Teacher Evaluations | News

Virginia District Adopts Web-Based Teacher Evaluation Program

Virginia's Goochland County Public Schools has decided not to implement a home-grown system it recently developed for doing teacher evaluations; instead it will adopt a version of software currently in use in numerous Indiana school districts. This will be the first deployment of Standard for Success, a commercial product, outside of Indiana.

The Virginia district sought a "more powerful solution" to take the place of the original application developed by a committee consisting of teachers, principals, and administrative staff. The goal was to meet new requirements set by the Virginia Department of Education for more stringent teacher and principal evaluations for its 225 teachers and eight administrators.

Standard for Success is a Web-based application that can be filled out by a user on a mobile device. The version in use by Goochland has been customized to fit its specific criteria.

The program sends a single daily email to administrators that summarizes what has transpired in the area of evaluations and what needs to be completed. The email covers:

  • Observations ready for review or approval or those that have been opened for changes;
  • Learning objectives and goals ready for review or approval;
  • Uploaded artifacts;
  • Mid-year reports and pre- and post-observation forms ready for review;
  • Professional development tasks that have been started;
  • Unread comments;
  • Staff changes to the account; and
  • Support tickets that have been answered.

"This version of the product was built by Virginia educators with Virginia educators in mind," said James Lane, the district's superintendent. "We piloted the software in one school this year and plan to use it in all schools next year."

The program allows district leaders to see average ratings across divisions, he added, "which can inform the type of professional development that we're going to do and is something I haven't seen in any other product... In this day and age, I don't know how you can continue to manage this process with paper, with the increased requirements of the new teacher evaluations. Standard for Success will make this a lot easier."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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