Beginning proficiency level: Middle School Self-Contained Special Education

In this example, an Evaluator and CM discuss classroom procedures.

Support materials:
Narrative

Overall rating & analysis

Overall rating: Three BP ratings and one AP rating equal an overall BP rating

Beginning

Advanced

Exemplary

Strand 1: The number of strategies teacher uses to interact with students’ influencers and the extent to which strategies are customized.

Uses a single, formal method to interact with every student's family

Uses multiple methods and occasions to mobilize Students’ key influencers (e.g., parents, guardians, other relatives, coach, pastor, etc.)

Based on an understanding of individual students and their key influencers, customizes interactions in order to mobilize each students’ key influencers to invest students in working hard toward the Big Goal

Strand 2: The information teacher shares with student influencers, and the extent to which teacher enables student influencers to act on the information.

Provides basic information and respectfully requests help when students are not working hard

Shares knowledge and skills on how the influencers and the teacher can accelerate the students’ progress

Ensures that students’ influencers are equipped to invest and advocate for students beyond this school year, in addition to sharing knowledge and skills on how the influencer and the teacher can work together to accelerate the student's progress

Strand 3: The type of positive information teacher provides influencers about students’ academic progress.

Shares positive news of student performance on an absolute scale

Shares positive news of student performance on a relative scale

Shows influencers how to monitor students’ performance and recognize progress

Strand 4: The extent to which the teacher mobilizes student influencers.

Successfully informs students’ families of basic information

Successfully involves students’ key influencers

Successfully invests students’ key influencers


Analysis: Why did the teacher receive these ratings?

Rating: BPStrand 1: The number of strategies teacher uses to interact with students’ influencers and the extent to which strategies are customized.

Why BP?

Tara's primary mechanism for interacting with her students’ families is through the IEP monitoring process. She is not proactive or innovative in reaching out to parents beyond those basic parameters. In the absence of other strategies, this is a "single, formal method" of interaction with students’ families as described in the Beginning Proficiency cell on Strand One of I-6. Tara's actions are well matched with the interpretation guide description of a teacher who does not "maintain consistent interaction" with students’ families. She therefore deserves a Beginning Proficient rating on Strand One.

Why not AP?

Tara's sporadic addition of notes to the school forms does not qualify for the "multiple methods and occasions" called for by the Advanced Proficiency rating. Moreover, the fact that Tara does little or nothing to change the fact that so many families waive their right to a follow up meeting about IEP progress indicates at least one way that she could have a significantly bigger impact on students’ influencers' investment in student progress.

Rating: BPStrand 2: The information teacher shares with student influencers, and the extent to which teacher enables student influencers to act on the information.

Why BP?

Whether or not we impute the source of the IEP progress reports to Tara or to the school (since the department chair puts those together with Tara's input), Tara is doing no more than providing basic information (as described by the Beginning Proficiency cell for Strand Two) and occasionally seeking help with behavioral issues. Again, in contrast with the opportunities for impact that Tara is missing, her actions are relatively week. Nevertheless, they are more meaningful than a mere attempt (Novice) and do weakly qualify for Beginning Proficiency.

Why not AP?

No evidence supports the idea that Tara is sharing "knowledge and skills on how the influencers and the teacher can accelerate the students’ progress." Tara should have ample opportunity for such discussions, but she does not take advantage of those.

Rating: APStrand 3: The type of positive information teacher provides influencers about students’ academic progress.

Why AP?

The reports going home to students’ families do include "positive news of student performance" as required by Beginning Proficiency criteria and they may even qualify for an Advanced Proficiency rating because the IEP reports should include news of student performance on a relative scale. That is, well-designed IEPs would provide a basis for discussing students’ growth. Thus, in this instance, by following the most basic special education processes, Tara's actions amount to Advanced Proficiency.

Why not E?

To qualify as Exemplary on Strand Three, a teacher "shows influencers how to monitor students’ performance and recognize progress." The evidence available gives no indication that Tara is proactive in that way.

Rating: BPStrand 4: The extent to which the teacher mobilizes student influencers.

Why BP?

The IEP reports "inform students’ families of basic information" as called for by the Beginning Proficient criteria. As described by the interpretation guide for this strand, Tara "has means of discerning that students’ families received the information. . ." An observer is hard-pressed, however, to identify evidence that she "takes steps to ensure that students’ families can understand the information as well" (interpretation guide) so Tara is a low "Beginning Proficiency."

Why not AP?

Again, no evidence indicates that Tara involves students’ key influencers as required by the Advanced Proficiency language. Moreover, Tara does not create opportunities for influencers to help reinforce the learning that is occurring in class (as described in the interpretation guide for Advanced Proficiency).