CLASS Project

What is CLASS?

CLASS (Creative Leadership Achieves Student Success) is an innovative education initiative designed to empower teachers and raise student achievement. It is built around four components linked to effective teaching: expanded career paths, effective performance evaluations, relevant professional development, and new compensation models.

There are currently 215,256 students and 9,602 Oregon teachers in 40 school districts that have participated in the CLASS Project. About 40% of all Oregon students and 30% of teachers are in a CLASS district, and additional districts have approached Chalkboard about joining the project.

Chalkboard wants Oregon’s schools to be among the best in the nation.  We think the most effective way to achieve that goal is to pursue collaborative teacher effectiveness strategies like CLASS.  Our hope is that every school district in Oregon that wants to do this work has an avenue of funding and coaching available to them to do so.  To that end, we are seeking all relevant funding sources  - private, federal and state – to create broad based opportunity for school leaders.

Learn more about the CLASS Project.

What is TIF?

In October 2010, Chalkboard, in partnership with seven of the CLASS districts, received a federal Teacher Incentive Fund grant.

The following materials provide more information about the grant and its relationship to the CLASS Project.

The Oregon City School District will no longer participate in the TIF grant. Read the joint statement from Chalkboard and the Oregon City CLASS design team.

As of May 31, 2013, Lebanon will no longer participate in the TIF grant. Read the press release.

What will the TIF grant do?

  • Chalkboard’s TIF grant, in partnership with Albany, Bend-La Pine, Crook County, Lebanon, Redmond and Salem-Keizer, funds the work of the CLASS Project while expanding the project to meet federal TIF requirements.
  • In short, TIF regulations will require that participating districts define effective teaching, based in part on multiple measures of student achievement, and then redesign evaluation and compensation to recruit, reward, and retain effective teachers.
  • Participating districts will have a year to locally design the integration of new career paths, relevant professional development, effective performance evaluations and new compensation models. The new models will include:
    • Differentiated levels of compensation for effective teachers and principals
    • Fiscal sustainability of the comprehensive models, including the new compensation systems
    • Use of value-added measures of student achievement
    • Increased recruitment and retention of effective teachers to serve high-need students and in hard-to-staff subjects and specialty areas in high-need schools

>> TIF Participating Schools

>> Map of CLASS/TIF Districts

>> CLASS/TIF Strawman 2011

>> CLASS/TIF Strawman 2012

Will the TIF blueprint process be different than the CLASS blueprint process?

  • The comprehensive design work that the CLASS districts have already undertaken will provide the foundation for TIF.
  • While building on the CLASS process, the TIF blueprints will be framed a bit differently. In order to meet the federal requirements, districts will have to design the four components of CLASS (career paths, eval, PD, and compensation) in ways that specifically address the TIF priorities mentioned above, including: developing a definition or definitions of teacher/principal effectiveness; developing new compensation models that take effectiveness into account; and increasing the recruitment and retention of highly effective teachers in high-need schools and subjects.

Why CLASS?

  • Time and again, research shows that teachers are the single most important in-class factor in determining whether and how well students learn. In fact, a teacher’s influence on student achievement in the classroom is a full 20 times greater than the effect of any other variable, including class size and poverty. Source: Daniel Fallon. Case Study of a Paradigm Shift: The Value of Focusing on Instruction. (Education Research Summit, December 4, 2003). See www.nctaf.org/resources/events/2004_summit-1/documents/Fallon_Case_Study.doc.
  • CLASS helps recruit and retain highly effective teachers. Nearly 40% of Oregon’s new teachers leave the profession within their first five years.
  • CLASS lowers the high cost of teacher turnover. Oregon currently spends $45 million a year on teacher turnover costs.
  • Through CLASS, districts align their school improvement plans to raise student achievement with professional development and performance evaluations. Educators set student achievement goals and work together towards improving teaching and learning in the district.

>> See the Results of CLASS

CLASS Coaches

The CLASS Project Coaches assist Chalkboard in the development, implementation, and refinement of the pilot implementation of the CLASS Project in Oregon school districts. They work collaboratively and cooperatively with Chalkboard staff, project consultants, and pilot school district staff. Meet them here.

Resources

TIF 4 Feedback Letter – March 2012 – Chalkboard’s feedback letter to USDOE

Value-Added Measurement- January 2012 – A brief overview of the rapidly expanding literature

Preparing Principals to Evaluate Teachers- October 2011 – An article from the NGA Center for Best Practices discussing teacher evaluation and next steps, professional development, and what Governors can do to ensure principals receive proper training as well as how they can push for changes in state policy.

Value-Added Model (VAM): A Statistical Method for Measuring Student Growth- Winter 2011 – An easy to read chart that looks at CLASS, TIF and VAM

Value-Added Model of the Teacher Incentive Fund FAQ- Winter 2012 – Frequently asked questions about TIF and VAM