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New Jersey District Adopts Web-Based Tool for Teacher Evaluations

New Jersey's Nutley Public School District has adopted a Web-based tool in an effort to monitor and improve teacher effectiveness.

The district began using FASTe (Formative Action System for Teacher Effectiveness), from Performance Matters, this fall.

The platform uses a customizable framework that "enables educators to 'progress monitor' their performance against the multiple measures that make up their annual evaluations and link to relevant, timely professional development resources," according to information released by the company. At the end of the year, teachers receive summative reports based on the same criteria.

"We've been using Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching, which is one of the New Jersey Department of Education's approved teaching practice evaluation instruments," said Andrew Levine, director of instructional technology and communication for Nutley Public Schools. "We added FASTe because we wanted to provide our principals and teachers with the ability to conduct evaluations electronically and, more important, to use the evaluations for self-reflection."

"FASTe enables teachers to reflect on their teaching, to easily track what they’re doing and how they're helping students and their families, and then tie these reflections back to elements in the Danielson framework," said Levine. "With this information, teachers can play an active role in their evaluations and create a more open dialog, rather than a one-way conversation based on a single evaluation."

The adoption continues a previous relationship between Performance Matters and the district, which began using the company's student assessment and data management platform in 2011.

The Nutley Public School District enrolls approximately 4,200 students at five elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

More information about FASTe is available at 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].