The Gains in Achievement and Innovation Now (GAINS) initiative is a partnership of the Delhi Unified School District (DUSD) and the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC) with a goal of improving student academic growth by increasing educator effectiveness. To achieve the goal, DUSD is implementing a performance-based teacher and principal evaluation system where educator effectiveness (measured by student academic growth and systematic observations) outweighs all other factors. Data from the evaluations guides DUSD’s human capital management decisions, including hiring, mentoring, professional development, promotion, and dismissal. Only effective or highly effective teachers qualify for leadership opportunities, advancement, and performance-based compensation.
The GAINS project goal is to improve student academic growth by increasing educator effectiveness. CTAC manages the program evaluation to examine the effects of the initiative using a mixed-methods design to ensure breadth and depth of understanding and perspective and to provide formative feedback as well as summative findings.
The quantitative evaluation of the effects of the initiative will be based on analysis of student learning over time. The qualitative analyses will deepen the understanding of the impact of the initiative by identifying factors that assist district and teacher leaders in understanding under what conditions and why the initiative is more or less successful in improving student achievement outcomes.
- Implemented student learning objectives (SLO) for targeted student population
- Developed an SLO rating system and a multi-measure approach to calculating student growth
- Implemented a new comprehensive teacher evaluation system
- Developed a process to extract information from all systems to inform professional development offerings and to calculate for performance-based compensation
- Established professional development for Math Common Core and English Language Learners
- Qualified certificated staff earned performance-based compensation; payouts took place in Year 2
- Implemented classwide as well as targeted SLOs
- Changed measures of student growth to adapt to state's dropping of statewide assessments
- Developed and/or edited benchmark assessments for all core and non-core subjects
- Provided ongoing administrator training for the educator observation framework
- Teachers received targeted professional development based on their Year 1 effectiveness data
- Emphasized communication to support continuity in the face of superintendent and board turnover
- Continued ongoing administrator training in the observation framework to improve skills in teacher evaluation and feedback
- Continued SLO support as teachers increase their use of data in instructional planning and focus increasingly on individual students
- Provided training in cognitive coaching to GAINS coaches, whose work in tailoring teacher support based on evaluation data is increasingly seen as a great strength of GAINS
- Continued ongoing development of benchmark assessments for all core and non-core subjects
- Continued SLO support for existing teachers and SLO training for 35 newly hired teachers to support data-informed and individualized instruction
- Continued administrator training in the observation framework to improve skills in teacher evaluation and feedback
- Witnessed emerging norm of teachers seeking and valuing instructional support from GAINS coaches, whose expertise continues to deepen
- SLOs continue to promote deeper data analysis as well as a focus on effective instructional strategies and reflective practice.
- The observation process continues to provide a common language and evidence-based means for improving classroom practice.
- Customized professional development, especially as provided by GAINS coaches, continues to support effective classroom practice.
Payout amount: $312,000
Date: October 2016
Payout amount: $11,000
Date: May 2016