Preparing for the New York City School Quality Review
Theresa London Cooper
The school is a busy place where something is always happening. We frequently have visitors from the city and the state. Years ago schools underwent a PASS review to determine the quality of instruction as it related to student achievement. Monitors visited classrooms to observe instruction. Today, we have another process that is similar called the Quality Review conducted by NYC Department Of Education staff, such as your superintendent or a member of your network team. During this time, visitors use a specific rubric to assess the integrity of the school environment as a place of teaching and learning for student achievement.
If you are not aware of this process, it would behoove you to inquire. Find out if your school is going to have one or has had one. Ask to see the report. It is important as a professional to be informed about what is happening in the place you teach. What do you want visitors to observe when they visit your room? As a classroom teacher, I always tried to maintain a standard that did not require much preparation. I used the standards as a guide, I planned thoroughly, and I established and maintained effective norms and procedures to ensure that my class ran smoothly. There is just too much stress in trying to prepare for a visit at the last minute.
If you don’t already have one, try to get your hands on the Quality Review rubric. Read it over thoroughly and determine which of your practices are already parts of the Review and see how you can embed those other elements into your practice. Visit the NYC Department of Education website to gather additional information.
Furthermore, I would encourage you to review the National Board Professional Teaching Standards and NYC standards for your given subject and grade to make as many connections as possible. In my own practice, comparing important documents with which I must be familiar helps me acquire a deeper understanding of how multiple ideas work together to complement each other.
Lastly, you might decide to speak with colleagues from other schools to gain varied perspectives on the entire process of the Quality Review. Find out what they have learned and how they prepared.
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