly identifying the highly effective practices of content area and classroom teachers.  The core work of Standards 1-5 were developed over the past four years by groups of teachers and is aligned to the state expectations prescribed by SB 191. As you know, it accounts for 50% of the entire evaluation. The varying complexities of different teacher classifications, such as a school counselor and those listed above, requires specialized adaptation of the CITE tool.  This work is already underway, bringing job-alike practitioners in to create specific adjustments to the evaluation document so that the instrument can be tailored to meet the unique needs of job-specific duties (for example, the counselor’s evaluation tool will reflect the counselor’s duties, identifying performance tasks associated with counselors, and will be defined by district counselors).

Each of these unique employee categories does very important things for our students, and traditionally in education we have tried to use one-size-fits-all instruments to evaluate them. This is very problematic, as it does not focus on the most important outcomes from these employees, and therefore, they do not get the feedback or the performance rating that correlates to the most important work they do. It makes no sense at all. We are committed to making sure that just as we want outcomes, assessments, etc. differentiated for our students, that we are differentiating our systems appropriately for our staff. We are holding ourselves to the same standards. This will be true of their evaluation instruments as well as their World Class Education Targets.

10. World Class Education Targets for Teachers

Ok…first thing’s first here. There is a bit of confusion about World Class Outcomes versus World Class Education Targets, so let’s get that cleared up. World Class Outcomes are the outcomes our students need to learn and develop to be successful in their lives. They are the outcomes of the units we write. They are the outcomes we measure in our assessments and the outcomes we teach in our quality lessons using sustainable strategies. World Class Education Targets, on the other hand, are targets for teachers. They are targets that are the best -of-the-best for our students and therefore, for our highly effective teachers who meet them, we are interested in providing a bonus.

While the high-level categories are developed, the actual indicators that will be differentiated by employee group — more specifically, preschool teachers will develop the specific targets and acceptable evidence options for preschool and library media folks will develop the specific targets and acceptable evidence options for library media folks. I know everyone wants those targets yesterday, but the reason they are not done is because it takes more time to build them collaboratively! Here is the current list of employee groups who will be building out the twelve high-level categories:

  • Child Find
  • Preschool
  • Kindergarten
  • Grades 1-3
  • Grades 4-6
  • RTI/Reading Recovery
  • Middle School Core
  • Middle School Electives (not art, music, PE)
  • Physical Education elementary (E)
  • Physical Education secondary (S)
  • Art E
  • Art S
  • Music E
  • Music S
  • Librarians E
  • Librarians S
  • Counselors E (if we have any)
  • Counselors S
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Nurses
  • OTPT
  • HS Core (not AP or IB)
  • HS Elective
  • HS CTE
  • HS IB
  • HS AP
  • BRT
  • Severe Special Education PK-6
  • Severe Special Education 7-12
  • Moderate Special Education (PK-6)
  • Moderate Special Education (7-12+ including Bridge)
  • PK-6 ELL
  • 7-12 ELL
  • PK-6 Gifted
  • 7-12 Gifted
  • Core Alternative
  • Elective Alternative
  • Online

The twelve high-level categories are:

  1. Backward Designed Units
  2. Advocacy for all Students
  3. Restorative Practices
  4. 21st Century Skill Integration
  5. Sustainable Learning Strategies
  6. Student Engagement
  7. Parent Satisfaction
  8. Student Satisfaction
  9. Authentic Assessment
  10. Leadership
  11. Professional Development
  12. Systemic Alignment

A lot more information on this is coming so if you are interested in building them, please stay tuned and keep in touch with your principal. If you are interested in piloting the entire system, keep an eye out for that information too. It’s coming this week.

11. Pay for Performance System

Above, on #1, I wrote about years of broken compensation system that was exacerbated by four years of pay freeze and the fact the best time to fix it is now. Here is that section again in case you missed it…

Ok…now for the contextual pieces and other pertinent information for those who like to understand the details. For many years the district has been paying new teachers to the district off step. We have done this in hard to fill areas and in other cases where low supply was a big problem. This practice (to work around a broken system) has led to inequities AND has held some of our best educators back in pay because the system also had nothing to do with how good of a teacher you were. We all know this…we have all lived with it for too long. Then…we took a broken system and put it on a 4 year (5 year for leaders) pay freeze. However, we still had to hire new staff each year (hired about 179 in our slowest hiring year during the recession) and we had to pay them, so we exacerbated the inequities. Now…we are committed to fixing it, but we have not received any new revenues from the state for several years. We don’t have the millions of dollars to dump into the broken system to create some sort of Band-Aid. We were left with very few options and since necessity is the mother of invention, we decided to innovate. We decided to push down the walls that have held us back from doing what is right for great teachers and reimagine the system. We have all longed to be paid like professionals, and this is the perfect time to make that change.

