Renewing focus on the power of education

Welcome back.

This time of year brings teachers and students back together again in classrooms all across the country, giving us a renewed perspective on just how important education is to our lives and our society.

It also demonstrates just how much educators can shape the future as they ignite a passion in students for learning, knowledge, and becoming the best they can be — both in and out of school.

We get a real sense of this with our Inspired2Educate recognition program, which encourages current educators to share their stories about the teacher, principal, or staff member who inspired them to make education their life’s work.

PeopleAdmin’s role in all of this is simple: We’re here to make sure schools and districts have the best available solutions and insights to acquire, develop and manage today’s star teachers … so students are given the best chance to succeed.

We’ve grown a lot since last school year, adding to our portfolio TeacherMatch solutions, such as The Educators Professional Inventory (EPI), our revolutionary hiring tool that predicts teacher effectiveness, and Thrive Instructional Proficiency Inventory (IPI), our professional development tool that can identify, assess and target the specific learning needs of every teacher. These tools identify — with analytical precision — the impact of teacher candidates on student achievement, and help educators continue to develop at any point in their career life cycle.

Check out our Q&A below with Chief Research Officer Nick Montgomery, who explains the research behind the EPI. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to read our Inspired2Educate stories — terrific examples of how a star teacher can make the future brighter, one student at a time.

Have a great school year, and thanks for your continued partnership.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or your PeopleAdmin representative should you have any questions or needs.

The research is the power behind PeopleAdmin’s revolutionary new hiring assessment tool: Q&A with Chief Research Officer Nick Montgomery

‘We really wanted to focus in on the aspects of teaching that matter most’

To understand which measurable characteristics most accurately predict teacher effectiveness, we assembled a research consortium of award-winning scholars, respected universities and highly regarded education experts. Then we used the findings and the data we collected to build the EPI and help schools predict teacher effectiveness before they enter the classroom.

Watch this video Q&A with PeopleAdmin Chief Research Officer Nick Montgomery to learn about the research behind this powerful tool.

Learn more about EPI, or contact us for more information about this objective, data-based assessment tool.

“The entire TalentEd team I have worked with are amazingly knowledgeable and helpful. Bhaa, Danny, Kate, Matt, kudos to you guys. I am a new user as of March and have had much to learn and have had many tweaks to make, and this team has helped me more than words can express.”

Barbara Burke
Director of Human Resource and Staff Development
West Baton Rouge Parish Schools

“[Support] is, from my perspective, the crown jewel of PeopleAdmin. Certainly, the product has to fulfill a need, but more important is the ability for the user to find solutions when problems or questions arise. PeopleAdmin sets the bar in this category. The staff is very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and seems genuinely interested in getting the answer necessary to solve the problem.”

Robert A. Rammer, Ph.D.
Assistant Superintendent
Wheaton Warrenville Unit School District #200

Customer Spotlight: Fort Zumwalt School District

‘I knew we needed to really look at getting the entire personnel life cycle on a single platform’

For many schools and districts, talent management processes — recruiting, new hire onboarding, records management, performance reviews — don’t change for years or even decades … until something goes wrong.

But Fort Zumwalt School District in O’Fallon, Missouri, didn’t wait for a compliance crisis or a misplaced document to create a problem for their schools. When they realized paper-based processes were inefficient and putting them at risk, leaders took action.

“I knew we needed to really look at getting the entire personnel life cycle on a single platform because the paper was overwhelming,” said Jackie Floyd, Ed.D., assistant superintendent at the district. “I’m sure we always did a good job before, but it always felt like these loose ends were hanging out there — we didn’t have this back, we didn’t have that back. We assumed everything was great because three-fourths of what we got back was all right.”

Jackie and her team’s search for a talent management solution to help streamline workflows and improve process visibility began with PeopleAdmin because the district had a great experience using Perform, PeopleAdmin’s performance evaluation solution.

“We liked Perform because it had a lot of the forms we needed already developed, and they were easy to tweak,” she said. “So, we looked at Recruit & Hire and Records, and we liked them, too.”

After moving forward with implementation of the two new solutions, Fort Zumwalt has enjoyed a much more efficient hiring process. “During my first year, we hired about 87 teachers,” Jackie said. “This year, we’ve hired 145, and it was a much more streamlined process.”

But the benefits don’t end there. “It’s been pretty amazing how much quicker our onboarding paperwork has been completed, not to mention that it’s filed and organized for us in the system,” Jackie said.

The new hires have enjoyed the experience, as well. “When we set up their onboarding paperwork in Records, we have an explanation for every item,” Jackie said. “Before, they would get confused. When they sit down and meet me, they’re excited about being hired. Their mind is going a mile a minute. I’m giving them tons of information, and they think they’ve got it all. But they walk away from me, and they can’t remember exactly what they’re supposed to do.

