Our transition to the Common Core Standards signals a universal commitment to move each and every one of our students toward college readiness. Preparing all of our students with the skills needed to be successful in a college environment will fundamentally change lives across this city. As we adjust our instructional focus and priorities, we must also re-envision the way that we think about classroom practice.
After months of research, revision, and collaboration with Newark educators, we are excited to present the new NPS Framework for Effective Teaching*. Our framework focuses on a set of key competencies that embrace our shared vision of effective instruction. The competencies outlined in the new framework are the cornerstone of our work to ensure that Newark’s students are college-ready and empowered to determine their futures.
The competencies outlined in the new framework are:
- Lesson Design and Focus
- Rigor and Inclusiveness
- Culture of Achievement
- Student Progress Towards Mastery
- Commitment to Personal and Collective Excellence
These competencies, and their associated indicators, form the backbone of the new Observation and Evaluation Rubrics*. They articulate instruction in a way that will help administrators to clearly and concisely provide teachers with timely, practical feedback. As we announced in our last blog post, the new rubrics are designed to: describe behaviors in clear and objective language; distinguish clearly between performance levels; and align with the Common Core State Standards. As we spoke with educators about Common Core we found that the mantra of fewer, clearer, higher really resonated. So we used those same principles as we developed the new framework:
- Fewer: We heard from you that the previous rubric included too many competencies, and that some were not observable in a lesson. So, we have articulated 5 competencies that describe effective teaching.
- Clearer: It is critical that the tool be a roadmap for all educators (teachers and administrators) toward good instruction. We have worked to use clear and concise language to describe what each competency looks like in any classroom.
- Higher: The most important thing we can do for our students is make sure that they have strong teachers. These competencies are designed to make sure that rigorous instruction happens in every classroom, every day. We are asking you to push yourselves to be better, and aim higher, so that we can help our students move forward.
Stakeholder involvement has been critical throughout this process, and will continue to be so over the coming year as we see how the rubric is implemented in practice. As you begin applying the new framework and rubrics to your practice, we will be asking for your feedback. How has the rubric helped you, as a teacher or administrator? How could it help you more? What can be improved?
Regular news, updates, and answers to your questions as well as opportunities to provide feedback will be posted on www.newarkexcels.org, and we encourage you to share your thoughts with us any time. We look forward to hearing from you in the coming school year!
*Note: We are continuing to collect feedback from stakeholder groups and small revisions may be made to the framework and rubrics. The final tools will be available to all educators as soon as possible.