Tuesday, September 4, 2012
A new conversation about our schools
Did you have a great week last week? Did you have an even better three-day weekend?
We all needed a break. All of you put so much effort and love into the first week of school on behalf of our kids. I just want to continue to tell you how much I appreciate it.
This is my first blog post for Jones' Journal. I want to better communicate and give updates to all staff members and our community about the reform efforts going on in the Clark County School District. If you have input or questions, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @DwightDJones.
Speaking of communication, I want to tell you about a new District initiative that will provide better feedback to our teachers, principals and academic managers. It's called "Great Teachers, Great Leaders", and is a partnership with TNTP (The New Teacher Project). The District received a private grant to pay for this initiative, and already we have TNTP staff on the ground working to improve our approach to evaluation systems, HR systems, tools for academic managers, and strategies to ensure teachers receive targeted professional development. TNTP was founded by a group of former teachers who believe that "nothing we can do for our students matters more than giving them effective educators," and "teachers deserve to be treated like professionals." (I am pulling straight from their materials).
I believe in this. Teachers -- and all of our staff -- deserve fair, accurate and consistent evaluations. TNTP, in partnership with the District, will help ensure that teachers receive in their evaluations specific input on their performance, opportunities for professional growth and recognition when they do exceptional work. They will also work with principals and academic managers to train them on this system and help refine it as we implement it.
If you'd like to read more, you can go to TNTP's website, tntp.org. In the coming weeks teachers and principals will get details about general information sessions, online surveys and focus groups to get direct feedback from you. Your voice will be the integral part of any system we put together.
I plan to give you updates here at least once a week on our reform efforts, programs for staff and students and sometimes my thoughts on education. We'll also be launching other tools to better communicate with and reach out to employees -- more news on that in the coming weeks.
Have a wonderful week,
Dwight D. Jones