Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Joseph Named Highlands Coalition Executive Director

Today, the Highlands Coalition released the following statement regarding the appointment of Wendy Joseph as the new Executive Director of the Highlands Coalition:

The Highlands Coalition announced today the appointment of Wendy Joseph as its next Executive Director. The Highlands Coalition is a Social Justice Organization working in Lynn concentrating on The Highlands Neighborhood and its residents, advocating for the economic, social, and political advancement of this historic area.

"I am delighted to be chosen to lead The Highlands Coalition at this important time in the Organization's development." Joseph said. "I have enjoyed my previous roles as Organizer and Project Manager and look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie before us."

"We are very grateful to our outgoing Executive Director David Gass for his enduring passion and achievements during his tenure." said Leslie Greenberg, Chair of The Highlands Coalition Board. "David's continued involvement as The Highland Coalition's Plant Manager will ensure consistency for the ongoing Garden activities."
"We are fortunate and pleased to have recruited Joseph, who has proved herself to be an exceptional leader and manger while working as a member of the Coalition." continued Greenberg.

During her time as a regular member of The Highlands Coalition, Joseph partnered with other organizations such as LYSOA, (Lynn's Youth Outreach Advocacy) team Antonio Gutierrez and Teresa DiGregorio and Councilor Billy Trahant, working to restore Henry Avenue Park, which had fallen into disrepair and was taken over by gangs. With an 'Engaging New Audiences' Grant from Mass Humanities, Joseph partnered with other local non-profits Girls Inc. and Kaya along with The Lynn Museum and North Shore Community College to film oral histories of immigrants and elders in The Highlands.

Continuing her association with Mass Humanities and working with Councilor Rich Collucci Joseph created the popular July 3rd High Rock Tower Park event, now in its 4th year.

Joseph played a lead role in working with the Lynn Human Rights Commission and Lynn City Council in the ongoing effort to bring voting back to the Ford School, and was a speaker at the recent Suffolk University Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights symposium.

Joseph has secured a Partnership Grant with Essex National Heritage to continue The Highlands Oral History Project with the goal of inspiring community pride and changing perceptions of The Highlands Neighborhood.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lynn Teacher Evaluation Ratings 2012-13

During the 2012-2013 school year, Race to the Top (RTTT) districts were required to implement the new Educator Evaluation framework with at least 50 percent of their educators district-wide. According to the data information:
Educators who were evaluated under the new system earned a Performance Rating of Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement, or Unsatisfactory. Each educator received an overall Performance Rating based on multiple categories of evidence, including evaluator judgments based on observations and artifacts of professional practice; evidence of fulfillment of both professional practice and student learning goals; and multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement
The Performance Ratings reported by districts may be either Summative Evaluation ratings, which occur at the conclusion of the full evaluation cycle, or Formative Evaluation ratings, which occur at the end of the first year of a two-year Self-Directed Growth Plan.

 The performance ratings are as follows: 
  • Exemplary: educator's performance consistently and significantly exceeds the requirements of a standard or overall.
  • Proficient: educator's performance fully and consistently meets the requirements of a standard or overall.
  • Needs improvement: educator's performance on a standard or overall is below the requirements of a standard or overall, but is not considered to be unsatisfactory at this time. Improvement is necessary and expected.
  • Unsatisfactory shall mean that the educator's performance on a standard or overall has not significantly improved following a rating of needs improvement, or the educator's performance is consistently below the requirements of a standard or overall and is considered inadequate, or both. 

Below are Lynn's teacher evaluations for the 2012-13 school year. 

*Teachers - Non-Professional Status and Teachers - Professional Status are subsets of the overall 'Teachers' category.
  • In total, 1209 educators (41.6%) were evaluated with 87.7% falling into the proficient category; no educators received an 'unsatisfactory' rating.
  • 476 non-administrators were evaluated. Non-administrators could be teachers, guidance counselors, school psychologists or instructional coaches. 87% of those evaluated in this category were proficient. 
  • 22.4% of teachers with non-professional status received an evaluation of 'needs improvement.' Non-professional teachers are those with less than three consecutive school years in a given school system; 219 teachers who were evaluated fell into this category.
  • 96.2% of teachers with professional status were proficient; 236 teachers were in this group. 

Teacher evaluations did vary at the individual school level. Here are some examples:
  • 14.3% of Classical High School teachers received an exemplary rating
  • Lynn Tech had the highest percentage of 'proficient' teachers at 98.4% (the other 1.6% received needs improvement)
  • Sisson Elementary School had the highest percentage of teacher receiving a needs improvement rating (41.7%)

All Data taken from: