In the school year 2012-2013, the BPS plans to evaluate each and every licensed educator. Gone is the practice of evaluating half the faculty each year. Gone also are the procedures and timelines that we have been familiar with for many years. There no longer is an interim and year end evaluation. The provisions of 20-50 or 30-60 days between evaluations are history. In short, forget the contractual language of the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The new regulations from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) provide for four categories of performance ratings: “Exemplary,” “Proficient,” “Needs Improvement,” and “Unsatisfactory.” Each rating brings with it an individual educational plan for each educator. Plans are different for teachers with “Professional Status” and for those with “Developing Status.” Educators will now be required to prepare a self assessment and to develop specific goals for the year. These goals may be team goals, based on grade, content area or cluster in some cases. This plan must then be approved by the principal or headmaster in most cases. The plan may also be sent back to the educator for revision before approval.
One of the most important aspects of the evaluation process is the collection and recording of evidence pertaining to the teacher’s progress in meeting the performance standards the goals of the plan. This evidence may come from announced or unannounced observations and from student performance on multiple measures. MCAS data is another source of evidence. The recording of this evidence will be done on an electronic system which each educator will have. Evidence may be entered by both the evaluator and the educator.
Each educator should be aware of what their rating is at the start of the school year. The category determines the type of plan and the length of the plan. Changes can occur during the year. Here is what the district will implement next year (PDF).
Each educator must keep abreast of their own information on the new system. Notices will be sent out electronically when information is entered into the system. It is very important that members monitor their plan on this system. A Formative or Summative evaluation will be given at the end of the plan cycle and then the cycle begins again. It may be a one or a two year plan, but the evaluations will continue.
Since Boston is a Turnaround District, this process will start this September and all other districts will follow in 2013-2014. Statewide, the Turnaround Schools used this system during 2011-2012. For individual educators, it means being an active participant in the evaluation process.
What does the contract say about this new process? As of this writing in August 2012, talks continue to work out a complete contract including language on performance evaluation. This task may or may not be completed by the start of the school year, but the evaluation system is being implemented in some form by the BPS. The BTU will continue to negotiate for a fair and equitable evaluation process.
The BTU in conjunction with the BPS has run several workshops this summer to help explain the proposed new system. This effort will continue once school starts, and the BTU will assist members with this new process.
Questions and concerns are certain to arise for both new and veteran teachers. To get assistance, email Patrick Connolly.