Frequently Asked Questions

What does the School ADvance system include?

The School ADvance system includes three essential components:

  • School ADvance Administrator Evaluation Tools to help districts, not only comply with Michigan’s requirements to annually evaluate principals, central office administrators and superintendents, but also use the results to stimulate learning, growth, and adaptation.
  • School ADvance Training and Support to help districts implement the School ADvance Administrator Evaluation System and provide ongoing assistance through an Implementation Network that emphasizes developing district capacity.
  • Growth PLUS Systems Design and Development to help all district leaders create an integrated evaluation system focused on learning, growth, and adaptation. GrowthPLUS is appropriate for schools using any state-approved system(s) for teacher and administrator evaluation.

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Districts that implement the School ADvance administrator evaluation system with fidelity will be in compliance with the state’s 2010 requirements and the July, 2013 MCEE recommendations. The system addresses each of Michigan’s current requirements and those recommended for 2013-14 and beyond:

• Incorporates student growth and assessment data (Domain 1-Results)

• Employs rubrics with effectiveness ratings of highly effective, effective, minimally effective, and ineffective (ratings will be updated based on final statute).

Legislation addressing educator evaluation was introduced in mid-January 2014. The legislation in large part honors the recommendations made by the MCEE. MASA has prepared a policy brief (pending) that describes that legislation. It also addresses Michigan’s current requirements for administrator evaluation—requirements School ADvance was designed to meet and for which we are training districts at present.

The legislation as drafted does propose a provision for approving additional evaluation models, but the criteria for approval is extensive and rigorous. Even if a district is inclined to undertake the rigorous approval process, we do not recommend districts attempt to continue using self-developed tools, due to the high likelihood that it could invite litigation by employee groups.

The draft education evaluation bills do not address merit or performance pay. Those issues are taken up in a separate bill, and at present there are not enough votes to support moving forward mandating that districts use evaluation results to influence merit- or performance-based pay. Neither set of bills prohibit districts from using evaluation results when determining pay if they feel they have a good system in place for doing so.

School ADvance is designed to align with six characteristics of evaluation practice that support learning, growth and adaptation. It supports both district and building level improvement initiatives. It focuses on building capacity and provides a clear path for continuous growth for school leaders. Building and district administrators operate under an aligned and complementary set of performance expectations all of which are supported by observable behaviors.

In addition to the advantages stated above, the School ADvance system is developed and supported by Michigan based authors, researchers, trainers, and professional organizations (MASA and Michigan ASCD). School ADvance is one of only two models recommended by the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness.

School ADvance is a comprehensive system for evaluating the performance of school administrators. The system includes evaluation rubrics, implementation manuals, evidence collection protocols, observation tools, rating guides, and growth plans. School ADvance also provides on-line resources, video resources, and a full spectrum of training and support options.

School ADvance provides both summary and expanded evaluation rubrics for principal and central office/superintendent positions. The summary rubrics provide a compact set of performance indicators for the summative evaluation. The full detailed rubrics provide descriptors of observable behaviors and traits (the “look for’s”) that support formative self assessment, observations, performance conversations, and growth plans. Both the summary and expanded rubrics address key responsibilities and functions of building or district leadership.

Yes, during the basic training sessions, School ADvance will help guide districts in aligning the rubrics with each administrator position to be evaluated, depending on specific assignment and scope of responsibility. In addition, districts will learn how to weight various components in the rubric to reflect individual growth goals and building/district improvement priorities.

The School ADvance Results Domain can be aligned with both building and district improvement targets utilizing a combination of student achievement, school process, student engagement, attendance, behavior, perception, and other relevant data to monitor progress and growth.

Teacher, student, parent, and community input are addressed throughout the School ADvance rubrics. Feedback can be used and uploaded as evidence pertaining to one or more evaluation characteristics. Districts can use any current or new survey tool (e.g., Survey Monkey, K12 Insight, Cobalt Community Research, etc.) to solicit feedback on specific school or district improvement targets within an administrator’s scope of responsibility. School ADvance also recommends the use of validated multi-rater instruments for direct feedback to administrators.

We recommend that School ADvance evaluation rubrics be used in an electronic management system to accommodate the upload of data collected on any of the factors addressed in the evaluation rubrics or the state growth model. Electronic management platforms save time, make the evaluation process more efficient, and enable closer monitoring and tracking of performance over time. The Zimco Stages electronic management tool is a complete electronic platform to support School ADvance.

Michigan requires training for all persons contributing to an educator’s evaluation. School ADvance recommends that all administrators who will either be evaluated or evaluate others

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should complete the School ADvance basic training. The basic training includes training on rater and inter-rater reliability for conducting observations, doing self-assessments, and demonstrating performance evidence.

In Domain 5, the School ADvance rubrics rate principals based on the quality of their teacher evaluation practices and adherence to both state and local teacher evaluation system requirements. In most cases, evaluators can randomly sample teacher evaluations for each principal through the local electronic management system.

MASA and Michigan ASCD sponsored the development of School ADvance as a service to their members. As a result, we can offer a low cost structure. Michigan districts may purchase School ADvance in one of three ways:

A. School ADvance rubrics only - Limited licensing agreements for the stand-alone School ADvance rubrics are available at a rate of $30 per school building for principal evaluation and $30 per central office administrator, including the superintendent.

School ADvance is currently included or under consideration for inclusion in other state evaluation models outside of Michigan. School ADvance is completely adaptable and available under the same three purchase options, but pricing may vary depending on travel and other logistical costs. Please contact us for a quote.

School ADvance provides basic training as well as an ongoing implementation network for districts who are implementing the Administrator Evaluation System. In addition, GrowthPLUS provides training and support to help districts align their teacher and administrator evaluation processes with overall district assessment and improvement systems. GrowthPLUS is available to all Michigan districts regardless of which state approved teacher and/or administrator evaluation tools selected by the district.

School ADvance can be easily adopted—without changing the way they track, manage, store and communicate evaluation data—in districts that are using three of the four teacher evaluation systems recommended by the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness.

Contact MASA at (517) 327-5910, Michigan ASCD at (517) 327-5910 or Tina Kerr at tkerr@gomasa.org