Ed. Commissioner Gist Speaks Directly to Educators

In a video posted today (at the previously-unknown-to-me RIDETV website), RI Education Commissioner Deborah Gist speaks directly to educators regarding Race to the Top (RTTT) and how, regardless of whether or not RI wins this round of RTTT, there will be a new teacher evaluation system implemented.
The system will be used to evaluate all educators–teachers, superintendents, etc. She also explained that specific details were unknown because the current plan is to design the evaluation system with educators from across the spectrum. The state model would be the standard, but other, local districts could exceed that minimum.
As per the Board of regents, the evaluations will be weighted 51% towards student performance and commissioner Gist stressed that there would be multiple aspects that will go into measuring that 51% (in other words, not just NECAP results, for instance). She did say that the 4 ratings would be “highly effective”, “effective”, “minimally effective” and “ineffective”, but expected that “very few” would receive the “ineffective” designation. (I’m sure it’s not an accident that three out of the four ratings include the positive connotation of “effective”). The reason that RTTT is important, says Gist, is because that money ($75 million) would be put to good use in developing and implementing the evaluation system (including training of evaluators).
Gist stressed that it was important for districts, school committees and teacher unions to sign onto the RTTT Memorandums of Understanding (MoU). She explained that if they didn’t, and RI’s bid for RTTT funds was successful, then the non-MoU filers wouldn’t be eligible for the funds. Further, regardless of whether or not RTTT funds are awarded, those districts who sit out will not be invited to the table when it comes to developing the evaluation system. Finally, she explained that all of the RTTT initiatives have to be collectively bargained as per RI State Law and the MoU’s.
Video embedded after the jump.

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