Built on a longstanding partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education to implement sustained systems for teacher leadership, professional learning, and educator evaluation and compensation, NIET and the Department entered a new partnership focused on teacher training. The effort included the development of the statewide teaching standards rubric and ensuring teacher preparation programs, districts and schools align to define and recognize effective teaching. NIET also works with school leaders in the state's highest-need schools to build their capacity as coaches for classroom teachers.
A model for teacher preparation, observation and evaluation
NIET partnered with the South Carolina Department of Education to develop the South Carolina Teaching Standards 4.0, which is based on the NIET Teaching Standards Rubric and serves as the state model for classroom teacher observation and evaluation.
Following the adoption of the new state teaching standards, NIET trained educators statewide, beginning with faculty at higher education institutions' teacher preparation programs across the state, to support them in understanding the new standards and how they impact new teachers entering the classroom. The following year, NIET trained district and school staff in the new standards, enabling them to build their own knowledge while also building a common understanding of what strong teaching looks like in their building. This work impacts 47,000 educators across 80 school districts in South Carolina, and 30 institutions of higher education.
Building school leader capacity
In the 2018-2019 school year, NIET entered a partnership with high-need schools on the list for school improvement, or Priority Schools, in Orangeburg. Through intensive coaching and support for school leaders, NIET is helping leaders build their capacity to coach classroom teachers. For example, NIET coaches support principals in the use of walk-throughs to identify and address immediate needs and provide hands-on coaching to principals as they work to address those needs.