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Race to the Top Survival Guide for Florida Districts and Schools

Florida Seal

Florida has won Race to the Top funding. Districts in Florida that participate in Race to the Top have clear expectations based on the memorandum of understanding that was signed. Districts must come up with a final scope of work by November 21 that describes how these requirements will be met. iObservation has capabilities that will allow your district or school to meet a number of these requirements.

Florida Requirements for Race to the Top Participants

Florida RequirementiObservation Solution
Design and implement teacher and principal evaluation systems.iObservation is an online evaluation system that uses a common language of instruction based on the district's or school's desired model to connect teaching and leadership practices to student achievement. Evaluation tools in the system are directly linked to definitions of effective practice to align observations and feedback with desired outcomes.
Develop a multi-metric evaluation system that includes, but is not limited to, observations by master teachers or instructional coaches, student input, peer input, and parental input. iObservation collects data through a variety of mechanisms including formal observations, classroom walkthroughs, peer assessments, and self assessments. The system ties student achievement data to specific teaching and leadership practices, and it can incorporate parent and student surveys into evaluations.
Include a comprehensive range of ratings beyond a simple satisfactory or unsatisfactory. iObservation uses a rating system based on the frameworks of Dr. Robert Marzano, Charlotte Danielson, Dr. Douglas Reeves, or a custom system based on a district's needs.
Conduct multiple evaluations for each first-year teacher that are integrated with the district’s beginning teacher support program and include observations and reviews of student performance data. iObservation provides reports on data collected from multiple teacher evaluations over time and connects it to student achievement. The reports show growth trends and patterns against specific strategies and uses student data to isolate the impact of those strategies. iObservation identifies teacher strengths and maps differentiated targeted professional development to areas that need improvement.
Determine the effective teachers who will provide coaching/mentoring in the district's beginning teacher support program. iObservation is not only able to identify the most effective teachers, but it also isolates areas where teachers are most proficient. This enables teachers to provide mentoring in the specific areas of their greatest strength.
Include the core of effective practices that have been strongly linked to increased student achievement for the observation portion of the teacher evaluation. The principal, direct supervisor, and any other individual performing observation will use, at a minimum, this same core of effective practices. iObservation identifies effective teaching and leadership practices based on the work of top researchers including Dr. Robert Marzano, Charlotte Danielson, and Dr. Douglas Reeves. These practices are directly connected to observation tools, reports, and professional development to ensure that the principles are applied to evaluations and professional growth plans.
Use evaluations to inform professional development. iObservation directly connects professional development resources to areas of need identified in evaluations for each individual. The resources are available in an online library with 24/7 access. Evaluation data can also be aggregated to show areas of need for a department, grade, or school.
Establish an Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) for each teacher that is, in part, based on an analysis of student performance data and results of prior evaluations. iObservation provides each teacher and principal with a custom professional growth plan based on evaluation data from observations, walkthroughs, self-assessments, and student achievement. The system measures the effectiveness of professional development over time and highlights areas of growth and areas where further development is required.
Improve teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance.iObservation maps differentiated and targeted professional development resources to areas of need for each individual based on classroom practice, instructional techniques, and student achievement. The system measures teacher and leadership performance over time to chart the effectiveness of the professional development.
Use evaluations to inform compensation, promotion, and retention where the most significant gains in salary are tied to the effectiveness demonstrated by annual evaluations rather than to degree level or years of experience.iObservation provides all of the information required for informed decisions on professional development, compensation, promotion, and retention. Data from iObservation is collected from multiple sources, is based on observed performance, and is aligned to the district's goals.

Source: Memorandum of Understanding between districts and the Florida DOE

iObservation has developed solutions to meet Race to the Top requirements with the nations top education experts including Charlotte Danielson and Dr. Robert Marzano. The result is a system that incorporates student achievement data, teacher observations, leadership observations, and performance evaluations into a comprehensive view of school performance.

Race to the Top will challenge Florida districts and schools to develop whole new approaches for evaluating teachers and increasing teacher effectiveness. iObservation provides a proven, research-based approach that allows educators to handle these changes with confidence. There are a number of options to learn more about Race to the Top solutions with iObservation:

  • Download Dr. Marzano's whitepaper on Developing Aligned Systems for Race to the Top
  • Sign-up for an upcoming free informational webinar
  • View our offerings based on frameworks from Charlotte Danielson, Dr. Robert Marzano, and Dr. Douglas Reeves
  • Contact our representative for Florida, Robert LaGrassa, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 717-845-6300 x 161.
  • Email us with your questions