Students master 21st century skills, teachers professionally grow with new assessment program

Published: June 19th, 2011

Evaluation system boosts teacher effectiveness, student growth & achievement

Denver, CO – June 20, 2011 – At Douglas County School District, a balanced assessment program is helping ensure students are acquiring knowledge and skills to become responsible global citizens. An educator evaluation system focused on continuous improvement is supporting the development of competitive compensation packages and robust professional development activities to boost teacher and leader effectiveness.

Introduced during the 2010-2011 school year, this new system-wide, performance-based evaluation model – technically called the “system performance framework” – sets a new, higher bar for teaching and learning assessment.

“By collecting, evaluating and implementing improvements based on authentic information collected from all levels – student, teacher, school and district – we believe we can ensure all students are college and career ready,” explained Syna Morgan, Executive Director, System Performance and Accountability Douglas County School District.

Douglas County is the first school district in the country to implement a robust and bold balanced assessment system built upon a universal view of a student’s data collected through all grades and subject-level performance assessments, benchmarks and state assessments to build authentic learning paths. The corner stone is a new web-based data management platform, Promethean’s ActivProgress, in which a variety of assessments can be utilized and data is quickly and easily accessible, allowing teachers to conduct assessment for learning and put the most effective teaching strategies into practice.

Douglas County school and district leaders use the student data from multiple measures to match appropriate 21st century teaching and learning strategies to establish unique learning paths for all students. Teachers also have more immediate access to information about individual student performance in order to make adjustments or intervene to ensure student success. In the end, the overall productivity across all divisions of the school district is expected to grow.

Parents are playing a key roll in the project as well. An embedded communication program keeps parents and community stakeholders informed and encourages teachers to collaborate more frequently.

“Our goal is to turn assessment information into actionable data that can support continued student learning and inform professional development activities. By looking at the whole picture, we know we can help districts more positively impact the learning continuum at all levels – students through administrators,” said Iwan Streichenberger, President of Promethean Learner Response Systems and Assessment.

School leaders have long wrestled with how data-driven decision-making can help them achieve their educational goals. For years businesses have leveraged the power of data-driven decision-making to improve productivity and profitability. In a school environment, productivity equates to the teaching style, pace and content of the lesson while the profitability equates to the student’s understanding and academic achievement. Any system that can demonstrate sustained improvement in both must be truly revolutionary and should be embraced by the education community as a whole, not just the visionaries at Douglas County. Promethean and Douglas County believe ActivProgress provides a mechanism to do just that.

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About Promethean
Promethean – Lighting the flame of learning
Promethean is a global education company committed to supporting teaching and learning. Our focus is on student-centered and collaborative learning. We do this through our integrated technology, training, content and assessment solutions that help teachers meet individual student needs. Our products are used in more than 750,000 classrooms around the world, and, the world’s largest interactive whiteboard community site, provides its almost one million members access to around 28,000 free teaching resources. With corporate headquarters in the U.K. and U.S., Promethean has products distributed through a network of partners in some 100 countries and is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange as Promethean World Plc (ticker symbol ‘PRW’).

About Douglas County
The Douglas County School District (DCSD) is the third largest school district in Colorado, covering 870 square miles between Denver and Colorado Springs. It has a tradition of educational excellence that strives to put children first. The vision of DCSD is to create responsible citizens who contribute to our society. Currently, DCSD serves 55,000 students and their families as well as nearly 6,000 DCSD employees in this mission.

Press Inquiries:
Promethean Press Officers
Jodie Pozo-Olano, Head of PR – Promethean North America
Tel: 540 270 7819
Email: [email protected]

Gaynor Harper, Promethean
Tel: +44(0)1254 290 739
Email: [email protected]

Douglas County School District Press Contact
Sean B. McGraw
Executive Director, Community Relations
[email protected]