A Note to South Carolina Educators
Educators make a real difference in the lives of students. South Carolina has been a national leader by having requirements around the professional practice of educators for decades. Over time, these requirements have evolved. The Expanded ADEPT Support and Evaluation System represents yet another step in this journey of improving teacher professional practice for the benefit of ALL students in South Carolina. The intent in new approaches to teacher evaluation is to shine a flashlight on where teachers practice is effective and where teachers can grow in their craft. The primary goal is not to use evaluation as a “hammer,” but rather as a tool that informs an educator’s professional growth and development, with emphasis on the direct connection between teacher practices and increased student learning through the incorporation of student academic growth measures into classroom-based teachers’ evaluation. Revisions in our current system seek to align and strengthen professional practice to support the intended student outcomes. Effective teachers have always focused on identifying student strengths and weaknesses, facilitating meaningful student learning and monitoring student progress towards their educational goals. Including student growth measures within teacher evaluation simply rewards and recognizes a focus on what matters most: our children.
This journey to improve educator professional practice does not end with these guidelines. The SC legislature, State Board of Education, and Department of Education have adopted the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate, which requires a re-thinking of educational learning systems and the work of educator teams across the state. The state’s expectations for educators will continue to change as our knowledge as a profession grows and as a result of implementation feedback. The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) is committed to the continuous improvement of the system.
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