A work group charged with developing teaching standards for South Dakota has recommended the adoption of Charlotte Danielson’s “Framework for Teaching.” The recommendation came at the South Dakota Board of Education meeting Nov. 29 in Mitchell. The board moved the issue to public hearing.
“What we found as we sorted through all of the resources out there is that our group’s initial description of what makes an effective teacher matched closely with Danielson’s framework,” Dr. Melody Schopp told board members. Schopp, who is the deputy director of the state Department of Education, leads the work group.
Danielson’s framework outlines 22 main components of effective teaching in four areas: Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Professional Responsibilities and Instruction. The 22 components cover a range of activities, from demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy to engaging students in learning and communicating with families.
“Having standards in place clearly spells out the expectations we have for our teachers in South Dakota,” Schopp said. The expectation is that the standards will be used to help teachers grow as professionals.
One reason the group liked Danielson’s framework was because of its foundation in research, Schopp said. Many group members also felt the framework was clearly written and easy to understand – for educators and non-educators alike.
South Dakota began the process of developing teaching standards earlier this year, when the Legislature passed a bill – SB 24 – requiring that all public school districts evaluate teachers on a prescribed basis, and that standards be in place by July 1, 2011. The bill also charges the work group with helping to develop an evaluation tool that school districts may use.
Since this summer, the group’s 24 members, who include teachers, administrators, parents and education association representatives, have reviewed other states’ standards for teaching, as well as those created by InTASC, the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium.
“South Dakota Education Association co-developed Senate Bill 24 requiring the creation of teacher standards and teacher evaluation because we strongly believe that every student deserves a highly qualified teacher in his or her classroom,” said Sandy Arseneault, president of SDEA. “Establishing effective teaching standards that are based on a solid foundation of valid research aligns with our vision that education becomes a respected and durable profession. Educators and other stakeholders embraced the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching because it fit well with the work group’s desired outcome.”
A public hearing on the proposed standards for teaching will be held at the Board of Education’s meeting in March. Public comment regarding the proposed standards for teaching can be provided in three ways:
1) Provide testimony at the March 2011 Board of Education meeting (exact date TBA)
2) E-mail comments to TeacherStandards@state.sd.us
3) Mail comments to Dr. Melody Schopp, South Dakota Department of Education, 800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501