Guest Column: Weekly Review
Dr. Joseph G. Joyner
St Johns School District Superintendent
Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the Governor’s Education Summit in St. Petersburg. Governor Scott invited a diverse group of stakeholders, parents and business leaders to advise him in four major areas of educational policy – State Standards, State Standard Assessments, School Grades and Teacher Evaluation.
The group created vision statements, below, in each of the four areas along with identified issues and concerns, potential solutions and next steps.
Florida’s standards should be rigorous, focused and deep, incorporating critical thinking and application skills. Standards should prepare students for college and careers in order to be globally competitive.
State Standard Assessments
State assessments should align with state standards, provide cross-state comparability, and produce accurate, timely results. The results should be used in accountability and teacher evaluations in a clear, fair and time-effective manner and should assist teachers and parents to personalize instruction.
School grades must be fair, simple, clear, understandable and transparent, based upon student learning outcomes and objective measures. The school grading system should be statistically valid, trustworthy and sustainable. It must accurately reflect school performance and motivate achievement.
Teacher evaluations must create a uniform standard for teacher effectiveness. Evaluations must recognize teacher strengths in ways that are individually aligned to the students they teach, considering student characteristics (research-endorsed) that impact student achievement. Feedback should be fair, accurate, timely, and understandable and based on multiple measures that address continuous improvement, performance and growth. Teacher evaluations should be tied to the compensation structure.
I am confident that Governor Scott will take the input of this committee as he formulates education policy in the state of Florida. It was an honor to have the opportunity to represent my fellow superintendents.