Winter Park, Fla. — Jan. 23, 2013 — In an effort to improve the quality of education, an increasing number of states — including Florida — are passing laws that tie educator evaluations to student achievement. At the 2013 Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) next week in Orlando, a panel of education leaders will come together to discuss this hot topic and offer their insights into how districts are using multi-measure systems for teacher effectiveness to improve data-driven decision making and maximize their impact on student learning.

The panel session, titled “Tips and Tools for Taking Teacher Evaluations into the 21st Century,” will take place January 30 from 1:00 to 1:40 p.m. in Room S320G. The panel will include Marilyn Underwood, executive director of staff development for Marion County Public Schools, Fla.; Richard Kaplan, superintendent of schools for New Brunswick Public Schools, N.J.; Jack Smith, superintendent of schools for Calvert County Public Schools, Md.; Christopher Colwell, associate professor of education and director of undergraduate teacher education at Stetson University, Fla.; and Betty Molina Morgan, chief education advisor for America’s Promise Alliance, Washington, D.C.

Sharing lessons learned in school districts, the panelists will describe how educators are shifting from paper-based to technology-based evaluation tools to continuously monitor and improve their impact in key areas throughout the year. Participants will learn how districts are using guiding questions and self-assessments to empower educators to improve their craft, and implement policy and programs aligned to current needs. Participants will also gain insight into how educators are using new tools and technologies, such as the FASTe (Formative Action System for Teacher Effectiveness) online platform from Performance Matters, to progress monitor their performance against the multiple measures that make up their evaluations and link to relevant, timely professional development resources.

“Starting with the Race to the Top initiative in 2010, the push for stronger teacher evaluation programs has moved from recommendation to mandate, with nearly half of all states now requiring that teacher evaluations be linked to student performance data,” said Woody Dillaha, co-founder and CEO of Performance Matters. “It is critical, then, for K-12 administrators to be informed and learn from their colleagues about the methods and tools that will help them put into place systems that are fair to all and that comply with their state’s requirements. This session is a must-see for everyone.”

About Performance Matters
Performance Matters helps K-12 school systems improve student learning by providing comprehensive, integrated solutions for assessment, data management and teacher effectiveness. Based in Winter Park, Fla., Performance Matters’ solutions are used by school districts across the country. For more information, visit or call 407-645-1800.

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Leslie Eicher