An increasing number of states are passing legislation mandating annual evaluations of teachers and school leaders, based upon multiple measures including state test scores, local assessments, classroom observations, climate surveys and other factors. K-12 educators now have a way to continuously monitor and improve their impact in these areas throughout the year, thanks to the new FASTe (Formative Action System for Teacher Effectiveness) framework from Performance Matters™.
“FASTe connects all the dots between student outcomes, educator activities and district policy. Imagine what it could mean for a professional in any field to have continuous access to personalized dashboards and analytics that illustrate how the decisions they make and the actions they take impact their work. FASTe does this for educators so they can maximize their impact on student learning,” said Woody Dillaha, co-founder and CEO of Performance Matters. “FASTe reveals opportunities for improvement and provides access to professional development resources that are aligned to the needs of the individual educator and their students.”
In addition to an online platform, FASTe provides an implementation framework that is customized for each school system and supported by analytics based upon guiding questions and a professional learning community process. Prior to the beginning of the school year, educators use FASTe’s baseline module to conduct a district-wide self-assessment. The baseline enables teachers, school leaders and administrators to more effectively schedule student rosters, and to implement policy, programs and professional development aligned to the current needs of the school system.
Once classes begin, FASTe provides ongoing formative support during each instructional cycle by collecting data on student assessments, teachers’ professional development activities, observational outcomes, and other metrics. The program correlates all the data to show the relative effect the activities are having on instruction and learning, and connects educators to the professional development resources or support they require at that particular point in time. Accessible year-round, the FASTe system enables educators to “progress monitor” their performance against the multiple measures that make up their annual evaluations and then produce summative rating reports, based on the school system’s criteria, at the end of the year.
Dillaha stated that FASTe has received positive responses from administrators and teachers alike. “We have been measuring students summatively and supporting them formatively for years. Since policy makers are now requiring that educators get a summative evaluation, we need to support them formatively, too. Our partners in education really appreciate this approach because it not only gives them the information they need to measure the impact they’re having on student learning, but it connects them to the differentiated resources they need to hone their craft and improve their performance throughout the year.”