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Dr. Jeff Goldhorn, Dr. W. Sean Kearney, Dr. Michael Webb, Published by NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS, Spring 2013.

Dr. Jeff Goldhorn, Dr. W. Sean Kearney, Dr. Michael Webb, Published by NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS, Spring 2013.

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Dr. Jeff Goldhorn, Dr. W. Sean Kearney, Dr. Michael Webb, Published by NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS, Spring 2013.
Dr. Jeff Goldhorn, Dr. W. Sean Kearney, Dr. Michael Webb, Published by NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS, Spring 2013.

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Published by: William Allan Kritsonis on Apr 23, 2013
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12/25/2013

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 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNALVOLUME 30, NUMBER 3, 2013
20
CLASSROOM WALKTHROUGHPRACTICES: LESSONS LEARNED FROM10,000 OBSERVATIONS
Jeff Goldhorn, Ph.D.Education Service Center, Region 20San Antonio, TexasW. Sean Kearney, Ed.D.Texas A&M University-San AntonioMichael Webb, M.Ed.Education Service Center, Region 20
ABSTRACTThis study examines the results of 10,117
administrator “
walkthroughs
conducted in Texas classrooms during the 2010-2011 school year. Alladministrators who collected data for this study received walkthrough trainingin the 360 Walkthrough instrument in order to ensure inter-rater reliability.Walkthrough results were compared with achievement data in order to answerthe research question
 – 
are administrators seeing what they think they areseeing? Results reveal four areas in which walkthrough data is least consistentwith student achievement data. These areas are: goals and objectives, pacingand sequencing, use of technology, and level of rigor. Implications forpractitioners are discussed.
Introduction
The classroom walkthrough evaluation of teachers has taken on
many different forms over the past decade. A shift in the principal’s
role from manager to instructional leader, paired with higher levels of accountability at the national, state, district, school, and classroom
 
GOLDHORN, KEARNEY, & WEB
21
 
levels have led to an increase in the number and types of classroomobservations that occur day in and day out in our school buildings. As
one principal we spoke with in South Texas noted, “We used to do two
walkthroughs per teacher per year. Now our goal is to be in everyclassroom a
t least once a week.”
Because classroom walkthroughs are so prevalent in schoolstoday and high stakes decisions may be contingent upon the datacollected, it is critical that the school administrators are aligned in their interpretation of observed behaviors and actions. Regional EducationService Centers are uniquely well positioned to provide this type of training to school districts in their service area.
Purpose of the Investigation
In Texas, the Education Service Center, Region 20 (ESC-20)has created a walkthrough tool and corresponding training moduledesigned to improve the inter-rater reliability of classroomwalkthroughs. The service center has been training administrators inthe use of this walkthrough tool for the past 5 years. In that time, thetraining has been provided to 74 school districts across the State of Texas. In the 2010-2011 school year alone, 10,117 walkthroughobservation summaries were uploaded into the confidential statewidedatabase. The purpose of this article is to give the reader feedback about the lessons we have learned about walkthroughs based ontraining evaluators.
Methodology
“Do you see what I see?” This simple question is asked by
almost every administrator as they walk into classrooms. In order toanswer the question of inter-rater reliability, we took two approaches:First, during the walkthrough training itself, feedback was solicitedfrom administrators to compare their observations with one another.
 
22
 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL
 Next, we analyzed 10,117 walkthroughs to determine their relationshipwith classroom level performance on standardized tests. Our questionwas a simple one
 – 
 
are administrators seeing what they think they’re
seeing?
Instrumentation
The answer is very interesting both in terms of where we founda match and where we identified inconsistencies.
The 360˚
Walkthrough instrument used for this study was designed using ahybrid model of walkthrough evaluation philosophies. It features thefollowing characteristics:1.
 
The 360˚ Walkthrough assesses: lea
rner engagement(Schlechty, 2011), learner cognition (Bloom, 1984), high yieldclassroom strategies (Marzano, 2003), classroom management,learner-centered instruction and learner progress (Office of Statewide Initiatives, 2004);2.
 
This tool can be used for either formal (which count towards
teachers’ annual evaluations) or informal walkthroughs (which
do not);3.
 
Walkthroughs are conducted throughout the day and areusually unannounced;4.
 
Administration of the walkthrough generally take 5-7 minutes;5.
 
The feedback form provides insight into professional growthopportunities (Downey & Frase, 2004);6.
 
Ultimately the walkthrough is designed to lead to reflectiveconversations between administrators and teachers (Downey,Steffy, English, Frase, & Poston, 2004).
Procedures
The walkthrough training took place over a half day and a half.All participants were provided with a glossary to ensure that termswere being defined consistently. A group discussion was facilitated

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