Farmington teacher is on state panel to develop new evaluation processBoeckman Middle School teacher Lynda Ihlan admits she has an interest in some political things – particularly, those that involve teaching. Thanks to that interest, she’s going to have a role in planning a statewide teacher evaluation process.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Boeckman Middle School teacher Lynda Ihlan admits she has an interest in some political things – particularly, those that involve teaching. Thanks to that interest, she’s going to have a role in planning a statewide teacher evaluation process.
During the 2011 legislative special session, an education omnibus bill passed that requires school districts to set a new, three-year review cycle for teacher evaluations. Farmington is planning to get started on one for School District 192 this summer. However, knowing there are some districts that may not have the resources to do a process of their own, Department of Education commissioner Brenda Cassellius decided to appoint a panel to develop a teacher evaluation framework that could be used, as well.
And that’s where Ihlan got on board. When she heard the Department of Education was looking for teachers to participate, Ihlan signed up.
“I was at a workshop earlier this fall, and Brenda Cassellius was there,” Ihlan said. “She said to let them know if we were interested in being part of it, so that’s what I did. I let her know.”
About 100 educators from around the state were interested, but only 35 could be named to the panel.
Ihlan’s job started this week, with her first trip to Roseville, where the Department of Education offices are located. This week’s meeting was an introductory session, where she and the others on the panel reviewed legislation and No Child Left Behind information from the federal level.
The group will meet at least once a month between now and August. In those meetings, they’ll gook at different evaluation processes in use around the state. They’ll nitpick on things like terms and legal issues. They’ll look at models from other states, and they’ll figure out what works well and what does not.
By June, the group will start to put together a model for teacher evaluations. They’ll iron out the final details over the summer, but by late summer or early fall, the panel will be ready to present a new process to the commissioner for her approval.
Ihlan is also going to be part of the group that sets up Farmington’s new model for teacher evaluations. By the time Farmington gets going in the process, she’ll have several months worth of data and direction from the state, so she’s anxious to use that information to benefit District 192.
“I hope to be able to have different perspectives that will be beneficial at both places,” she said. “I’m very excited, very honored that I was one of the people chosen. I feel very fortunate.”
Ihlan is in her 12th year as a teacher in School District 192.