Newton-Conover in North Carolina Documents Improvement in the Calibration of Their Classroom Observers

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Empirical Education, working with our partner BloomBoard, initiated a pilot implementation of North Carolina’s Observation Calibration Training (OCT) platform. The OCT platform uses BloomBoard’s Professional Development resource library as an entry point for Observation Engine with its calibration activities and suite of observer training modules developed in collaboration with McREL International. The 2014–15 pilot included voluntary participation from administrators in 32 LEAs. Participants were provided with an introduction to the project and available resources via webinar in November 2014, and were given access to written instructional materials and a short demonstration video. As a part of the pilot, participants were to complete the following tasks in Observation Engine:

  • observe one full-length video and rate all observable North Carolina Educator Evaluation System (NCEES) elements
  • watch short video clips focused on one specific NCEES element (17 lessons available with 2 clips for each observable element)
  • complete a second scoring study with a different video and score all observable NCEES elements

One of the participating LEAs, Newton-Conover City Schools (NCCS), took a highly collaborative approach, integrating OCT resources into biweekly face-to-face principals meetings. These activities lead to significant improvements in accuracy of observations using the North Carolina rubric.  We describe the pilot activity and quantitative results of NCCS in this case study.

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Proposal coordinator and marketing manager for Empirical Education Inc.

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