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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Details surface on Pinellas' evaluation of Lastinger



Update at 11:26 a.m., Aug. 5: Last night, the Department of Education sent me the "action plans" the Pinellas school district submitted in June in response to shortcomings noted in the state's review of professional development. I just attached them below.

At today's Pinellas school board workshop on the teacher training partnership with Lastinger, district officials handed out what they referred to as a "planning document" that will guide an evalution of the program in coming months. "Hopefully we will be able to look at several different factors in the program and have a comprehensive report by December of this year," Behrokh Ahmadi from the research and accountability department told board members.

The document is attached below. Ahmadi said the evaluation begin in July. She said it will evolve as work is done and data is collected.

District officials told us in mid July that such an effort was underway, but did not respond to requests for details. Board members apparently were also unaware of the review.

"This is a good start ... but it would have been helpful is we saw this before we had the discussion at the board meeting," Linda Lerner said. "The board finds itself making important decisions ... without the basic information."

"This has been going on for three years. And where was this three years ago?" Terry Krassner said. "Where was anything that shows there was accountability of any kind going on?"

On a related note, board member Linda Lerner raised concerns about the recent state review of the district's professional development programs, which found deficiencies in how the district gauges whether its approaches to PD are rubbing off on student achievement. She said she was "very disappointed" that the administration didn't notify board members about it.

Janssen said PD director Lisa Grant thought she had sent it to board members, but found out later she didn't. "We hadn't done that before ... " she said of sending PD report to board members. "But we'll do whatever you want us to."

Grant said the district sent the state Department of Education an "action plan" in response to the report's findings. We've asked both DOE and the district to send it to us. If we get it, we'll post that too.

[Last modified: Friday, August 5, 2011 11:26am]


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