Bexley Middle School gifted specialist Linda Kelley, teacher Natalie Mroz and Bexley High School teacher Neal Tomich have been recognized as "highly effective" teachers based on a value-added data analysis conducted over two years by Battelle for Kids.

Bexley Middle School gifted specialist Linda Kelley, teacher Natalie Mroz and Bexley High School teacher Neal Tomich have been recognized as "highly effective" teachers based on a value-added data analysis conducted over two years by Battelle for Kids.

In addition to helping school districts and states reform education and improve student learning, Battelle for Kids seeks to honor and acknowledge high quality teaching.

Kelley, Mroz and Tomich, as well as retired BMS teacher Peg Englehardt, are among the "very few teachers to have achieved significantly above expected growth with students for at least three years," according to Mary Peters, Value-Added Services Director at Battelle for Kids.

Bexley City Schools has been using models provided by Battelle for Kids - such as its identifying practices of effective teachers - to fulfill a commitment to the federal government's "Race to the Top" initiative. Bexley is one of 500 school districts in Ohio that received federal funds to participate in the Race to the Top program designed to increase levels of achievement among U.S. students.

Bexley's share of the federal funds is helping to pay for professional development to implement new academic content standards; bring greater, consistent use of a formative assessment program; and expand use of the several data systems available to teachers and students. The school district plans to develop an educator appraisal system that includes "multiple measures of student growth" and will help focus its professional development efforts, according to Anne Hyland, director of curriculum and instruction.

Battelle for Kids has surveyed the students of teachers Mroz and Tomich and gathered information from their principals that will help evaluate their practices.

"In the end, we want to be able to say with some authority that teacher effectiveness is best captured through the use of multiple measures," said Peters of the teacher evaluation pilot program. Different instruments provide different perspectives on teachers' strengths and challenges."

Bexley sees this pilot and Race to the Top as opportunities to build on the strengths of students and teachers and district strategic processes, Hyland said.

For more information about the Battelle for Kids pilot program, contact Dr. Peters at mpeters@battelleforkids.org For more information about Bexley Schools' Race to the Top activities, contact Amy Thompson, Bexley Schools Public Information Coordinator at (614) 352-7461.