School system to issue surveys

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 15, 2016

LaGRANGE — The Troup County Board of Education on Thursday approved contracting with a group to survey all school system faculty, administrators, students and some parents.

The system will spend $39,900 to use the WE Surveys program. The program is operated by the Successful Practices Network, a not-for-profit organization co-founded in 2003 by consultant Willard Daggett, who leads the International Center for Leadership in Education, or ICLE, a group the school system has contracted with for consultation and coaching at a cost of nearly $800,000 this year.

The surveys are expected to help the system have more targeted coaching for its teachers and administrators, and allow teachers to gauge their students’ views, said Superintendent Cole Pugh. It is a step along the system’s current focus on “rigor and relevance” training, part of the ICLE consultant work.

Pugh cited an example of a Kansas City school district that used a similar process and worked with ICLE to make improvements incrementally over a few years.

“I’ve heard this throughout my career and I’ve seen this before — there is no silver bullet,” Pugh said. “A silver bullet is just one answer, if we could just buy a program or buy a book or just do one thing, it would solve our problem. Our problem is that student achievement is a complex problem, and there are no simple answers to complex problems.”

The first round of surveys are planned for October with the second in March or April, comparing the first to second to see if there has been improvement.

Classroom results would be provided to teachers, while principals would receive schoolwide results and central office administration would receive systemwide results. Pugh said the Kansas City school district upon which the plan is based used results to better target and focus on individual teaching to students and create a system improvement plan.

The Troup County School System already has a system improvement plan, but Pugh said staff will propose an update to the plan at October’s board meeting to align with its current goals.

Matthew Strother

Matthew Strother is the editor of LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2153.