The School System Improvement (SSI) project is implementing a comprehensive human capital management system (HCMS) that includes rigorous educator evaluation systems (EES) in 17 high-need New Jersey schools. Based on educator evaluation results, the most effective teachers and principals receive bonuses based on their performance. Teachers and principals receive individualized professional development based on educator evaluation results. Students in SSI’s 15 high- poverty local education agencies (LEAs) face multiple barriers to success, including a high rate of staff turnover among effective teachers. At the start of the grant, at least 73 percent of students at each of the 17 schools received free or reduced-price lunch. Schools do not fully meet desired academic progress; among participating schools, between 16 percent and 84 percent of students performed below proficient in language arts at the start of the grant. In mathematics, this range was 23 percent to 74 percent.
The SSI project aims to improve the quality of education in high-poverty schools by revolutionizing educator evaluation and connecting it to performance-based compensation as part of a sophisticated HCMS. By incentivizing effective instruction and leadership, and by providing job-embedded and individualized professional development, the project aims to make access to high-quality instruction less susceptible to bias based on gender, race, national origin, color, disability, or age. SSI intends to increase the effectiveness of current educators, increase recruitment and retention of effective educators, and boost student growth in achievement. SSI will examine its progress toward these goals in a collaborative evaluation, which will consider the program's results in terms of SSI's stated goals, as well as its inputs.
- Communicated/collaborated and planned with school partners
- Hired project staff
- Planned and trained on the components of the EES
- Developed and programmed the SSI project website and online SSI Project Assessment and Professional Development (PD) Portal
- Developed PD training linked to teacher assessment tools
- Implemented the EES with a subset of seven charter schools belonging to five separate LEAs
- Trained principals, teachers, and SSI project staff on all measures
- Collected baseline data across measures for schools
- Recruited 17 charter schools to partner with SSI
- Continued to enhance features of the portal
- With SSI support, two partner schools had their charter school renewed and were removed from probation status by the state.
- All schools have Master Mentor teachers to support teacher growth and development.
- Three schools held their own site- specific career fair.
- NJ DOE has approved several partner schools to expand enrollment, grades, and schools
- NJ DOE has approved several partner schools to expand enrollment, grades, and schools.
- Several school partners established new relationships with teacher preparation programs to facilitate teacher recruitment.
- The district distributed Year 3 performance- based awards to qualifying teachers and principals.
- Master mentor teachers successfully piloted a new online coaching system across all schools.
- Master mentor teachers successfully implemented induction training for new teachers on the HCMS and EES components of the project.
- Project partners continue to sustain HCMS and EES components of the project.
- Increase in teacher and principal retention
- Continued use of the TES and PES measures
- Continued use of the online coaching system
- Master mentor teachers to implement induction and advanced training of new and returning teachers to sustain the HCMS and EES components of the project
For Year 3 (2014-15), SSI has awarded qualifying teachers and principals with performance-based awards. SSI is preparing to award Year 4 performance-based awards during the summer of 2017. This is due to statewide delays in student growth percentile calculations and appeals processes.