So…we carried forward with the idea of paying people more who are in short supply (an idea that is not new to the system). We didn’t want to do that in secret…instead, we wanted to come out with the data and be honest with folks about supply and demand. Unfortunately, some people have spun this as how much we value kindergarten or calculus instead of being honest about the bind we have been in for years and the Band-Aids that have been used to get by. We collected data this hiring season about the number of QUALITY applicants we get for X position, and what we have to pay to attract the best to DCSD. If we advertise for a calculus teacher and we only get one great applicant and that person is being recruited by other districts who are willing to pay off step we have to pay more to get that person here in DCSD – for our students. If this becomes a theme for that position, as a result of that data, that position goes into pay-band 4 or 5. Thus…the birth of market pay-bands based purely on supply and demand. The same is true of other professions.

Now we realize that market pay is the first step in getting our system back on track, but it is not enough. We can’t just then give everyone flat raises year after year because that violates our belief that teachers should be paid like professionals – that great teachers should make more than good teachers and good teachers should make more than fair teachers. So Market Pay is just the first step – it is for NEW HIRES ONLY.

Back to the big inequities that broken systems and pay freezes have created in our system. The Market Pay is for new hires. It begins to fix the broken system for people entering the district. It does not fix the rest and we know that but it gives us important information that will help us build and begin to transition to a new system inside the system because it gives us some idea how broken things really. It does this by allowing us to compare the current pay of our teachers to the market BUT this is only one factor…remember that we value performance MOST. So…we want to use Market Data and Performance to drive a compensation transition because it is best for our students and our great teachers.

I think it’s important before getting into this too deeply to address the elephant in the room around performance. You see, the last 10 years of No Child Left Untested has given pay for performance a bad name – and rightfully so! Good teachers are not afraid of accountability. No way – good teachers are afraid of accountability gone wrong – the kind we have experienced for the past 10 years. Be assured…this district is not going down that path. We are not going to use what is easy to measure to show how great a teacher you are. That doesn’t make any sense! We MUST decide what you do every day that is MOST important for our students and then measure THAT the RIGHT way before we can ever use it to assess your performance, and this is exactly what we are doing with CITE 2.0 and the Balanced Assessment System (BAS). We are identifying the most important outcomes for students (GVC+21st Skills including 4 Cs) and developing assessments that measure them appropriately! You all are doing this work! Hundreds of teachers are and have worked on the GVC and the BAS or Interim Assessments. We are committed to showing the world that we can identify the most important outcomes for students and measure them right to show how great our teachers are. So…when I say performance…I don’t mean standardized test scores (although they are part of a balanced assessment system – a small one point in time data point).

Ok…now that you have the history and context. Here’s how it works.

  1. New teachers receive a market-based pay when they come to DCSD that is based on supply and demand – NOT the value of their position. We value all positions for our students. However, we have had to pay hard to fill more for years. The Market Pay system creates a system for doing that instead of a one-off, willy-nilly-behind-the-scenes approach.
  2. All teachers teach(of course), and are evaluated on the proper CITE 2.0 instrument for them. Keep in mind that CITE 2.0 has different standards than we have had before – different expectations, and the first look at a teacher with CITE 2.0 should be considered formative data. This gives teachers feedback about what they do well and where they need to work. It informs their professional development for the year. And by the end of the year, CITE 2.0 will be used as a summative instrument for assessing where teachers consistently perform against the rubrics.
  3. Teachers who are rated “Effective” are eligible for Professional Pathways.
  4. Teachers who are rated “Highly Effective” are eligible for both World Class Education Targets for Teachers (which may earn them a bonus) and they are eligible for Professional Pathways too.
  5. Since we are in year one of CITE and these are new expectations for all, everyone rated partially effective or above will be eligible for a pay raise based on both market and performance.

12. Pay for Performance Pilot FY 2013

This year we will be piloting the entire system for employee categories where CITE 2.0 is done AND where BAS is ready AND where World Class Education Targets will be completed by this spring. Even though we cannot pilot all employee categories because CITE 2.0 is still to be completed for unique groups and because interim assessments may not be ready for some groups, all teachers who are interested, will have access to additional pay for performance dollars this year through three different pathways. There is something for everyone even if you cannot participate in the pilot.

