A quick list of what I like about the PLC process:
- student learning becomes the focus;
- teachers share data and ideas;
- teams are clearly defined;
- teachers focus on the established standards;
- no one can opt out;
- teams are autonomous and make own agendas;
- teachers will have to discuss how grading should be done; and
- products are used to measure team progress (not minutes and agendas).
A quick list of what I don’t like about the PLC process:
- schools/teams with trust issues start way behind the curve;
- principals will want their items placed somewhere (extra meetings maybe);
- the state standards are below my department’s standards;
- teachers may lessen the rigor to focus solely on the standards;
- teachers’ data may be asked for by others for purposes other than collaboration;
- PLCs by themselves will not solve all of our problems; and
- a solid and immediate intervention system must accompany PLCs.
However, I really appreciated a few points brought up by the PLC panel during the Seattle conference:
- “Having teachers enter data is a waste of teacher time.”
- Administrators guaranteed to return data to teams within 24 hours of turning in assessments.
- If the collaboration did not center on student learning, it needed to be eliminated from the conversation.
- Teacher data would not be used as a part of any sort of evaluative process.