The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has been chosen as one of 51 recipients of the state's leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award.
SDCOE is being honored for an effort it spearheaded to create more collaborative and growth-oriented evaluation systems for teachers, called the Educator Effectiveness and Evaluation Project, or E3.
The project -- an effort to boost student success by helping teachers to be their best in the classroom -- has reached more than 20 urban, suburban, rural, K-8, K-5, and high school districts, as well as county offices and charter schools throughout San Diego County and California, impacting more than 297,000 students in 473 schools.
The work highlights that evaluation is a process, not a single event – it's a collaborative effort, not a checklist.
The Golden Bell Awards, now in their 39th year, are sponsored by the California School Boards Association to recognize outstanding public school programs for innovation, sustainability, and best practices that facilitate positive student outcomes. SDCOE will receive its award at a recognition reception and ceremony Nov. 29 in San Francisco.
"We know that the quality of classroom teachers has a huge effect on student achievement. That's why E3 is so impactful," said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools. "The project isn't about the teacher evaluation document; it's about building systems of continuous learning and growth for teachers, so they can support the diverse learners in their classrooms."
It's an honor for SDCOE to receive statewide recognition for the work it's doing to better prepare teachers and ultimately benefit students, said County Board of Education President Guadalupe González. "We are proud of the partnerships E3 has fostered by bringing districts and bargaining units together for a two-year collaborative process. In the last six years since E3 started, we have seen the results for students when stakeholders work together around the table, with equal voices."
Partners on the E3 project include the California Department of Education, American Institute of Research, WestEd, and the National Center for Great Teachers and Leaders.
A 17-member judging panel made up of experts from school districts and county offices of education reviewed the written entries and made the initial recommendations for the awards. On-site validators assessed the programs in action. This year's awards are presented to school districts and county offices of education helping students achieve through after-school programs, mentoring, instructional interventions, use of data, and other innovations.
"The Golden Bell recipients exemplify the spirit of innovation and excellence for which all of California's public schools strive," said CSBA CEO and Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. "The Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of outstanding education offerings in our state, and demonstrate the tenacity, vision, and dedication of school leaders across California."
To learn more about the Golden Bell awards, visit the California School Boards Association's Golden Bell website.