About the Author: J. W. Mozley has been an educator with the Gwinnett County Board of Education and a member of GAE for the past eleven years. Before becoming an administrator, J.W. served as a middle grades mathematics teacher and later as an assistant principal at Duluth Middle School. Now working as an assistant principal at Arcado Elementary School, J.W. continues to express his excitement for public education and passion for student achievement. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics and Master of Arts & Teaching from Georgia College & State University. Additionally, J.W. obtained an Educational Specialist in Leadership and will complete a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Mercer University. 10 | KNOW • Volume 13 Issue 3 To learn more about LKES, visit the Georgia Department of Education https://www.gadoe. org/School-Improvement/ Teacher-and-Leader- Effectiveness/Pages/Leader- Keys-Effectiveness-System.aspx is implementing with a level of fidelity, the leader should be answering poignant questions in a frank conversation. Again, it may not be easy, but it is what ultimately must be done to force continuous improvement. Two assessments are completed through the year – a mid-year formative assessment and a year-end summative assessment. These assessments are based on goal progress and attainment as well as documented practice. I like the built-in progress checks in both the TKES and LKES. Isn’t this what we teach our students to do when they set their own academic or behavior goals? No evaluation system for teachers or school leaders will ever be perfect; however, the systems must be fair. Both TKES and LKES do have a subjective component throughout the evaluation. While rubrics exist, the performance-indicators do not (nor should they) act as a checklist. An evaluator must always make a judgment call using the totality of the evidence. It is important evaluators check their biases and remain consistent through the steps of the process. This is critical as by Georgia law evaluations cannot be grieved, but the process can if it is not fair or inconsistent. For a school district, it is imperative that the evaluation process is consistent from school to school; this is a tall feat for larger school districts throughout the state. District leaders must offer ongoing professional development to help maintain reliability of both the leader and teacher evaluation system. Districts that are not committed to ongoing learning opportunities and inter-rater reliability activities certainly do not add to the level of trust and confidence in the evaluation system. Change is never easy and it is often not welcomed. Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.” Many of the practices and processes we implement within our school buildings are simply traditions. However, are they tried and true in the sense we have available data suggesting they are effective? I would argue LKES moves us in the direction Socrates spoke of; it compels educational leaders to “build the new” based on research-based standards, data, and performance measured by specific outcomes. THE EIGHT DOMAINS OF LKES IDENTIFIED BY GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INCLUDE THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ACTIONS OF THE EFFECTIVE PRINCIPAL: 1. Instructional leaders 2. School Climate 3. Planning and Assessment 4. Organizational Management 5. Human Resources Management 6. Teacher/Staff Evaluation 7. Professionalism 8. Communication & Community relations.
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