Saturday, June 25, 2016

DFS Week 6 Reaction

This week, I completed approximately 6 hours of work.

We wrapped up the interviews this week. That is, unless we are able to contact a few more people who were referred to us. The two interviews we had this week were just about polar opposites. First we talked to Mark McCall. He is one of the directors over Highly Effective Leaders and Teachers. Since we had talked to another leader last week, we skipped over some of the basic information that we already had. It was interested though to pick his brain about what makes an effective teacher and how he sees his role and administrations' role in supporting the teacher. He defines success as increasing the number of highly effective teachers in Arizona. Note, there are four levels of teachers: highly effective, effective, developing, and ineffective. This is tricky since he said that while Arizona seems to have very high (about 93%) rates of effective and highly effective teachers, this does not translate to student performance and success. He suspects that if evaluations were more uniformed and fairly administered, we would have a lot lower of a rate. He sees the need to train administrators and leaders and remove biases in the evaluation process. To achieve a highly effective classification, a teacher must have met minimal student standards and be observed in the classroom showing one year of growth. He adds in that there should be a level of professionalism. That is, going above and beyond the minimums and what is expected, service, and add that something extra that makes students want to learn, making learning a combination of traditional and non-traditional deliveries.

The other interview was with Nancy Konitzer with Title I. This interview went particularly long (about 2 hours) and was quite overwhelming. Both Jason and I were a bit shell shocked walking out of that one! I knew somewhat about Title I (it's main goals, mission, and purpose), but did not understand the history and political impacts it has. For every question we asked, there were several avenues she explored to explain her answer. This included how things used to be, how they transitioned with No Child Left Behind, and the transition they now face. There is such a web of political maneuvering that occurs. I am relieved that there is not Title I at the university level, but am apprehensive since I know there is a whole different world of funding.

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