Posts Tagged ‘teacher effectiveness’


TODAY on Mount Desert Island

November 25, 2014


MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtr

Perhaps you are at Mount Desert Island High School right now enjoying and soaking up ideas, food for thought, and exchanging your best practices. Today is the first Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s (MAAI) Mega-regional workshop being held during phase 4, 2014-15 school year. There are 55 arts educators participating. A great big THANK YOU to Charlie Johnson and the MDIHS arts staff and administration for opening up their beautiful school for this professional development opportunity.

The MAAI Teacher Leaders are offering these workshops today Studio Habits, Making Evidence of Learning from a Sequence of Artworks, Efficient and Effective Assessment in the Elementary Music Classroom, Standards-Based Grading and Assessing for Proficiency, Stir-Crazy: A Movement Tool Kit for the Sedentary Classroom, It’s Elementary, My Dear, and Resources, Resources, and MORE Resources for Music Educators are all offered today.

The PM session is devoted to sharing and learning about where other schools and districts are on the pathway of Proficiency-Based Education and Teacher Effectiveness. The individual workshops will not be repeated at other Megas however, the PM session will be repeated at each one.

The MAAI Teacher Leaders have made a commitment not only to increase their knowledge but to share their learnings and current practices with others. Many of you have heard me say that “none of us is as smart as all of us” and the Megas are designed to share all that SMART!

If you aren’t at MDIHS today you will have multiple other chances for Megas. Please go to and check out the workshops being offered at the following locations.

Dates and Locations

5.5 contact hours are available for participating in the all-day workshop.

Please note
When registering there are two options for payment.
  1. PayPal
  2. By check issued to Maine Art Education Association, and mailed to Maine Arts Commission c/o Argy Nestor, 193 State Street SHS 25, Augusta, ME 04333. PLEASE DO NOT issue the check to the Maine Arts Commission.
Please email if you have any questions. 

The Survey Says

October 14, 2014

Information on the standards-based /proficiency system and teacher effectiveness

MAAI Logo_Black_TxtCtr3LIn early October, 2014 the leadership team of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) had questions about major policy questions, and commissioned an informal poll on standards-based/proficiency systems and teacher evaluation. Nine questions were asked (7 listed below), five of them about the policies, two of them were about assessment literacy and leadership in assessment, and the final two asked about the kind of support MAAI could provide. As of October 10 there were 173 responses to the survey. Thank you to those who took the time to respond!

For approximately half the respondents work on the standards-based / proficiency system is still at the beginning stages, and a third of the respondents are just on their way. Just over half the arts educators are involved in professional development and professional learning communities to work on the system overall, compared with just under half who are doing similar work on standards-based / proficiency in the visual and performing arts.

Almost two-thirds of the respondents indicated that they were just beginning to work on the teacher evaluation system; only 12 out of 173 respondents claimed that they had a fully implemented teacher evaluation system. Over two-thirds of the respondents claimed that they had no involvement in the teacher evaluation system.

One of the key areas of need for the development of these policies is classroom assessment literacy. Less than one third of the arts educators felt confident about their assessment literacy to develop the standards-based / proficiency system. Furthermore, almost sixty percent of arts educators indicated that the leadership in their schools was not providing a clear stance on the standards-based / proficiency system.

What are the big take-aways? There is work to do on standards-based / proficiency, and even more to do on teacher evaluation. A key to success will be the overall assessment literacy of teachers and administrators, and MAAI is poised to provide professional development in the coming year.

A great big thank you to Leadership Team member and USM faculty Jeff Beaudry who contributed his expertise to creating the survey as well as providing the blog with the findings. Next week information will be provided on the last two questions! Please know that if you didn’t have a chance to contribute your information this time to this survey you will have another chance in the future.

