Goal is to place best teachers in all classrooms on Day One and provide teachers the opportunity to interview at the schools of their choice
With the goal of placing the best teachers in all Detroit classrooms prepared to begin the process of teaching and learning on the first day of the 2012-13 school year and to provide teachers the opportunity to interview at the schools of their choice, Detroit Public Schools this year initiated a teacher evaluation and interview process. The evaluation process resulted from nearly 10 months of planning, collaborative discussions among DPS divisions of Academics, Human Resources and Labor Relations, active participation by district leadership, and collaboration with union leaders.
“It is critically important for parents to know that every child, in every classroom, will have the very best teacher in front of them, starting Day One, this fall,” said DPS Emergency Manager Roy S. Roberts.
The teacher evaluation process includes a program that consists of some 20 academic coaches — former principals with knowledge of the school district –who recently assisted local school principals and helped conduct end-of-the-year observations. The observations, 20-30 minutes each in classrooms, are a single part of the overall process.
Final decisions are not made solely on the observation of a teacher, which is a part, but not primary component of any evaluation. Student growth is the primary factor.
“New state law incentivizes the use of best practices as the Academic Team places teachers in front of students and, specifically, for the first time, precludes the use of seniority as the major factor in teaching assignments,” noted DPS Superintendent of Academics Karen Ridgeway. “As part of our new academic plan, which includes as its core strategies ensuring that every classroom has a high-quality effective educator, supported by high-quality effective administrators and support staff, as well as providing a high-quality, well-rounded educational experience to all students that is rigorous, relevant, and engaging, Detroit Public Schools is prepared to build academic excellence for every student.”
To accomplish these goals, planning commenced in August 2011, and three months later an overview of changes to the Teacher Tenure Law was initially presented to principals and teachers, with feedback sought on State Mandated Core Elements. Teachers and principals from 91 schools provided feedback into the process.
The extensive rubric for the DPS teacher evaluations was first drafted seven months ago, and shared with the Detroit Federation of Teachers at that time and through other meetings through February. The rubric was later rolled out to all district teachers in February with professional development workshops for all teachers and principals in March.
Teacher interviews began May 19 and run through June 21 for all teachers.
“It is a huge process and massive undertaking with some 4,000 interviews with teachers to the schools of their choice. We have managed to bring organization to it, and teachers are working very well with us,” said DPS Chief Human Resources Officer Vickie Hall. Hall has personally attended sessions at the interview sites including last weekend and evenings this week.
Detroit Public Schools teachers with questions or concerns about the process are encouraged to contact the Division of Human Resources at 873-8550 or HRcall.email@example.com.