The Manhattan Beach Unified School District and the Manhattan Beach Unified Teachers Association announced this week that they have agreed to test a new teacher evaluation process based on newly adopted teaching standards.
The two-year pilot program, which was agreed upon by both the district and teachers union, will begin in the 2013-2014 school year and evaluate all probationary and temporary teachers according to a set of organized good teaching standards. For tenured teachers, the new process will be optional.
"We look forward to working in collaboration to provide feedback and professional growth for our outstanding educators and learning from this new standards-based evaluation process," Superintendent of Schools Michael Matthews and MBUTA president Karl Kurz said in a joint press release.
The new evaluation process will hold teachers to a set of teaching standards adopted by the MBUSD this year. Those standards, according to the school district, more closely align with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Among other things, the new teaching standards evaluate teachers on criteria such as a commitment to fostering critical thinking, knowledge of the subjects they teach, management of student learning in a positive environment, adaptation to a student's learning progress and overall teaching professionalism.
A grading rubric will then further break down each of the six teaching standards to evaluate a teacher's performance. While the graded rubric will not go into a teacher's personnel file, it will be used to "spur conversation about what is observed in the visits to the classroom," officials said.
The district and teachers union also said that all participants in the program, including teachers and evaluators, will be required to go through training so that everyone understands the expectations of the process. An eight-person evaluation steering committee co-chaired by representatives from the district and teachers union will also be formed.