In late 2011, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (ND DPI) began redesigning its principal and teacher evaluation system to develop more uniform standards and guidelines for the local evaluation of educator performance. The department convened a stakeholder group, the Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support System (TPESS) committee, to develop the guidelines. During this time, NCCC provided technical assistance as the committee studied relevant research-based information and reviewed evaluation models from other states. Now TPESS is focusing on the principal evaluation system. NCCC is providing information resources and helping guide group decision-making as the committee develops tools needed to prepare schools and districts to implement this system, including (a) an equivalency rubric (to demonstrate the adequacy of a proposed principal evaluation model against state requirements) and (b) a model principal evaluation rubric. NCCC also is collaborating with the Central Regional Education Laboratory (REL) and the Great Teachers and Leaders Content Center (GTL), which helps ND DPI leverage resources from two other federally-funded national networks (the Comprehensive Content Center network and the REL network). Contact Heather Hoak at email@example.com
or 303.632.5512 for more information.
For the past several months, NCCC has worked closely with the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) to help establish a Data Analysis Cadre to build new research capabilities within the department’s Data, Research, and Evaluation (DRE) team. The purpose of the cadre is to work with the state’s education research community--which includes experts from state universities, education service units, and school districts--to accomplish activities supported by a three-year Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) grant from the National Center for Education Statistics. The NCCC has helped NDE staff develop a blueprint to guide the formation of the cadre, determine work priorities, and begin to develop strategies for (a) meeting research and evaluation needs, (b) coordinating the research community’s involvement, and (c) disseminating research findings to the department of education and to the statewide research community. This past fall, NCCC provided technical assistance to cadre staff and their colleagues in the Curriculum and Instruction division as the two groups began to collaboratively train, oversee, and collect data from a set of schools that have been selected to pilot the state’s new Teacher/Principal Evaluation Models. Piloting will take place in 2014. For more information, contact Cathi Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 13, NCCC liaison Jane Hill and staff from the Nebraska Department of Education rolled out the state's new professional development plan for teachers of English-language learners. Materials include four modules with videos, facilitator guides, and handouts for ELL teachers to use with their general-education colleagues to enhance understanding of the academic language associated with instructional content. Title III directors from South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming have been invited to attend future meetings to examine these materials for possible application in their states. The groundwork laid by Nebraska may result in a revised regional NCCC project. Contact Jane Hill at email@example.com
or 303.632.5529 for more information.
A paper authored by NCCC evaluators Susan Shebby, Shelby Maier, and Amber Hill examines the technical assistance provided by the NCCC to the four SEAs in the North Central region. The paper informs evaluators and other interested readers of a method for evaluating capacity building in educational organizations or programs based on Century's (1999) theoretical framework, which NCCC uses as the foundation of its services to SEAs. Preliminary findings included information about activities associated with each type of capacity as well as comparisons between the types of capacities, strategies used, and SEA staff perceptions of the strategies. The paper, The Role of Human, Material, Organization, and Structural Capacity in Systematic Educational Reform, was presented at the 2013 meeting of the American Evaluation Association in Washington, D.C. For more information, contact Susan Shebby at firstname.lastname@example.org
NCCC has been awarded $147,128 in additional funding to specifically target the needs of Native American students in the North Central region. With the new funding, NCCC will be able to expand its regional project, Identifying Promising Practices to Improve Native American Student Outcomes, to reach more teachers and students via pilots and targeted professional development. Possibilities for the work, to be led by NCCC liaison Heather Hoak, include focusing on the use of data and identifying schools that may want to pilot emerging promising practices related to mathematics instruction and the Common Core. Initial discussion of this work with state education agency (SEA) Indian Education directors took place at the recent 10th annual South Dakota Indian Education Summit, September 29-October 1 in Chamberlain/Oacoma. Planning by the directors and NCCC staff will continue this month. For more information, contact Heather Hoak at email@example.com
Read about the articles below in the NCCC September Newsletter. You
can download it by clicking here
Table of Contents:
- The NCCC and SEAs focus on building capacity
- Wyoming teachers create extended state standards and benchmarks
- Nebraska establishes new research and evaluation team
- ELL teachers develop their knowledge and skills
- North Dakota builds new principal and teacher evaluation systems
- 10th annual South Dakota Indian Education Summit
Nebraska Deputy Commissioner Scott Swisher assumed the leadership role for the Nebraska Department of Education on July 1, taking on the duties of the Commissioner of Education after Roger Breed retired at the end of June.
Dr. Swisher has served as deputy commissioner for four years. For 29 years, he has worked in Nebraska as a teacher, principal and superintendent. Before becoming deputy commissioner in July 2009, he was superintendent of Hartington Public Schools.
Dr. Swisher received a Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University, a Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his Doctorate of Education from the University of South Dakota.