The state task force charged with developing recommendations for changes in the teacher performance evaluation process has released its final report. The main source of contention is how much “ a fixed percentage or otherwise “ of teacher evaluations will be tied to student test score data. Here is a report in the Globe.
The panel composed of 40 or so educators, school officials, administrators, and business leaders rejected unequivocally the notion that student test score data should be weighted any specific amount in calculating a teacher’s evaluation. The business community, of course, thinks otherwise, and is seeking a formula that counts student test data as 50% of a teacher’s overall performance. The Boston School Department is seeking a 40% contribution in negotiations.
Many educators and most studies reject the notion of tying student test data to teacher performance in any formulaic fashion. A good study, perhaps the landmark study of the use of test score data, was done by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) last year. You can read that study here. The study was co-authored by Linda Darling-Hammond and Diane Ravitch, among others, and rejects the notion that student test data, value added or otherwise, accurately reflects a teacher’s performance.
Following is an excerpt from the state’s report:
“While firm in support of the use of multiple measures of student learning, growth and achievement in educator evaluation, the Task Force did not chart a simple path to that goal. The majority of Task Force members reject approaches to weighting student learning and growth in a way that could mechanistically over-ride the professional judgment of trained evaluators and supervisors, or create an over-reliance on one set of assessments…”
The bottom line: The report concluded that performance evaluation ought to take into account multiple measures, but not a set percentage based on student test score outcomes. This report is not final until guidelines are officially issued an order on.
Read more about issues related to teacher performance evaluation on our website.
Next steps in developing the state’s performance evaluation document…
We thank Dan Murphy, the educational issues coordinator of AFT Massachusetts, for preparing this timeline on what happens from this point onward.
- The report mentioned in the opening section goes to the state Board of Education, which will discuss the recommendations in the report at its next meeting on Tuesday, March 22.
- The commissioner will also provide his own analysis and comments — and perhaps submit an alternative set of recommendations to the Board.
- The Board will consider all the recommendations, as well as input from the public and advocacy organizations, and will issue NEW draft regulations on educator evaluation (perhaps in April). There will likely be a formal public comment period after this — probably about two months. The Board will then issue final regulations (likely in June 2011) and all MA school districts will eventually have to re-bargain their evaluation systems to comply with the new regulations
- The DESE is simultaneously developing a “model” evaluation system with all the specific standards, procedures, protocols, forms, etc. The idea is that a district/union could adopt this system wholesale, or simply adopt certain parts.