Back to Main Site

5 Strategies to simplify performance evaluations for all district staff

By: MaryBeth Crissman Date: May 10, 2016

5 simple strategies
What do you do when you have 2700 teachers, 1800 educational support professionals, and 700 support professionals spread out over 76 school buildings and your state initiates a new state-wide performance evaluation requirement?

Some may panic. That’s an understandable reaction. It’s a daunting task to coordinate that number of professionals into a cohesive and manageable system that allows for efficient and meaningful performance evaluations. But Minneapolis Public Schools remained calm in the face of this challenge. They leveraged their relationship with Truenorthlogic  and  took their eCompass system to the next level to meet the new state requirements and create a more personalized experience for educators and staff.

Korbyn King, Human Capital Project Coordinator, and Paul Hegre, Quality Compensation Grant Manager, of the Minneapolis Public Schools knew that, even starting from a solid foundation, implementing a new performance evaluation system would be complicated. Because the evaluation process is multi-faceted, involving certification tracking, induction and onboarding procedures, mentoring support, goal-setting, access to relevant professional development, and the actual process of evaluation and feedback, King and Herge were faced with a few significant challenges.

First, they needed to accommodate the sheer number of rules for each process.

Second, they needed to centralize the disparate data that is stored in a variety of locations and mediums.

Lastly, they had to work within the limits of time. Administrators often lack the time to effectively evaluate their teachers.

To tackle these challenges, Minneapolis Public Schools implemented five specific strategies to simplify the complexities of performance evaluations.

  1. Eliminate silos of data. Pulling all of their data into one centralized location makes the collected data more useful and beneficial to individuals as well as the district.
  2. Automate the process. Given the high number of users in the Minneapolis system, automation was key. A paper-based process for a district of their size would result in a mountain of documents that weren’t easily managed or sorted.
  3. Change management. It can be challenging to shift the culture and mindset of a district, but pursuing best practices in all facets of the process is vital for a successful system.
  4. Align Professional Development and Evaluation outcomes. By connecting the two systems, feedback to educators is more personalized to their specific areas of need.
  5. Use reliable and scalable technology. Implementing a system to address evaluation needs as well as professional growth plans requires a technology solution that has a track record of reliability.

Minneapolis Public Schools needed to coordinate 11 different rubrics for 11 different evaluation plans. In their performance evaluation system, support professionals, teachers, and principals used a variety of evaluation structures based on their experience and education. Handling this in their previous paper-based way would have proven nearly impossible for such a large district. Through the use of their existing relationship with Truenorthlogic and the highly-configurable solutions offered, Minneapolis was able to meet the state requirements and provide a more effective and meaningful professional growth system for their educators and staff.