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Onalaska gets help from state, paying for software that evaluates teachers

Drew Kelly

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The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is giving the School District of Onalaska a grant to evaluate its staff.

The grant pays for the upfront cost of the software.

“They get baseline data on the students in the fall and they decide what their student learning objective is going to be,” Onalaska superintendent Fran Finco said. “And then they have to be able to monitor that fall, winter, spring.”

Finco says the ultimate goal is to help teachers develop and be able to track their own abilities. The teachers go through a three-year program before starting over.

The district once again applied for the Educator Effectiveness Grant for $20,160. It’s a yearly program that features software allowing teachers to add in data of their students.

The objective is to have the teachers make sure the students obtain their goals.

Finco says the program gives you a look at how well teachers are performing in the classroom.

“How you monitor the teacher or the administrator is tied to learning standards,” Finco said. “So, another part of their evaluation is how they are doing on each of those standards.”

Teachers put in a students’ data at the beginning of the year, set a goal and strategy for them and the results bear out over time if that strategy is working.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.