Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency

Assessment

Assessment system and unit evaluation standard: The unit’s assessment system shall appropriately monitor individual candidate performance and use that data in concert with other information to evaluate and improve the unit and its programs.

The IPLA program uses multiple methods in the one delivery model. The delivery model consists of meeting face to face with the Cohort members (groups of approximately 15) on a regular basis on selected Saturdays at which time a Seminar Leader will share information about one phase of a Standard. The Seminar Leaders are all experts in their field and serve as mentors both during the course of the IPLA program and after a candidate has received certification and finds a position in the administrative field. The Cohort members finish the course with an expert mentor in every phase of the Standards. Another important part of the model consists of the sub- cohorts. Each Cohort is divided into groups of 3 – 4 people in a sub-cohort. They act as a support group both during the IPLA program and after the program is complete. The Cohort Director is the leader who unites all phases of the program into a cohesive whole and unites the Cohort into a supportive family group. Very few candidates drop out once the bond is formed unless they are not prepared to put the time and effort into a very intense learning program. The whole program is based on clinical experiences and Action Research. It is the philosophy of the program that you learn by doing, not just reading about it and talking about it. Those in the field have expressed their appreciation of being well prepared for almost all administrative experiences.

Each of the six standards is assessed with a comprehensive portfolio, which collects, summarizes and analysizes the data for the standard. Section VII. B. on the website gives the framework of the Problem-Based Learning Themes.

The entire program is based on the ISSL standards. Course work is divided into six distinct areas, each corresponding to one standard. The alignment of Academic Program Content, Clinical Program Content and Assessment Program Content for Standard I is included in this section, but the alignment of all six standards can be found in Appendix B on this web site.

Alignment of Program Content, Clinical Content and Assessment with ISSL Standards

Standard I A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students facilitating the development, articulation, implementation of stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community (shared vision).

Academic Program Content Clinical Program Content Assessment Program Content
Problem-Based Learning Theme 1
Seminar 1. The Educational Leader: creating the vision for successful schools and staff.
Problem-based learning Theme 1: How is a shared vision developed that clearly drives the school improvement process over time and continually promotes the success of all students? Portfolio: Completed Activities, Log, Reflective Journaling, and Tool Box Activities
Topics include:
  1. selected theories in system, leadership, and design principles
  2. research and best practice in learning and motivation theories, including effective consensus-building and negotiation skills
  3. uses of technology related to data gathering and communication
  4. strategies to develop vision, mission, core beliefs and methods to monitor and assess the implementation
Clinical Activities: Participants will conduct clinical work for the problem-based learning theme with the support of mentors and cohort group. Primary activities to learn the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for Standard 1 include:
  1. conduct an action research study based on the School-wide Action Research Model (Calhoun) to determine the degree of staff, student, and community involvement to implement the current district building vision and mission, and the relationship to meet diverse learning needs of students
  2. develop an Action Plan and Staff Development Plan to monitor and measure continuous implementation of vision and mission in the building that results in improvement of student achievement and the development of a building learning community
  3. collect and disaggregate student achievement and learning environment data, including use of technology to display the data
  4. review the literature regarding learning theories in reading for students with diverse learning needs and ways exemplary schools create an environment for diverse learning needs
  5. interview staff, parents, and students to determine if the school vision is communicated and if it shaped student learning needs
  6. complete Tool Box Activities, including review of district needs assessment data, list of community resources, and results of conducting an actual development (with students) of a vision, mission, and beliefs
Each participant will develop a portfolio for each Standard that includes:
  1. annotated bibliography of research articles, books, papers
  2. graphs and data summary of student learning
  3. Action and Staff Development Plan
  4. Tool Box Activities
  5. Cohort group reflections
  6. Journal reflections
Standard 1 Continuous Improvement Continuum: School and Community Rubric
Two assessments occur using the Standard 1 Rubric: the Program Director assesses the portfolio and each participant completes a self-assessment. Each participant must score at the proficient level (4 or 5) to continue in the program. Participants may refine work not at proficiency level with a set period of time determined by the Program Director. If work remains incomplete or substandard, participants my not continue in the program.

A checklist and rubrics have been developed to determine candidate’s progress on the unit standards. Students reflect on each standard at the completion of each one. The reflections include Overall Standard reflection, Seminar Leader reflections and Journal reflections. Cohort Directors read and comment on each student’s reflection. There is a list of tool box activities (Appendix H) that goes with each standard plus an Action Research activity.

Although the ultimate evaluator is the Cohort Director, different methods have been used to review and revise the assessment system. This is a topic at every Executive Board meeting as well as Advisory Council meetings. We are constantly seeking more accountable ways of assessing the candidates.

Seminar leaders are all proven experts in their fields and are chosen because of this expertise.

The application for the IPLA program is found on-line by following this link.

An initial requirement is that all candidates must have a master’s degree in a related field before they are even considered for admission to the IPLA program. Other requirements can be found on the admission form.

There is continual feedback to the cohort members both from the Cohort Director and other Cohort members. Professionals are often brought in to provide additional feedback, such as panels of professionals in the field to evaluate presentations, to evaluate portfolios, etc. The Cohort Directors are constantly looking for ways to improve assessment and feedback to the candidates.

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