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Ground laid for teacher evaluations

For the last year and a half Red Wing Public Schools prepared for legislative changes to the teacher evaluation process.

Five administrators and six teachers met close to 20 times to put together a comprehensive evaluation plan. Now their work is nearly done and awaits Supt. Karsten Anderson's approval; the School Board voted Monday to give him the authority to approve the finalized plan on behalf of the district.

The evaluation comprises two main components — teacher growth and student learning outcomes. Teacher growth makes up 65 percent of the evaluation and student learning outcomes the remaining 35 percent. 

While some of the evaluation process will change, Kim Cory, music teacher at Twin Bluff Middle School and one of the six teachers working to put the new system in place, said the plan needs to be flexible so it can work for all teachers.

Other parts of the evaluations will remain unchanged from this year, however, as the district tried to implement some elements to acclimate staff to upcoming changes.

“We’re not starting over and that’s a big piece,” Cory said of the plan.

Three-year process

Tenured teachers will be on a three-year cycle and the third year will be their summative year with a formal evaluation.

This doesn’t mean that during the other two years teachers won’t participate in the process, said Director of Teaching and Learning Joe Jezierski, who was also part of the group developing the new evaluation process.

“All teachers are completing something each year,” he said. Parts of what tenured teachers do during their non-summative years will be used for their form evaluation, he added.

Non-tenured teachers will have a formal evaluation every year.

Ultimately, Jezierski said, the district is trying to build a process through which new teachers can come in and after three years have the groundwork for success moving forward.

“We are trying to set some foundational work the first three years a teacher is in our district,” he said.

Since parts of the evaluation are new – based on the Marzano model of leadership evaluation – all teachers will start from the beginning this fall.

Jezierski said the new plan for evaluating teachers is mostly about the process and following the steps.

The procedure for developing the Red Wing-specific plan was an inclusive one, Cory said, and every voice at the table was heard.

“We really tried to make sure this was a partnership,” Jezierski said.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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