“Now, it’s all at their fingertips. They can even work on their onboarding paperwork while they’re driving on vacation to Gulf Shores. And they can’t lose it … no matter how hard they try.”

Moreover, Jackie said, current staff members enjoy the one-stop access the three integrated modules provide. “It’s one place they can meet all of their HR needs,” she said. “If they want to check their contract, work on part of their evaluation, or request a transfer, it’s all in one place.”

The integrated solutions also allow for consistent documentation. All hiring and onboarding documents can be kept in one place. “It’s nice to know that when you change a form, you don’t have to worry about whether everyone updated their copy. It’s done — one time — and it’s right.”

Learn more or request a demo to see how PeopleAdmin can help your school or district improve the entire talent management life cycle.

PeopleAdmin K-12 Solutions

Your solutions, made better

We know K-12 talent management is constantly evolving, and that you need technology that can keep up. We’re pleased to provide you with meaningful updates and improvements to your solutions.

New evaluation framework in Perfom
Districts can now evaluate all employees within Perform using a research-based framework, such as McRel Teacher and Principal Framework, or a custom framework.

Enhanced workflows in Recruit & Hire
Easily request revisions to “begin hire” and “requisition” forms, triggering an automated email notification to the form’s initiator.

New method to transfer files from Records
Automatically export forms from Records as a PDF or TIFF, so it’s easier to transfer documentation to other systems.

Contact your PeopleAdmin representative to learn more.

So, how can we evaluate effectiveness of districts, schools and teachers?

Asking that question is a good start, says Texas education leader.

In front of an audience recently of Texas K-12 public education HR professionals, Mike Morath, Texas Commissioner of Education and head of the Texas Education Agency, made it clear that he believes in the power of education.

“We are in the business of unlocking human potential,” the commissioner said at the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators summer conference in Austin.

But to ensure we’re maximizing the impact of education, he said, we need to determine the best way to assess the effectiveness of districts, schools and teachers. “Getting that topic of conversation right is of critical importance,” Morath said, and not just in Texas.

Many states have relied on student performance to evaluate teachers and their schools’ and districts’ success. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law last year, gave states the authority to determine new teacher evaluation criteria. But so far, states haven’t made many changes.

Lisa Andrejko, strategic advisor for PeopleAdmin and former teacher, principal, director of technology and superintendent, said there currently is some major backlash regarding teacher evaluations. “There’s nothing that says evaluations have to be tied to student data any more, and there are no studies that show that’s an effective method,” she said.

Morath went on to note that during his time in the software industry, he had one clear metric to measure success: earnings. Unfortunately, he hasn’t seen the same clarity in education.

“There is no agreed upon earnings metric in public education,” he explained.

And so far, he believes many of the attempts to define public education’s performance metric have been misguided. “Too often, that devolves into a discussion that is very punitive in nature,” he said, “not one that is a continuous improvement discussion.”

Andrejko believes changes will occur in the ways that student data are used. Her hope is that states leverage student data to drive performance development, rather than be used for purposes of punishment. “If you get rid of the threat, they’ll be much more willing to look at student data and get involved in the improvement process.”

While he didn’t reveal a plan, Morath did say that increasingly complex compliance requirements are not the answer.

“I don’t know of any student whose fire for learning was lit by a compliance checklist,” he said. “I don’t know of any employee who’s really motivated by a compliance checklist.”

But discussions of how we can assess education effectiveness, taking place right now in many states around the country, bodes well for effective changes that can measurably improve education, and should be welcomed at all levels of education.

PeopleAdmin can help your school or district develop a performance evaluation process that complies with state and federal regulations, fits your school’s culture and fosters continuous improvement. Learn how.  

Mike Farell

People of PeopleAdmin: Mike Farrell, Customer Success Advisor

‘It’s all about being a difference-maker and making things easier for our customers’

How long have you been with PeopleAdmin?
“I’ve been working with PeopleAdmin for over two and a half years.”

How would you describe what you do?
“I’m really an advocate for customers. If they pick up the phone and call me, I want to help them quickly accomplish whatever it is they need.”

How has working with customers helped you grow in your career with PeopleAdmin?
“More often than not, I end up learning as much from them as they learn from me. They’ve shown me different ways of thinking and different ways of being able to apply those thoughts. I’ve really enjoyed that.”

What motivates you?
“I would say I’m motivated most by really helping my customers. I like being able to deliver on promises that we make so they walk away at the end of the day knowing that we helped them accomplish something. It’s all about being a difference-maker and making things easier for our customers.”

What do you like most about your job?
“The autonomy and flexibility I’m allowed to be creative in the way we serve our customers. I feel that is really rewarding professionally.”

Using only three words, how would you describe our customers?
“Hardworking, imaginative and fun.”

PeopleAdmin’s goal is to provide an amazing customer experience, always. What does providing “an amazing customer experience” mean to you?
“Delivering on the promises we make and treating our customers like family. By doing those two things, everything else will fall into place.”