Raising student achievement is at the heart of Tulsa Public Schools’ mission of "Excellence and High Expectations with a Commitment to All." A high-performing school system must emphasize continuous improvement and shared accountability for student achievement. Instructional practices grow and student achievement levels rise in organizations valuing performance feedback, analysis and refinement.
TPS intends to prepare every graduate for college or career. One critical factor is an effective teacher in every classroom. Our Multiple Measures Teacher Evaluation System defines, measures and supports teacher effectiveness by providing qualitative and quantitative feedback to teachers.
In 2010, Tulsa Public Schools embarked on a new teacher and leader effectiveness initiative now called the Tulsa Model for Teacher Observation and Evaluation. It is based upon current research and best practices—with authorship and input from Oklahoma's teachers and administrators. A critical accomplishment of their effort is the teacher rubric that provides detailed descriptions of different proficiency levels and identifies the knowledge, skills and practices correlated with growth in student achievement.
As a result of survey and stakeholder forum feedback from teachers and leaders, the observation and evaluation forms of the TLE system were substantially simplified and improved in the summer of 2011 and the spring of 2012. In late January 2012, the District received the results of the validation study conducted by Empirical Education, one of the research organizations implementing the MET Validation Engine Pilot in cooperation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The District also received validation results from the University of Wisconsin. The findings of the MET Validation Engine study and the validation study from the University of Wisconsin were positive and confirmed, once again, that the Tulsa model measures what matters—it captures practices that are empirically associated with gains in student achievement.
Now in use by 499 districts across Oklahoma, value of the Tulsa Model’s framework and processes depend upon the lessons we learn from teachers and evaluators implementing the processes as well as rigorous, independent research. As such, we welcome your frank and thoughtful input about its effectiveness. We read and listen gratefully to your comments and are actively seeking opportunities to test the usefulness and efficacy of the system’s observation and evaluation practices. Together we can optimize the effectiveness of the Tulsa Model’s TLE Observation and Evaluation System and its ability to positively impact student achievement across Oklahoma.