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BOSTON—August 10, 2010—Pearson, a global education, technology and services provider, has announced a collaboration with Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Technology in Education to bring to market the center’s widely acclaimed Teacher Compass, an easy-to-use online evaluation tool for collecting, organizing and analyzing teacher performance data, and providing personalized professional development plans for teachers, customized to their needs.

Teacher Compass has been designed to simplify the process of teacher observation and evaluation, allowing users to easily input data online via a laptop or mobile device, quickly disaggregate the results and generate easy-to-read reports and graphs related to various performance indicators.  The digital tool is highly customizable, supporting whatever evaluation framework and performance indicators have been chosen at the state, district or local levels.

Developed over a nine year period, with input from various district partners, Teacher Compass provides on-demand access to current and past observations, helping administrators quickly identify trends in instructional performance and professional growth.  This data can then be correlated to student reports to provide a broader view of teacher performance. Teacher Compass is unique in its ability to then take this information and provide online professional development videos and modules customized to each teacher’s specific needs.

Administrators and teachers using Teacher Compass say the tool improves the quality of their observation and evaluation processes, thus improving the teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom.  This is due, in part, to two key features that tie professional development to teacher evaluation:

  • “Best-practice suggested comments” allow administrators to author and associate feedback with specific performance indicators.  These comments can then be shared with evaluators, raising the general quality of evaluation feedback across schools and districts.
  • Professional development content can also be tied directly to performance indicators within teacher evaluation rubrics.  For teachers, this results in a personalized professional development plan for each one participating.

Teacher Compass will also be providing access to Pearson’s full complement of online professional development resources (i.e., tutorials, webinars, virtual consultation and coaching), which can be customized for individual or group professional development needs, to address issues of inter-rater reliability and to ensure effective implementation of a quality observational evaluation program.

“The observation process is a critically important yet time-intensive piece of teacher evaluation and coaching,” said Susan Badger, CEO of Pearson’s Teacher Education and Development Group.  “WithTeacher Compass, administrators have a simple, time-saving approach to observation and management of all the data necessary to complete a thorough evaluation.  And Teacher Compass empowers the teacher with information, feedback and personalized professional development to help them improve student achievement.”

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