A LYS campus instructional leader asks the following question:


I forgot to ask you to weigh in on the other question that we are arguing about.

Can we use the data we collect on the quick walk-thru’s for a teacher’s summative evaluation?

SC Response I’m glad you asked that question.  Let be very clear with my response.

The use of short-term formative observation data for summative purposes is not only inappropriate, it borders on management malpractice.

The purpose of short-term formative observation data is to purposefully improve practice over time. That is it. 

If formative observation data is used correctly, then when the summative observation takes place, the teacher is in a position to demonstrate new skills and a higher instructional ceiling.

There are only two caveats: 

If I visit a classroom for a formative observation and it is a train wreck, quit observing and help the teacher get the class back on track. Everyone is entitled to an out of the blue, bad three minutes.  Fix it and move on.

If I see a pattern of poor practice and the teacher is not responding to cues and coaching, I have to have a conversation with that teacher.  I have to tell them I have concerns and that I am taking them off the formative system.  I will tell them when I am coming back to observe for a longer period of time and what I expect to see.  If I see what I expect, I let the teacher know and tell her that she is back on the formative system.  If I don’t see what I expect, I let the teacher know and we move to more direct and prescriptive interventions.  I don’t snipe, I communicate.

It is the difference between leadership and management.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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