Prairie Village, Kansas — April 26, 2011 — K-12 school district administrators across the nation have been struggling to adjust to education reform initiatives that place new requirements on teacher performance evaluation reporting. The predominance of inefficient and costly paper-based processes have proven to be a detriment to districts, making suitable reporting difficult, and adding burden to district administrators and principals. With new availability of government funds for qualifying school districts, the urgency has been amplified, prompting thought-leading school districts to look for changes that will bring their performance evaluation systems in line with these new guidelines.
Forward-thinking school districts have turned to a cloud-based software program from Kansas City-based Netchemia called TalentEd Perform to immediately improve their teacher performance evaluation process. Designed specifically to comply with legal and state regulations while maintaining existing district evaluation processes, the software not only satisfies reform initiatives, but can also help to qualify districts for grants in Race to the Top states, and for ARRA funds that are currently being distributed.
TalentEd Perform was released in July 2010, and thought-leading districts anxious to stay ahead of the curve quickly took interest. “We were well-aware of our own performance evaluation inefficiencies, and at the same time, saw the growing emphasis on accountability at the state and federal level.” said Milli McIntosh, Director of Human Resources for Simpson County Schools in Kentucky, “We knew that being proactive in our strategy would be beneficial both in the short-run, and for the future of the school district.” Moving from a paper-based system to a technology-based platform has shown to decrease costs and increase efficiency for school districts, but convincing districts to change from the status quo can be difficult. School districts such as Simpson County Schools in Kentucky, Hutto School District in Texas, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, and Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska, have demonstrated that they are willing to automate their processes if there is firm evidence that the change will be beneficial. Nancy Biggs, Assistant Superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools, saw that value, “We realized that there would be immediate benefits to an automated system for performance evaluations. The most evident was the overall time and cost savings—two incredibly precious commodities for administration and HR in today’s school districts.”
While district administrators in these school districts are realizing the reporting and accountability benefits of TalentEd Perform, Principals and school officials, often strapped for time and resources, are finding the efficiency of the software to be the key attribute. “Our principals see the greatest benefit from TalentEd Perform. Automating the management of the appraisal process allows our principals to focus on their main work, improving instruction.” said Nancy Biggs. Principals using TalentEd Perform have the benefit of letting the software track who is being evaluated and when. With the additional time created for them, Principals are able to place more of their focus on supporting teachers and students in their school. Human resource administrators are enjoying the reduced paperwork, the simplified record keeping, and the ability to quickly identify trends throughout their district.
The rapid adoption by these districts is likely due to the genesis of the product. TalentEd Perform was developed specifically to address the challenges that K-12 administrators face. “TalentEd Perform is not a business application that was tweaked to fit the K-12 market,” said Carlos Antequera, CEO of Netchemia. “It was designed from the ground up to meet the specific HR needs of school districts of all sizes. It is robust and comprehensive enough for big districts, but affordable enough for small ones as well.” Following the lead of the early adopting districts, use of TalentEd Perform has grown to include school districts of varying sizes in eleven states, and continues to gain momentum.
For more information about TalentEd Perform, cloud-based performance management system, contact Netchemia: www.netchemia.com or 1.800.490.9686.
Further Insight into the Industry
Adding to the performance evaluation discussion have been the recent publishing of high-profile op-eds from the likes of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, News Corp. Executive Vice President Joel Klein, and American Federation for Teachers President Randi Weingarten, to name a few. While each offers a distinct direction in the discussion, they all agree that a well-defined framework for teacher evaluation is necessary for the improvement of K-12 education in America. In addition, debates over collective bargaining rights, teacher unions, tenure, and class-size have put the focus squarely on K-12 administrators to address the need for an evaluation system with the necessary capabilities.
About Netchemia LLC
Netchemia is one of the fastest-growing on-demand providers of data management solutions for K-12 school districts. Netchemia’s cloud-software platform delivers simple, quick and affordable management solutions for Performance Evaluation (TalentEd Perform™), Recruitment & Hiring (SchoolRecruiter™) and Special Education (netIEP®), with no hardware to buy or software to install.
Netchemia serves more than 400 educational organizations across the nation. The company’s applications enable school districts of any size to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and achieve positive educational impacts.