How Student Outcomes for Two Louisiana Districts Soared with Teacher Coaching & Instructional Support
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Moving the Needle with Instructional Coaching
Research shows that instructional coaching has a greater impact on instruction than almost all school-based interventions, including traditional professional development. In fact, personalized teacher coaching is an essential way to improve the number of effective educators in the classroom, regardless if they are novice or experienced educators.
When school leaders foster an environment of positive instructional coaching, they help educators develop a sense of collective teacher efficacy, the shared belief by a group of teachers that they have the ability and skills to positively impact student outcomes. Researcher John Hattie ranks collective teacher efficacy as one of the top influences on student achievement with an effect size of 1.36—three times the effect that socio-economic status has on student achievement. Meaning that having this shared belief within a community of educators that have built relationships, can learn from one another, feel trusted and respected, and feel they have the tools to do their jobs well is the one factor that will impact student outcomes greater than anything else. One proven way to nurture collective teacher efficacy is through instructional coaching programs that are personalized to each educator’s needs and are focused on growth instead of evaluation.
Collective Teacher Efficacy is one of the top influences on student achievement with an effect size of 1.36—three times the effect that socio-economic status has on student achievement.
When schools and districts invest in instructional coaching, student achievement increases in measurable ways, as identified by two recent examples in the state of Louisiana.
Calcasieu Parish Schools & St. Landry Parish Schools
In 2018, Bullseye was adopted by two mid-size school systems in Louisiana, Calcasieu Parish School Board, a district with 66 schools and approximately 31,000 students and St. Landry Parish School Board, a district with 34 schools and nearly 13,000 students. Both invested heavily in teacher coaching and came to Bullseye looking for an instructional support system to enhance their coaching & support programs.
Outdated & Fractured Instructional Support Models
Both Calcasieu Parish and St. Landry Parish wanted to instill a focus on teacher coaching with the end goal of developing more high-quality teachers. Both were using out-dated models of paper and pencil and/or Google doc note capturing following coaching observations, which led to delayed feedback loops between instructional leaders and teachers.
They lacked a cohesive shared instructional vision and goals were set but not visited or addressed on a regular basis. Both were also choosing professional development initiatives based on hot topics or availability of experts instead of the needs of their teachers.
These fractured systems led to inconsistent student outcomes, teacher retention, and a lack of collective teacher efficacy within both districts.
Real-Time, Meaningful Teacher Feedback & Coaching
By partnering with Bullseye, Calcasieu Parish and St. Landry Parish were able to both articulate their instructional visions and develop frameworks around these in the Bullseye platform as the first step in improving teaching and learning within their schools.
Once coaching cycles began, feedback was captured in real-time and teachers could work with instructional leaders to personalize growth areas or needs, set individualized goals, and see their progress immediately after observations. The platform has allowed for videos and photos to be captured & shared, and for two-way communication between leaders and coaches to discuss challenges, celebrations, goals, and more.
Today, CPSB & St. Landry leaders have a holistic view of teachers’ goals and needs and are able to align professional development to those needs, both for individuals and school or district-wide trends.
Grow Instructional Practices & Improve Student Learning
Both Calcasieu Parish & St. Landry Parish saw increases in average standard test scores between 2018-19 and 2020-21 that were significantly greater than the state average during that same period. In addition, schools within these districts who were using Bullseye more regularly than other schools saw significantly greater growth.
“Bullseye has helped to improve student outcomes across our school. Using Bullseye, we can easily celebrate wins and pinpoint areas where our teachers need the most support. With this, we have created a culture of coaching and continuous improvement; teachers appreciate the personalized feedback they receive and can take immediate action rather than waiting for the next lesson plan or unit. This immediate and targeted feedback is a huge reason why we have been able to grow student learning.”
Dr. Shannon LaFargue
Superintendent, Calcasieu Parish Schools
"You can’t improve if you don’t know what to improve. When principals and administrators are in the classroom, observing teachers and students, and providing quality feedback, you start seeing the impacts of it immediately. And being able to have a product like Bullseye that allows us to do those things effectively, it makes all the difference in the world."
Mr. Patrick Jenkins
Superintendent, St. Landry Parish Schools