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Butler County SD Rolls Out Teacher Evaluation Tools for Professional Learning Initiative

To streamline its teacher evaluation process, Butler County School District in Greenville, AL will adopt a Web-based service designed to improve teacher effectiveness and instructional practice.

For the project, which was supported by a teacher incentive fund grant, the school district selected the Teachscape Effectiveness Platform, which provides professional training and tools for observation, assessment, and evaluation management.

Combining the Framework for Teaching (FFT), a model created by Charlotte Danielson that identifies aspects of a teacher's responsibilities that have been documented through empirical studies and theoretical research as promoting improved student learning, with the Teachscape platform, the district is taking a three-pronged approach.

The district is currently using the Teachscape Focus observation training and assessment system to train and evaluate its administrators in the FFT model. When the assessment phase is completed, administrators and teachers will then use Teachscape Reflect, an observation and evaluation system to conduct video-based and in-person observations to enhance and reflect on teaching practice.

Educators can then use Teachscape Learn, a professional learning system, to create custom professional learning plans, work together with colleagues, and build important skills. Teachscape Learn includes a PreK-12 library of more than 160 courses and 2,500 videos of classroom practice, expert commentary, interactive exercises, online learning communities, lesson plans, and video capture and sharing tools. The school district will also use Teachscape Learn to create a district-wide video library that educators use as a resource for building on their professional development skills.

"Teachscape's tools will streamline our evaluation process, making us more efficient in meeting our goals of improving teacher effectiveness," said Litta Norris, program director of the district's Butler County Performance Based Incentive Program, in a prepared statement "From observer training and assessment to observations tied to professional development, our administrators and teachers will be able to easily manage this process online."

Butler County School District includes eight schools that serve 3,382 students in grades preK through 12. The district's 2013 operating budget was approximately $1.2 million. For more information about the district, visit butlerco.k12.al.us.

For more information about Teachscape, visit teachscape.com.

About the Author

Sharleen Nelson is a freelance journalist based in Springfield, Oregon. She can be reached at snelson858@comcast.net.

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