Friday, July 11, 2014

Report Finds That Teacher Evaluations Need Further Support

School Improvement Network Releases Report of Professional Development Policy for Teacher Evaluation Support in all 50 States

Results Show Dearth of Policy or Guidance in Majority of States, Hindering Impact of Teacher Evaluations

SALT LAKE CITY—July 10, 2014—School Improvement Network, the leader in educator effectiveness systems, today announced a report on teacher professional development policy in all 50 states showing a dearth of guiding support for districts in the majority of states. Taken as a whole, the report findings indicate that schools, districts, and states lack the professional development and support needed to make soon mandated teacher evaluations a meaningful part of professional growth towards educator effectiveness.
“Teachers are, and always have been, our number one priority,” said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “For evaluations and observations to have a meaningful impact on educators and the students they teach, educators must have the personalized resources and support they need to improve practice and spur professional growth. Without this connection, evaluations are merely compliance.”
The report includes the following key findings:
  • Only four states—Connecticut, Kentucky, New Jersey and South Dakota—have made strides in creating systems to support teachers around new evaluations
  • Most states could only speculate about the efforts by local education agencies to build teacher capacity around evaluation, especially in connection with personalized professional learning plans
  • Eight states were confident local education agencies were developing and implementing such a support system
  • Nine states are still in flux over their evaluation system, preventing work towards corresponding professional growth plans
  • Four states’ teacher evaluation systems do not include a professional learning provision for teachers
  • Fifteen states offer no funding or give funding on a limited basis for professional support and resources
The report also includes detailed case studies on the work and progress in the four states that have made progress in creating a system to support teachers in evaluations, and more explanations and findings about the status of projects tying professional development to teacher evaluations in other states.

Classroom Management Webinar - RIck Smith Author of Conscious Classroom Management

New Webinar Gives Back-to-School Classroom Management Strategies from Education Experts

Education Expert Rick Smith Gives Classroom Management Strategies from New LumiBook

Coming up on July 17, 2014 we have a free webinar with back-to-school classroom management tips from education expert Rick Smith from his new LumiBook, “Conscious Classroom Management: Unlocking the Secrets of Great Teaching, Second Edition.”
“In our work with over 1.2 million educators nationwide, classroom management is always a focus of educators to increase student engagement and learning,” said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “The insights from Rick Smith’s webinar and new LumiBook give educators ready-to-implement ideas and strategies that can make meaningful improvements in their classroom.”
In this webinar, educators will learn dozens of practical strategies to implement from the first day of school until the end of the year, including:
  • Three keys to increasing consistency
  • Five nonverbal procedures to save time and motivate your students
  • Three teacher assumptions that invite student cooperation
  • How to discipline students from across the room
  • How to succeed with difficult students
  • How to grow in inner authority
  • How and when to use consequences
  • How to “hold your ground” in ways that invite student cooperation
  • Practical approaches for motivating your reluctant learners
  • A variety of "nuts and bolts" that are vital for classroom survival
  • Strategies that result in reduced anxiety and a fresher, more positive approach to teaching
The webinar will be held Thursday, July 17, at 4 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

School Improvement Network Releases Edivation, a New Personalized and Adaptive Learning Solution for Educators

Edivation Replaces PD 360 and Brings a New On-Demand Professional Learning Platform, Personalized Content Recommendations, and Advanced User Interface

PD 360 is now Edviation. This represents a significant new direction for School Improvement Network, and the new platform will be the single vehicle for innovative personalized learning products for educators in the future.

“The evolution from PD 360 to Edivation is yet another landmark in School Improvement Network’s long history of innovating education,” said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “In 1991, we were the first company to document classroom best practices on video. In 2007, we were the first to deliver these resources online and on demand. Now, in 2014, with the transformation of PD 360 to Edivation, we are the first education company to create a resource that intelligently serves personalized content from a rich supply of resources research-proven to increase student achievement and educator effectiveness.”

The name Edivation derives from “edification,” “innovation,” “elevation,” and “motivation,” meant to represent the breadth and depth of the resources available to support educators in every aspect of their work beyond professional development content. The green “i” in the logo represents “implementation” and “individualized” or personalized” learning.

Through Edivation, educators will have access to the resources formerly available in PD 360, Common Core 360 and Observation 360 (the Educator Effectiveness System), such as thousands of videos showing best practices in education with master teachers, lesson plans and classroom aids, meaningful and personalized observation templates, and access to a professional learning community of more than a million educators. But with Edivation, these resources will be automatically served to educators based on their profile and administrator-assigned PD. In coming months, this Edivation feature will be expanded to deliver educators personalized content based on their interests and previous searches. Administrators can also seamlessly make and implement professional development plans for an entire district or system or a single educator.

Independent, peer-reviewed research in the Journal of Instructional Psychology found that when educators used the tools within Edivation for at least 10 minutes a week, student proficiency on standardized tests increased by an average of 18 percent in a single year compared to district averages. The same study showed dropout rates decreased by 20 percent, discipline issues decreased by 33 percent, and 10 percent more students expressed intention of attending college compared to district averages.

For more information about Edivation, visit http://www.edivation.com/

Personalized Learning Solution for Students with GAGE

The GAGE personalized learning program is available to selected school districts this fall for the 2014-2015 school year. 

Our personalized learning solution GAGE is now scalable across any school or system. GAGE provides everything needed to transform a traditional school or district into a personalized learning environment and gives districts the ability to provide personalized, mastery-based learning along with real-time professional development resources for educators combined into a single system.

