Montgomery County Case Study - Julia Koppich 2004
This memorandum from Superintendent Jerry Weast outlines the findings and recommendations of the Teacher Professional Growth System (PGS) third year evaluation report conducted by Dr. Julia Koppich.
It includes the finding that RBT's work in the district had a significant impact on teaching and learning:
Observing and Analyzing Teaching (OAT) and Studying Skillful Teaching (SST) are having dramatic and positive impacts on instruction. Both Observing and Analyzing Teaching (OAT) and Studying Skillful Teaching (SST) are widely praised by the administrators and teachers who have participated in these courses.
Among the advantages of OAT 1 noted by administrators on surveys are "new insights about effective teaching practices” (51%); “new ideas about how to improve the way I observe teachers” (53%); “greater sense of how all the components of the Professional Growth System fit together (44%); and “greater confidence in using a wide range of evidence in the evaluation process” (47%). Among the advantages of OAT 2 noted by administrators on surveys are, in addition to those already indicated, “greater sense of how all the components of the Professional
Growth System fit together (44%) and “ new insights about how to apply the new teaching standards to the evaluation process” (42%).
Teachers who participated in SST were effusive in their appreciation for the course. As they told Impact Study Team members, “It changed the way I teach!” and, “It makes teaching a science, not just a bag of tricks.” Teachers spoke of SST as helping them to plan better—“I learned how to frame the lesson for the most value”—and be more focused about their instruction. They say it validated their teaching practices: “Before Skillful Teacher, I think most teachers had these strategies in their pocket, but never openly discussed them. Now these strategies are front and center and have become the focus of what we do.” Teachers report that, as a result of SST, “I became more reflective about my teaching. I ask students if things are working well. In the old days, you were good if no one talked in class….” “I do a lot more looking at strategies and whether they’re working for kids.” “I use my time in a more focused way. I know what to teach, and what kids have to learn.”