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National Blog Notes Personalized Approach

Education Week, known as American education’s news site of record, published a recent blog noting the advantages of the Long Beach Unified School District’s personalized approach to teachers’ own learning.

In recent years, evaluation of students has shifted from a focus on so-called “summative assessments” such as final exams, to “formative assessments” that provide information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they’re happening.

“The same is true for educators,” the guest blog states.  “The more information we have about their needs and their students’ needs, the greater impact we can have on their professional learning and growth.”

EdWeek cites Long Beach as a prime example in the blog, titled “The Newest Trend in Data-Driven Decisionmaking.”

“One district that's embracing a personalized approach to professional development is Long Beach Unified School District (Calif.). In addition to providing teachers with a personalized professional development system called myPD, the district is leveraging data as part of the cycle of personalized professional learning,” the blog states.  “Toward that end, its teacher training evaluates teachers' needs based on their students' academic performance data, teachers' past training, self-evaluations and administrative feedback.  Once these needs are assessed, the myPD system helps teachers create a personal learning plan.  Teachers can then gauge their growth and set new goals by accessing integrated information from student academic performance data, coaching feedback and observations.  By offering teachers access to data in a way that's meaningful to them, the district is able to create more meaningful connections between teacher development and student learning.”

The blog’s authors are Woody Dillaha and Jeanette Haren, who run Performance Matters, a data management company.