"True personalized learning has the potential to revolutionize education by allowing educators to meet the precise and unique needs of 100 percent of students, but has never before been possible because educators have not had the tools and resources to implement a sustainable model," said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. "Now, the personalized learning transformation powered by GAGE provides the technology and curriculum students need bundled with the training, support, and reporting educators need to engage students in a higher level of thinking and learning, making personalized learning a scalable reality for any school or system."

Personalized learning with GAGE shifts pedagogical practice to help students take ownership of their learning experience, including ho, when, and where they learn. Beginning at their current level of understanding, students are able to use a range of activities based on their personal interests, learning styles, and goals, ultimately leading them to subject mastery at their individual pace. By teaching students "how to learn," this personalized learning system transforms education into a lifelong learning experience by equipping students with the skills they need to compete in a modern global economy and continue learning and finding solutions to problems independently.

GAGE is delivered on the Agilix xLi platform, a proven and scalable learning platform and was field tested and proven in multiple schools and districts before becoming available to all districts and systems.

"Education is moving to personalized learning because it has been shown to be a more effective model," said Curt Allen, CEO of Agilix. "School districts need the platforms, tools, and professional development support required to provide these new opportunities for their students. School Improvement Network's personalized learning solution GAGE pulls all these elements together in an integrated, scalable, and sustainable way. We are pleased to provide the platform for the delivery of this solution."

GAGE includes content from multiple curriculum partners, including Compass Learning®, Blended Schools Network, The NROC Project, and Qlovi. These resources, combined with School Improvement Network's tools, give districts and school systems everything they need to launch and sustain a personalized learning environment, including an engaging K-12 centric user experience, a digital library of K-12 curriculum aligned to the Common Core or any states standards, data-driven dashboards and analytics, and the most robust professional development resources and educator community available.

The new solution also provides the flexibility for districts to customize and supplement the digital curriculum library with their own resources, OER, or content from other publishers such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pearson, Compass Learning, and others.

The GAGE personalized learning program is available to selected school districts this fall for the 2014-2015 school year. District administrators interested in being considered for inclusion in this program should contact School Improvement Network at gage@schoolimprovement.com.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Salem-Keizer Oregon School District Finds Impressive Results using PD 360

Large, Suburban Oregon District Builds Focused Differentiated Learning with PD 360

Serving nearly 41,000 students in 67 schools, Salem-Keizer Public Schools has been working hard on increasing student achievement, and it shows. Their focus on Common Core, student engagement, closing the achievement gap, etc., aligned with successful PD 360 implementation has made all the difference.

From 2008 to 2012:
·      Dropout rates decreased from 7.20 percent to 2.63 percent
·      AP exams had a 17 percent increase in student performance
·      AP participation increased by 35 percent
·      Sophomores taking the PSAT/NMSQT increased by 2,580 students


Friday, June 6, 2014

Whatiscommoncore.org Shows How the Common Core State Standards Have Wide Support, Drive Economic Growth and Success

School Improvement Network Launches New Comprehensive Resource Showing How the Common Core State Standards Will Drive Economic Growth, Support for the Standards by Educators, Parents, Business Leaders

Whatiscommoncore.org, a new website showing how the Common Core State Standards will drive economic growth and stability, and support for the Standards from business leaders, educators and parents.

“In the midst of political agendas and misconceptions, the Common Core State Standards have become overly political and gravely misunderstood,” said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “Simply put, the Common Core State Standards are a progressive set of educational standards that drive students towards college and career readiness, spur economic growth and development through building a qualified workforce with critical job skills, and foster societal growth for communities, states, and the entire nation.”

Whatiscommoncore.org combines explanation of the Common Core State Standards with real video examples of the Standards being taught by master teachers, the results of national surveys showing educator and parent support for the Standards, the myths surrounding the Standards, the business leaders and organizations supporting the Standards, and evidence showing how the Common Core Standards will drive economic growth and stability for communities, states, and the nation.

Click here to visit Whatiscommoncore.org.

Click here for free resources and information for implementing the Common Core State Standards on the Common Core Blog.

Kansas School Turnaround - A Success Story

See the School Turnaround That Transformed a Rural Kansas School District from the State’s Lowest Testing School into a Top Performer

Leaders Increased Student Achievement and Educator Effectiveness with the Educator Effectiveness System.  View our recent case study showing the school turnaround in a rural Kansas school district that transformed it from the state’s lowest testing district to one of the top three districts with the Educator Effectiveness System. With this holistic system, district leaders increased student achievement in math and reading, educator leadership skills, and educator enthusiasm.

 “We applaud Southeast USD 247 for their dedication and progress towards increasing educator effectiveness and helping every student graduate college and career ready,” said Chet D. Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “The Educator Effectives System has driven hundreds of school turnarounds by giving schools and systems the resources to support educators in every aspect of their professional growth and personalize resources to their specific needs, helping them become as effective as possible to increase student mastery and college and career readiness.”

 Using the Educator Effectiveness System, Kansas’ Southeast USD 247 saw school turnarounds as the district went from having the lowest test scores in the state to rising to become one of the state’s top three districts in math, reading and science. The Educator Effectiveness System has also increased leadership skills among educators and teacher enthusiasm. The Educator Effectiveness System is an end-to-end professional learning solution with thousands of tools and resources that fills professional development needs, provides complete support for Common Core implementation challenges, delivers powerful observation and evaluation tools, and more.

Click here to see the full report on the school turnaround in a rural Kansas district using the Educator Effectiveness System.

Click here to see independent research on the impact of the tools within the Educator Effectiveness System that have powered thousands of school turnarounds nationwide.

Click here for more information about the Educator Effectiveness System.