Teacher Evaluations | News

New Jersey District Implements Platform for Year-Round Teacher Evaluations

New Brunswick Public Schools has implemented a new teacher assessment platform in an effort to target professional development more effectively.

Specifically, the district has chosen the FASTe (Formative Action System for Teacher Effectiveness) platform from Performance Matters.

FASTe allows teachers to monitor their performance against a customizable framework to see how they're progressing in relation to their annual evaluations. The system uses interactive dashboards to provide information based on customizable evaluation frameworks and provides links to appropriate professional development resources throughout the school year.

"After doing teacher evaluations the old-fashioned way with pen and paper, I firmly believe that incorporating technology into the process will help us work smarter and faster," said Richard Kaplan, superintendent at New Brunswick. "A key benefit of FASTe is that it raises the bar in terms of the level of data we can collect to improve teacher effectiveness. With FASTe, we will be able to better connect student outcomes to teacher actions, and connect teachers with the resources they need to improve their practice."

The Web-based platform is designed to allow teachers and administrators view data from the student level to the district level, and includes real-time color-coded reports.

"Performance Matters has enhanced the relationship between the district and each of our schools because we now all speak a common language," Kaplan said. "The system's color-coded reports make the data easy to understand and act upon. When we see red, yellow or green on the reports, we can instantly see how to group students, or how to differentiate our instruction or our professional development to better meet students' and teachers' needs. As a result, we've seen student performance improve on our benchmark assessments. We've increased parental involvement because we can show parents, in real time, how their kids are doing on our benchmarks."

New Brunswick Public Schools serves approximately 7,000 students with a teaching force of 608 instructors. The New Jersey district comprises 12 schools and an adult education center.

Visit nbps.k12.nj.us for more information about New Brunswick Public Schools. To learn more about the FASTe platform, visit performancematters.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].