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Making Evaluation Meaningful

Transforming the Conversation to Transform Schools
By: PJ Caposey

Foreword by Todd Whitaker

Offering a fresh perspective on teacher evaluation, this book guides administrators on how to transform their process to improve teacher practice and, ultimately, student achievement.

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Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506378893
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2017
  • Page Count: 152
  • Publication date: June 24, 2017

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Re-evaluate your perspective on teacher evaluation to truly transform school performance!

The tools, strategies, and reflections in this book provide realistic solutions to the problem faced by many schools: meaningless evaluation. A considerable amount of time, energy, and money is spent on the teacher evaluation process, yet the question remains whether it is truly transforming the learning of teachers and, therefore, students.

This practical guide shows how evaluation can become the tie that binds all school improvement activities together to:

  • Bring clarity and purpose to all educators making their roles more effective
  • Improve teacher practice since they receive better support
  • Increase student achievement and overall school culture

"For years, building leaders have been agonizing over teacher evaluations, pouring countless hours into a practice that consistently fails to produce the desired result; more meaningful conversations that produce improved quality instructional practices and increases in student achievement. In his book, Making Evaluation Meaningful, PJ Caposey shares a step by step framework filled with quick & easy to follow “Tips for Tomorrow,” as well as detailed examples to help you shift your mindset and behave yourself to a more effective instructional leader. This book will leave you questioning your own evaluation system while at the same time inspiring you to re-commit the time and resources needed to help grow and develop your teachers."

—Jimmy Casas, Principal and CEO

" PJ Caposey, through a practitioner lens, has developed an incredible guide that not only helps to demystify the evaluation process, but also provide ready-to- use strategies to ensure reflection and growth are the result. In the end evaluation must be meaningful for both parties. This book will help get you there."

—Eric Sheninger, Author/Consultant, Senior Fellow/Thought Leader

"PJ Caposey has developed a great resource on teacher evaluation that actually provides realistic, encouraging, and supportive guidance instead of an arbitrary checklist!"

—Larry Ferlazzo, Teacher, Author and Education Week Teacher advice blogger

Luther Burbank High School, Sacramento, CA


PJ Caposey photo

PJ Caposey

PJ Caposey’s has had a wide range of educational experiences throughout his career. Mr. Caposey’s educational career began by receiving the Golden Apple Scholarship in high school which supports students pursue their dream to teach by providing scholarship money and training in return for a commitment to teach in a need-based area. Mr. Caposey did just that after completing his studies at Eastern Illinois University by teaching at Percy Lavon Julian High School in the inner-city of Chicago.

After completing his administrative certification at National Louis University, Mr. Caposey served as an Assistant Principal in Rockford Public Schools before becoming the principal Oregon High School at the age of 28. After arriving at Oregon High School, Mr. Caposey and the school have received many honors. Personally, PJ was acknowledged by winning the Illinois Principal’s Association/Horace Mann Partners in Education Award and IPA Principal of the Year for NW Illinois. Additionally, Mr. Caposey personally has been selected as an Award of Merit winner by the Those Who Excel program sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education, was honored as one of the nation’s top young educators when announced as an Honoree for the ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award, has been named an ASCD Emerging Leader. PJ was named one of 25 Superintendents to watch nationally by NSPRA and won the INSPRA Distinguished Service Award of Excellence in 2016. More importantly, Oregon High School was named one of the nation’s top high schools by US News and World Report in 2012 and one of the top 2000 high schools in the country by Newsweek in 2013. Meridian has also received multiple national distinctions which will be released to the public in Fiscal Year 2017.

PJ recently earned his Doctoral degree through Western Illinois University and continues to write and guest blog for many websites such as Huffington Post, Eye on Education, ASCD, Edutopia, My Town Tutors, and Test Soup. PJ has also penned two books – his most recent co-authored with Todd Whitaker – named Building a Culture of Support: Strategies for School Leaders and Teach Smart: 11 Learner-Centered Strategies to Ensure Student Success. In addition, Mr. Caposey also serves as an adjunct professor for Aurora University within their educational leadership department and a principal coach for SUPES Academy.

PJ is a sought after presenter, consultant, and professional development provider and has spoken at many local, state, and national conferences. A short list of those entities which PJ has presented on behalf of include: ASCD, Illinois Principal’s Association, National Rural Educators Association, AdvanEd, and many others. PJ also enjoys the opportunity to work in different consultative capacities for schools and other organizations.

PJ served as the Oregon High School principal for four years and currently is in his third year as the Superintendent of Meridian 223. He is married, also to a teacher, who works with gifted students, and lives with his four children: two sons, Jameson and Jackson; and twin toddlers, Anthony and Caroline, in the Northwestern part of Illinois.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




About the Author


Being an Effective Instructional Leader Takes Practice

Learn From Mistakes

Rethink Established Theories

Don’t Neglect the Why and How

Focus on the Goal: Improving Practice

1. Realize Evaluation Undoubtedly Impacts Culture

Cultural Impact of Evaluation


2. Master the Technical Elements of the Tool

Close Reading

Time in Classrooms

Understanding of Best Practice

Creating a Crosswalk

Suggestion for Improvement Bank

Staying Current With Trends

3. Leverage the Opportunity Presented at a Pre-conference

Typical Pre-conference Experience

Pre-conference Versus Job Interview

Meaningful Pre-conference Questions

Framework Alignment

When a Pre-conference Goes Wrong


4. Possess a Game Plan for Every Observation

Three Typical Observational Practices

The Hybrid Solution

Reflective Conference Impact

5. Create a Process for Self-Reflection

Self-Assessment Dos and Don’ts

Guided Practice

Understand Evaluator Fear of Self-Assessment

Auxiliary Benefits

Evaluator Self-Assessment

6. Be Cognizant of the Questions Driving Effective Evaluation

Driving Questions

Are Suggestions for Improvement Present Across All Domains and Do They Exist for Components Rated Proficient as Well as Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory?

Are the Suggestions Provided Research Based and Grade and Content Appropriate for Each Teacher?

Does Feedback Link District Initiatives and Goals to Individual Teacher Performance?

Does the Administrator Explain the Why and How Behind Suggestions for Improvement?

Do Themes or Tendencies Emerge?

Is There Evidence of Framework Mastery for the Evaluator?

Is the Tone and Type of Language (Direct and Indirect) the Same Across All Evaluation Summaries?

Does the Evaluator Provide Context and an Understanding of the Personal and Professional Growth of the Teacher?

Does the Evaluator Provide Concrete Goals for Future Performance Outlined With Accountability Measures?

Does the Evaluator Communicate as if They Mutually Own the Future Growth of the Teacher?

Is Feedback Provided in a Consistent and Easy-to-Understand Manner?

7. The Reflective Conference

Fight Climbing the Ladder of Inference

Talk Less Than the Teacher

To Serve, Not to Convince

Questions Without Answers

The Answer Is Within Them

Schedules Match Priorities

Establish Goal Areas

Tips for Success for All Types of Reflective Conferences

8. Communicate for Teachers, Not to Them

Effective Feedback Strategies

9. Personalized Professional Development: Mutually Own Future Growth

Establishing a Personalized Professional Development Plan for Teachers

What Happens if I Am Not an Expert in This Area?

Conclusion (and a Note to Superintendents)

A Note to Superintendents

Resource: Suggestions-for-Improvement Bank





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.