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Collaborative Assessment System for Teachers (CAST) is a new evaluation system to be used by teachers beginning in 2011-2012. It has been developed using criteria identified by Senate Bill 736, also known as the “Student Success Act”.

Below find answers to the most frequently asked questions about CAST:

  • CAST
    • Q: What is CAST?
    • A: CAST is the new evaluation system for teachers. CAST is the acronym for Collaborative Assessment System for Teachers.
    • Q: What makes the new system collaborative?
    • A: Working together with the administrator to talk about instruction during the pre and post observation conference.
    • Q: Why was a new evaluation system needed?
    • A: A new evaluation system was needed based on assessment criteria identified in Senate Bill 736, also known as the “Student Success Act” and to meet the requirements in the Race to The Top grant.
  • Rubric
    • Q: What are the different performance ratings?
    • A: The performance ratings are Highly Effective, Effective, Developing/Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory.
    • Q: What do the performance ratings mean?
    • A: Refer to the Levels of Proficiency chart.
    • Q: How many domains are there?
    • A: There are 4 domains. Domain 1 is Planning and Preparation; Domain 2 is The Classroom Environment; Domain 3 is Instruction; and Domain 4 is Professional Responsibilities.
    • Q: How many components are there?
    • A: There are 14 components. Domain 1 has 4 components; Domain 2 has 3 components; Domain 3 has 3 components; and Domain 4 has 4 components.
    • Q: What percentage is each domain worth?
    • A: Domain 1 is worth 20%; Domain 2 is worth 20%; Domain 3 is worth 40%; and Domain 4 is worth 20%.
    • Q: Where can I get more information on the evaluation tool? 
    • A: Rubric Domain; Pre-Observation Tool; Post Observation Tool; and Teacher Category Types.
    • Q: How will this new system/rubric apply to guidance, media and resource teachers (P.E., music, art) etc.?
    • A: Guidance and media will use their own evaluation tool and art, music and P.E. teachers will use the CAST system.
  • Observations
    • Q: How many observations will I have this year?
    • A: The number of observations will depend upon the category to which you belong.
    • Q: What is the difference between a formal and informal observation?
    • A: A formal observation is a minimum of 30 minutes and includes a pre and post-observation conference. An informal observation is between 15 and 25 minutes long and includes a post-conference.
    • Q: Do I need to prepare for the pre and post-observation conference?
    • A: Yes, the teacher must be prepared to answer questions that are listed on the pre-observation conference form. Additionally, the teacher must bring the lesson plan to the pre-observation conference. In the post-observation conference, the teacher will reflect on the delivery of the lesson and be prepared to answer questions on the post-observation conference form.
    • Q: When does the post-observation conference take place?
    • A: The post-observation conference will take place within 5 days of the observation.
    • Q: What is the difference between an observation and an evaluation?
    • A: Observations take place throughout the school year. A school administrator observes your classroom using the rubric or a portion of the rubric, and then provides feedback on that lesson. In an evaluation, the school administrator uses both formal and informal observation data to determine a final rating for each component of the rubric. This will be done after a review of all observation data collected throughout the school year. All evaluations must be completed by April 30.
  • Evaluation/Student Growth
    • Q: Will my test scores be compared to other teachers within the district?
    • A: No, your test scores will not be compared to other teachers within the district.
    • Q: Is FAIR going to be used as the assessment tool for grades K-2?
    • A: Yes, FAIR will be used as the assessment tool for grades K-2. The Probability of Success and Reading Comprehension will be used to determine student gains. Teachers that are teaching ONLY mathematics will need to assess their students on the newly created CAST pre-test mathematics as will all the other students in that grade level.
    • Q: Will MAP continue?
    • A: MAP will not continue after the 2010-2011 school year.
    • Q: How will student growth be determined?
    • A: Student growth will be determined by using 3 years worth of student data.
    • Q: Where does the student data come from?
    • A: The student data comes from FCAT, end of course exams and MAP tests.
    • Q: What percentage of my evaluation will be based on student growth?
    • A: 50% of a teacher’s evaluation will be based on student growth and 50% will be based on principal’s evaluation.
    • Q: When will I get my final over-all evaluation?
    • A: Because we have to wait on test scores from the state, it could be summer or even early fall.
    • Q: Can my administrator observe a specific domain prior to my evaluation?
    • A: A school administrator may observe a specific domain prior to your evaluation.
    • Q: What is value added?
    • A: Value added is the difference between the actual performance of a student after a specified period of time and the expected (predicted) performance of the student based on the student’s prior performance. For example, if a 4th grade student scored 200 on the FCAT last year, it is predicted that the student will score 300 on this year’s FCAT. If the student’s score is above the predicated score, the difference is the “value added” and is attributed to the teacher's effectiveness in working with that student.
    • Q: What variables does the model use in determining the predictive score?
    • A: The variables are:
      ü  Number of subject-relevant courses in which the student is enrolled
      ü  Up to two prior years of achievement scores
      ü  Students with Disabilities (SWD) status
      ü  English Language Learner (ELL) status
      ü  Gifted status
      ü  Attendance
      ü  Mobility (number of transitions)
      ü  Difference from modal age in grade (as an indicator of retention)
      ü  Class size
      ü  Homogeneity of entering test scores in the class

    • Q: How is my student growth measured?
    • A: Student growth is measured based on growth from Student growth is measured based on growth from the pre test to the post test.




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