VASCD Journal

Journal 2013

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Page 25 of 66

Reliability Meets Reality in Classroom Observation For principals and assistant principals, just finding the time to conduct classroom observations is difficult. Even more challenging is ensuring that observation data is meaningful and fair - especially when personal relationships are involved. We must ensure the validity of our observation tools, so that our results reflect impact on student learning. Reliability in observation ratings ensures that they are fair to all teachers. When leaders have confidence that their conversations with teachers rest on valid, reliable data, the focus of the conversation can be less on personal relationships and judgment, and more on continuous improvement of practice. Virginia Vitiello Ginny Vitiello earned her B.A. in Psychology at New College of Florida and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Miami. Prior to joining the team at Teachstone, she spent a year at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia as research associate. Ginny's own research has looked at relations between preschool process quality and child outcomes among at-risk children. As Teachstone's Research and Evaluation Director, Ginny works with partners to develop research strategies and add to our knowledge of effective teaching. Laurie McCullough Laurie McCullough has taught at the elementary, middle, high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. She has served in school leadership positions as a Principal, Math/Science Coordinator, Director of Student Achievement and Director of Instruction in school divisions in Central Virginia. Laurie has recently completed a term of office on the ASCD Board of Directors. Currently she is the Executive Director of Virginia ASCD. 26 Virginia Educational Leadership Vol. 10 No. 1 2013

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