SERVE Home Page
SERVE Center for Continuous Improvement
  Products and Publications
  Professional Development
  Tools and Resources
Education Leadership Program


Topic Areas Emerging Issues About SERVE
SERVE > Topic Areas > Educator Quality > Overview




Quality educators create quality students, schools, and communities. SERVE builds educator quality by providing teachers and school and district leaders with the knowledge, skills, and experience to create powerful, lasting, and effective change that leads to increased professional learning and higher student achievement.


Professional Learning Communities

In schools characterized as professional learning communities, staff members commit to continual learning and to supporting others in continual learning. The driving force of the professional learning community is collective inquiry into teaching and learning that leads to higher student achievement. Through collaborative teamwork, faculties learn together, grow professionally, and support one another in becoming more accomplished instructors. SERVE provides resources to help faculties in such schools increase the quality of their professional learning, develop a collaborative culture, and share a collective sense of responsibility for the success of all students.

Teachers as Researchers

Teachers need superior skills in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data and in acting on the results. Given the immense quantity and quality of information available and the tendency for teachers to have minimal research experience and confidence, those superior skills can be difficult to attain. With these realities in mind, SERVE provides training and follow-up support in the action-research process. This powerful process can help teachers become highly competent seekers and users of knowledge and self-reflective, collaborative practitioners. This results in improved instructional practice and enhanced student-learning outcomes.

Educator Growth and Assessment

A fundamental element for developing effective educators is a personnel evaluation system that provides clear systematic feedback based on commonly understood expectations for performance. This evaluation system is just the starting point and not the destination. Resources and structures for improvement that are aligned with these expectations must also be in place. SERVE began with its Teacher Growth and Assessment process for experienced teachers. Responding to the steep learning curve of novice teachers, SERVE modified this process to be a graduated system of accountability to help build the practice of first- and second-year teachers—the Beginning Teacher Growth and Assessment. Transferring this idea of accountability and feedback to principals, SERVE is currently developing a complementary system for principals—Principal Leadership Growth and Assessment. In addition, SERVE is developing mentor programs for both novice teachers and novice principals that rely on the experience of veteran colleagues and focus on performance expectations of the district.