The Delaware Department of Education is naming 10 Focus Schools (think Priority Lite) in addition to 4 Focus Schools which will become Focus Plus. This is in addition to the 7 Priority Schools in Delaware. And it doesn’t look like the soon-to-be-voted-on by the State Board of Education Regulation 103 will ease this plethora of schools the Delaware DOE wants to punish in the future.
As part of their prep work for the new Focus Schools, the DOE sent a survey for teachers to fill out. They gave them a lot of time too. They got it today and it has to be done by Monday. Yes, I said Monday. It is all voluntary, but I digress…
To say some of these questions are very intrusive would be an understatement. The DOE is disturbing me on more levels than ever before. And that’s just in the past two months. What they are doing to education is going to have damaging effects on students, teachers, schools, parents, communities, and themselves. It’s one thing to follow Federal mandate, but to do what they are doing is way beyond what any Federal mandates or even non-regulatory guidance suggest. It’s like poor schools are the DOE’s lab rats and they keep wanting to change the catalysts to completely destroy them. It is a sickening thing to report on, and I hate it. The DOE has no concept of human dignity anymore, and it is shameful. But what can I expect from a state agency that refers to educators as “Human Capital”. But someone has to report this stuff so the public knows what is going on behind all the press releases they send out. “Who watches the watchmen?”
Below is the survey sent to the teachers at these 10 Focus Schools. Did this come from the mind of Penny Schwinn or Christopher Ruszkowski at the DOE?
* 1. Teachers at my school follow an established curriculum and appropriate pacing.
* 2. Teachers at my school routinely differentiate instruction based on data and the needs of students.
* 3. Teachers at my school have a strong understanding of the academic content standards that make-up the curriculum.
* 4. Teachers at my school are aware of effective instructional strategies to promote student engagement.
* 5. My school has a formal process or model for designing lessons.
* 6. Teachers at my school utilize various formative assessment strategies.
* 7. Student progress at my school is monitored regularly.
* 8. Individual teachers and/or teams of teaches set academic goals related to student achievement.
* 9. School or district developed benchmark assessments are effectively used at my school.
* 10. Teachers at my school review and analyze data together.
* 11. Teachers at my school have easy access (electronically or hard copy reports) to student achievement data.
* 12. I feel comfortable using data to inform my teaching practices.
* 13. There is an effective process to identify academically struggling students at my school.
* 14. Our school’s RTI or intervention system is effective.
* 15. Teachers new to my school are given an appropriate amount of support.
* 16. Our school has a difficult time getting good candidates to apply for openings at our school.
* 17. School sponsored professional development activities address my needs.
* 18. I receive feedback on my teaching practices at least once per month.
* 19. There is a process for teachers at my school to receive assistance and coaching when needed.
* 20. Our school has a functional building leadership team.
* 21. Teachers are often asked for input on school matters at my school.
* 22. My school’s most critical priorities are known by most staff.
* 23. Teachers participate in setting school-wide achievement goals each year.
* 24. This year my school has implemented effective strategies to engage parents.
* 25. I feel comfortable talking with school leaders (administrators or teachers) about instructional practices.
* 26. Our school does a good job of utilizing resources (time, money, personnel).
* 27. Established school rules are followed by students at my school.
* 28. School leaders at my school monitor student discipline data and implements effective systems to promote positive student behavior.
* 29. The teaching-learning process in my classroom is frequently made more difficult because of poor student behavior.
* 30. My school has implemented effective strategies to promote student attendance and punctuality to school.
* 31. My school has effective resources in place to support students’ social and emotional needs.
* 32. Students at my school are expected to achieve and conduct themselves at a high level, and students are recognized for doing so.
* 33. Teachers at my school believe students’ backgrounds are major barriers.
* 34. Teachers at my school often stay after school or work on weekends.
* 35. I am excited about the future of my school.
* 36. I believe most of my students are capable of pursuing post-secondary education.
* 37. Teachers at my school are committed to supporting new educational initiatives.