  1. Where is your district with regard to the standards-based/proficiency system?
  2. Are you directly involved with a professional learning community on the development of your school/district’s standards-based/proficiency system?
  3. Are you directly involved with arts educators in a professional learning community on the development of your VPA standards-based/proficiency system?
  4. Where is your district with regard to the implementation of the Effective Educator (teacher evaluation) system?
  5. Are you directly involved with arts educators in a professional learning community on the development of your VPA teacher evaluation system?
  6. Do you believe that you have the knowledge about high quality classroom assessment and assessment literacy to develop a standards-based/proficiency system?
  7. Overall how would you characterize your school’s administrative leadership on assessment literacy in the arts?

The Importance of Student Voices

November 14, 2012

Do you hear what I hear?

When I was teaching I finished each term with students filling out a self-evaluation where they reflected on themselves as learners and even suggested a “final grade” for themselves. I learned a great deal from their comments and perceptions. It provided me with a sort of test on how well I knew my students as they viewed themselves.

At the same time they completed a “teacher evaluation” where they provided me with feedback on how I did as a teacher in several categories from knowledge of content to how well I delivered the concepts to fairness and communication. Of course, they had the chance to give me a “final grade” as well. I promised them that I would not look at them until after I had completed their grades so I would not in any way allow myself to be influenced. I loved doing this at the end of the year because I would take that pile of 100 or 200 teacher evaluations to the beach and smile, laugh, and most often learn from their comments.

Here we are in this era of teacher evaluations transforming and in many states teachers are being viewed through the test scores of their students. Have you given this any thought? I have mentioned Legislative Document (LD) 1858 in an earlier post which is called An Act to Insure Effective Teaching and School Leadership. This law

  • Requires school administrative units to develop and implement a performance evaluation and professional growth systems for teachers and principals.
  • Sets forth standards that must be met by these systems, including a requirement that multiple measures of effectiveness must be used in evaluations, including student learning measures, that evaluators must be properly trained and that a system must include a process for using information from the evaluation process to inform professional development.

To read the entire law (LD 1858) Public Law Chapter 635 please click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page for the ENACTED law dated April 5, 2012.

In a recent blog post on Public Engagement and Ed Reform blog writer Stu Silberman shares ideas on students providing feedback and the notion that students should perhaps grade their teachers. Using test scores to determine how well a teacher is doing, but what can students tell us? I know from experience that students can tell us a great deal. After all, aren’t they the ones who really know best especially as they grow and change and learn? I suggest you check out his blog post since it includes food for thought as well as links to others ideas.

More than anything, I hope that you are well informed and consider being on your districts team or committee when it is formed to help tackle this issue.


Department News Release

March 21, 2012

Bowen lauds Ed Committee vote on teacher effectiveness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Contact:   David Connerty-Marin, 207-624-6880/831-3313

The Legislature’s Education Committee voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon in favor of LD 1858, a bill that would require schools to adopt teacher and principal evaluation systems.

“Of all the education bills this session, this one has the potential to positively impact education more than any other,” Bowen said. “The bill goes to the very heart of what we know has the greatest impact on learning: the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders. The best curriculum and learning materials in the world are of no use to us unless we have effective educators in our schools. Supporting great teaching and school leadership is what this bill is all about.”

The Education Committee has supported efforts to promote improved standards for students and now follows suit with clearer standards for teachers. The Maine Department of Education will work with many groups to develop guidelines and standards for evaluation systems, but the systems themselves will be developed or adopted at the local level.

“I appreciate the give and take with the Maine Education Association and legislators,” Bowen said. “It made this bill better by underscoring its true purpose – to improve the ways in which we prepare, support, and evaluate teachers.”

The committee approved LD 1865, which enhances career and technical education, by a 10-1 vote earlier this week. Both bills are part of Gov. Paul LePage’s education agenda and will likely go before the full Legislature in the next week or two.

Two more bills are part of the Administration’s agenda. One deals with public and private school choice options, the other with allowing funding for religious schools.  Those measures will be discussed by the committee on Thursday.

Information about all four bills, including links to the bill language and the commissioner’s testimony, can be found online at

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