Saturday, October 3, 2009

Superintendent's goals

At this week's legislative hearing the superintendent's goals for the upcoming year were voted on. The goals have not yet been posted on the district's website. One board member noted that the goals were very general and that this contrasted to new processes being put into place to measure the progress of teachers.

Another board member pointed out that there is a measurable goal: progress on a majority of the 42 PSSA points. (The 42 points apparently come from the tests given in seven grades, 3rd through 8th plus 11th, multiplied by 2 for testing in Math and Reading. then multiplied by 3 to represent progress in decreasing the below basic percentage and increasing the proficient/advanced and the advanced percentages.)

A third board member said that measures for evaluation of the other goals would be developed by the time performance is evaluated next summer. However, it would seem unfair to hold the superintendent accountable for a measure not disclosed to him well in advance of next summer's evaluation. If there are to be measures other than the 42 points they will need to be developed very soon.


Anonymous said...

The 42 point measurement is good because it will take into account entire classes. If it is just proficiency schools can pick out some students in each grade that are just below proficiency and put most effort into getting them up to the proficient level. I have seen it happen.

Anonymous said...

Can you explain how the 42 point prevents that?

It's definitely in a school's best interest to target those kids that are near to the next score up and work intensively with them.

Anonymous said...

Now a school would need to look at three groups of kids in each grade. To move some from below basic to basic, some from below basic to proficient and some from proficient to advanced. This should make them more likely to just work with everybody.

Questioner said...

Something to keep in mind is that if goals are met the new annual salary becomes $15k higher. For a raise, maybe performance should be something above and beyond the average increase in scores for the state that year. See PURE's Featured Topic showing that so far, scores in PPS have pretty much mirrored changes in scores across the state but at a lower level.

If raises reward particularly good performance, maybe we would want to see better than average changes in scores.

Questioner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Questioner said...

Year 5 goals from the Pgh BOE website, news archives:

Board Sets Year Five Performance Goals for Superintendent
Tonight, the Board of Education approved Year Five Performance Goals for Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt. The Superintendent’s Year Five Performance Goals are designed to support the District’s Excellence for All plan and align with the Board’s five major goals for the District.

The five major District goals are:

Maximum academic achievement for all students.

Safe and orderly environment for all students and employees;

Efficient and effective support operations for all students, families, teachers and administrators;

Efficient and equitable distribution of resources to address the needs of all students, to the maximum extent feasible;

Improved public confidence and strong parent/community engagement.

The Superintendent’s Year Five Performance Goals are as follows:

Finalizing Planning and Implementation of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programming: Present to the Board a plan for CTE no later than February 10, 2010 which creates effective options for Pittsburgh Public Schools students to access appropriate CTE programming aligned to economic trends and needs.

Expansion of Classroom Technology: Explore the use of technology to better complement and expand course offerings.

Continue Pittsburgh Public Schools progress on PSSA Exams: Show continued progress on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams compared to prior years by evidencing progress on a majority of the 42 testing points, meaning movement from below basic to basic, basic to proficient, and proficient to advanced.

Teacher Effectiveness: Develop timetables and implementation plans for The Plan to Empower Effective Teachers. For details about the plan please visit

In July 2009, based upon having met Year Four priorities, the Superintendent received a merit increase of $10,000 in addition to the $5,000 automatic annual increase provided for in his contract, increasing his annual salary from $210,000 to $225,000 effective August 29, 2009. The Superintendent’s current employment contract ends August 28, 2011.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 at 10:00 pm and is filed under District News & Notes, Good News.

Questioner said...

Re: expansion of classroom technology- a good place to start would be to study the experiences of Philadelphia's School of the Future, which partnered with Microsoft, to learn from and avoid problems experienced at that technology-focused school. An article from Education Week gives details about the school.[MBF20hV2Mcqdeio4H2bKUDtGt3ESCyo3fUE