New Director of Assessment and Accountability on board
The Department of Education is excited to welcome its newest division director to the table. Abby Javurek-Humig took over the helm as Director of the Division of Assessment and Accountability last month. Javurek-Humig is a Pierre native, moving back to South Dakota from New Mexico, where she worked in postsecondary education.




Three South Dakota elementaries earn Blue Ribbon status
Congratulations to Groton Area Elementary, Parker Elementary and Wall Elementary! Those three schools recently earned Blue Ribbon status under a U.S. Department of Education program.
Click here to learn more.

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Teacher Evaluation Work Group making strides toward goal

The Teacher Evaluation Workgroup met Sept. 20 in Pierre. Collectively, group members are beginning to have a vision of what evaluation tools and support resources might look like in South Dakota. Beginning in 2014-15, teachers in South Dakota will be evaluated on the state standards for teaching (i.e. Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching) adopted by the South Dakota Board of Education.

The group had conversations about how to measure the quantitative components – a big question at the beginning of the meeting – and by the end, had an idea of creating a portfolio that shows evidence of student learning. For core content teachers of grades 3-8 and 11, that portfolio must include state assessment scores.

The portfolio would clearly demonstrate growth, even for teachers who aren’t teaching core subject material or are teaching outside the tested grade levels. The portfolio would be scored using indicators in Domains I and III of Danielson’s Framework. Certain indicators in Charlotte Danielson’s Framework could be used to judge those quantitative measures and would then be considered “power” indicators, meaning they would be weighted to account for 50 percent of a teacher’s total score. Benchmarks and goals could be decided locally.

Teacher Nicole Keegan commented that she thought the proposal to measure quantitative measures would be easily understood and teachers wouldn’t have a hard time following it and recognizing what they were being evaluated on.

The group also discussed qualitative measures, including both formal and informal observations.

“Maybe we give districts resources and some basic direction but we also give them options,” said group facilitator Dr. Rick Melmer, education dean at the University of South Dakota.

The group will begin planning its next meeting for sometime in November. Click here for more information.