  1. Pay for Performance Pilot – folks in the pilot
  2. Development Collaborators – folks building the systems
  3. Personal Growth Incentive – folks taking PD aligned to CITE expectations who want to be ready to hit the targets

In addition, teachers are currently serving as GVC liaisons, BAS Advocates, and Change Agents. The Change Agent Program involves administrators and teachers in leadership roles at their sites who cooperatively learn and plan how to ensure that their schools are providing all students with a World Class Education. The goals of the program are to create a 21st Century Professional Development plan tailored toward the needs of their school and model World Class instruction and 21st Century professional development for their staff.

13. Data Systems and Evidence

Please know that we understand the types of data systems you need to really scale this project – the data systems we need to support you in it. We are well aware and want you to know that we are in the process of pulling together a Learning Management System, Balanced Assessment System, CITE System, and Pay for Performance System.

Imagine…

A learning management system (LMS) that allows teachers to select from GVC outcomes and various 21st century skills during Stage 1 of their unit design. They need to be able to see not only the outcomes associated with their grade level or course, but also adjacent grade levels and courses. This allows teachers to differentiate and personalize instruction to their students. Teachers should be able to see the learning progressions associated with various outcomes as necessary also.

The learning management system must allow teachers to select performance assessments associated with the outcomes they have selected from the balanced assessment system (BAS) (there must be fluid movement between the LMS and the BAS) to populate stage 2 of their lesson design. Finally, the LMS must allow teachers to construct sustainable learning opportunities in stage 3 that can be differentiated to the individual student as necessary.

The system should be “smart” and flag a low-level or unimportant learning activities or assessments and encourage the teacher to make it more challenging and/or flag a completed unit that is not aligned in all three stages – the outcomes in stage 1 are not assessed in stage 2 and/or not taught in stage 3. This system should send what appear to be exemplar units to leaders for “gold star” certification, and all “gold star” units should be available and searchable by teachers who are focused on similar outcomes. All of this must feed into the World Class Education Targets section of the Pay for Performance System.

Imagine…

A Balanced Assessment System consisting of formative, interim, and summative assessment choices that authentically measure the outcomes we value from the GVC and 21st century skills. We agreed with the rubric approach to assessing 21st century skills in ATCS21 White Papers 1 and 4. This system must also allow for teachers to design and use their own assessments and/or input student performance data into the system based on an assessment they have developed and used. The white papers agree that teacher-designed assessments are part of a balanced assessment approach and should be part of a larger data set that demonstrates both the growth and the achievement of the student in “real-time.” Assessment should not be an event, rather, as in Finland it should be a natural part of the learning process. We require an assessment system that is multifaceted and flexible in order to meet the needs of different teachers and different students.

As stated in the ATCS21 work, the quality of the assessment items is critical. In fact, we have already begun field testing interim assessment items in grades 2-8 math and reading. We are committed to performance assessments that require students to synthesize, analyze, evaluate, and create to demonstrate learning. We are focused on fewer, more rigorous questions that examine the process as well as the product the student uses. We are also interested in video-game and/or simulation technology that allows us to measure student growth and achievement through performance. Like the LMS, the BAS system needs to be smart. Many of the assessment items found in the white papers align to our hopes and expectations for rigorous, open-ended opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge and skills.

These are the types of systems we are working to build. Here is a graphical representation.

14. Professional Development for Teachers

The goal of Professional Development in DCSD is to provide all employees sustainable personalized professional development to grow, maximize their potential, and achieve the District’s desired outcomes.  We seek to enable employees to provide each child the maximum opportunity for success, achieving sustainable learning for the 21st Century and defining and measuring what matters most.

Professional Development is integrated throughout the entire Pay for Performance system to support teachers at each level of expertise. All educators have the opportunity to take courses and receive feedback that will make them more effective in the classroom.

If you are looking for a course on most standards and elements in CITE 2.0 please go to the Center for Professional Development website (C on DCSD A-Z). You cannot miss the giant yellow button called “Course Catalog.”

15. The 4 Cs Rubrics

Link to Moodle Course  with 4Cs at the bottom to reference all rubrics. Please notice that each of the 4 Cs has its own rubric AND each C is chunked by a group of grade levels. You will notice that there are grade spans and other grades not specifically represented.  We are working on that, but in the meantime, if your particular grade is not represented, feel free to look at the grades above and below and see what is most appropriate for your students.  (If you are interested.)

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Ok…there is more, but this is enough for now.  We will monitor additional questions etc. and post new information as it becomes clear that we need to post it.  Again, please let us know if you have questions or concerns.  We want to support you and we realize that this is all new and we fully intend to handle it that way.

Thanks,

Liz