Thursday, March 24, 2016

Proposed Conference panels evaluated

There’s a new twist to the review process for proposals submitted as Share the Success panels for the 2016 Joint Annual Conference. In past years, the panel review committee met at IASB offices in Springfield and Lombard for a full day of proposal reviews. This year, for the first time, most of the reviewers are working from the comfort of their own computers.

“Now they can come to the IASB offices, or they can choose to work from home,” said Nesa Brauer, a trainer for IASB board development who also organizes the panel review process. “Most of them are choosing to work from home. This year, with that option, we have more evaluators than in past years.”

What hasn’t changed is that the members of the panel review committee are volunteers from Association school boards. IASB field service directors nominated school board members from their divisions to serve on the panel review committee. Nominees were contacted by IASB, and those who agreed independently reviewed and evaluated the proposals using an online survey format.

“IASB staff doesn’t pick the Share the Success Panels,” said Brauer. “We have board member volunteers. We invite them to be part of the review process and they — independently and individually — rate the proposals.”

Schools districts submitted Share the Success proposals from November through early February each year. These panels are based on actual school system experiences. Presenters include board members, administrators, and other school or community members who were involved in the story. They give insight and practical information on problem-solving and share discoveries and innovations from programs succeeding in their school districts. They also provide tips on how school leaders can achieve such successes in their own districts.

Evaluators rate Share the Success proposals on several key points:
  • Topic is interesting and relevant to today’s school board members.
  • Presentation focuses on board-level work rather than staff work.
  • Creativity and innovation are demonstrated in the approach taken.
  • Proposal provides specific information rather than vague generalities.
  • Program’s claim to “success” is supported by evidence.
  • The school district’s experience can be replicated by other school districts.
  • Proposal presents a clear picture of the panel presentation.
Each proposal also receives a yes or no recommendation from each evaluator.

This year, 28 board member volunteers from across the state reviewed 80 proposals. Based on tabulations of those surveys, the top 28 proposals will be selected for Share the Success panels. Those not selected may be offered a spot in the popular Carousel of Panels event at Conference. Results will be announced in mid-April.