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Noteworthy Books

"Defensible Teacher Evaluation" and other reading picks for district leaders

Recommended reading includes books on data, devices and high-level learning
Author Rick Stiggins believes that classroom assessment is more effective than standardized tests in providing the student growth data.

Defensible Teacher Evaluation: Student Growth Through Classroom Assessment


Author Rick Stiggins believes that classroom assessment is more effective than standardized tests in providing the student growth data needed to evaluate teachers. This book shows district leaders how to create an assessment program that evaluates teachers fairly and will help schools improve.

It provides a plan for teacher evaluation and strategies for improving the assessment literacy of teachers and school leaders. It also provides sample evaluations, including rating systems and questionnaires.

For more information: Defensible Teacher Evaluation

How Teachers Can Turn Data into Action


By providing a teacher-friendly “data action model,” author Daniel R. Venables explains in this publication the process for reviewing and responding to student assessment data in cycles of two to nine weeks. With Venables' process, teachers and administrators can identify gaps in a student's learning and learn how to collaborate on solutions to develop a goal-driven action plan.

Readers will also learn how to evaluate their school's data action plan's effectiveness after implementation and determine the next course of action. The book also includes templates and protocols on which to focus and deepen data strategies among district leaders.

For more information: How Teachers Can Turn Data into Action

Bring Your Own Learning: Transform Instruction with Any Device


Administrators can learn how to effectively implement mobile learning, including BYOD. Author Lenny Schad, now the chief information officer of Houston ISD, explains in this book how he transitioned Texas’ Katy ISD to mobile learning.

He lays out several strategic initiatives for providing anytime, anywhere access to information through mobile devices, which includes making instructional resources, like videos and presentations, available via the cloud. Schad stresses the importance of ensuring the school board, superintendent, district staff, teachers, parents and students are all on board.

For more information: Bring Your Own Learning.

The Language of Learning: Teaching Students Core Thinking, Listening, & Speaking Skills

Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.

This book focuses on proven, practical strategies for teaching children the communication skills that are critical to high-level learning. Author and educator Margaret Berry Wilson gives educators the strategies for moving students toward fluency in five core competencies: listening, speaking, crafting an argument, asking and answering questions, and the art of agreeing and disagreeing. It also includes Common Core correlation tables that connect each chapter to specific speaking and listening standards.

For more information: The Language of Learning