UCPS teachers receive high marks

Feb. 24, 2014 @ 10:36 AM

Teachers with Union County Public School ranked among the best in the region, according to the latest effectiveness ratings from the state. 

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction evaluated teachers looking at six standards for the 2012-2013 school year. The standards were: teachers demonstrate leadership (1); teachers establish a respectful environment for a diverse population of students (2); teachers know the content they teach (3); teachers facilitate learning for their students (4); teachers reflect on their practice (5) and teachers contribute to the academic success of students (6).

None of the teachers in the county received a "not demonstrated" score on the first five standards. For Standard 6, that the teacher contributes to the academic success of students, the rankings were based on the statewide academic growth model. In Union County, 10.8 percent of teachers did not meet expected growth, meaning the growth value for teachers was lower than what was expected by the statewide growth model. 

The majority of the teachers, 53.8 percent met expected growth and 35.4 percent of teachers exceeded expected growth, according to the statewide growth of students model. 

All teachers in North Carolina receive a rating for Standard 6, according to the data.

"For some teachers, however, this rating is populated with school-level growth and not data from the performance of the individual teachers' students. For the 2012-13 school year, we do not include ratings for teachers with school-level growth measures. The number of teachers in the count for Standard 6 represents only those teachers with individual estimates of student growth," a statement noted.

Rob Jackson, community relations and communications liaison for UCPS, said they expected to see good results, but also see places to dig in and improve in the future. 

"There's no question, we have incredible teachers in Union County Public Schools," Jackson said. 

He said that particularly with regard to Standard 6, it shows that their teachers and their students are improving. 

In the past, UCPS' teacher ratings have reflected a large number of teachers who are new to the profession. 

"We do (have young teachers), but what's new now is that Standard 6 where the actual results of the students are part of the evaluation," Jackson said. "One thing that certainly stands out about that is a teacher's experience or lack of experience doesn't impact what's reflected."

The district started focusing on professional learning communities a few years ago and Jackson said that has become a"A way of life" in all of the schools. 

"Our veteran teachers do a great job of mentoring the newer teachers," Jackson said. He said the professional learning communities give teachers and staff a chance to look closely at student work and work to improve. 

For Standard 1, 22.9 percent of teachers received a "distinguished" rating, the highest; 54.1 percent of teachers of teachers received an "accomplished" rating; 22.3 percent of teachers were ranked as "proficient," meaning they demonstrated a basic competence of the standard; 0.7 percent of teachers were ranked as "developing," meaning that they are growing in their understanding, but has not yet demonstrated competence. No teachers received the lowest rating. 

For Standard 2, 14.5 percent of teachers were distinguished, 55.5 percent of teachers were ranked accomplished, 28.4 percent of teachers were proficient and 1.6 percent of teachers were developing.

For Standard 3, 10.6 percent of teachers were distinguished, 49.5 percent of teachers were accomplished, 38.4 percent of teachers were proficient and 1.6 percent of teachers were developing. 

For Standard 4, 13.6 percent of teachers were distinguished, 60.7 percent accomplished, 24.7 proficient and 1 percent developing. 

For Standard 5, 10.6 percent of teachers were distinguishes, 48.1 percent accomplished, 39.8 percent proficiency and 1.5 percent developing. 

The full results and a breakdown by school are available at ncpublichschools.org. 

Jackson said they will spend a lot of time "disaggragating" the data to study what they can celebrate and identify areas that need improvement.