2017 Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Impact of Student Growth: Alaska does not require measures of student growth in its teacher evaluation system. At its June 2016 meeting, the board voted to repeal the state's teacher evaluation plan, which would have required student growth data to count for 50 percent of a teacher's overall evaluation rating by the 2018-2019 school year. Alaska state policy permits a district to consider student growth data if the additional information is relevant to the performance of the teacher.
State's Role in Evaluation System: Alaska provides statewide criteria for district-designed evaluation systems.
Minutes from Board Meeting, June 16 & 17: https://education.alaska.gov/State_Board/minutes/2016_06_1617minutes.pdf June 2016 Board Packet: https://education.alaska.gov/state_board/archive/packets/16-June-Packet.pdf 4 AAC 19.030
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Alaska should require that objective evidence of student growth be included in a teacher's evaluation rating, and that it play a profound role in a teacher's overall evaluation rating. Specifically, a teacher should not be able to earn an overall rating of effective if he or she is rated less-than-effective at increasing student growth.
Alaska recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
7A: Measures of Student Growth
Many factors should be considered in formally evaluating a teacher; however, nothing is more important than effectiveness in the classroom. Value-added models are an important tool for measuring student achievement and school effectiveness. These models have the ability to measure individual students' learning gains, controlling for students' previous knowledge and background characteristics. While some research suggests value-added models are subject to bias and statistical limitations, rich data and strong controls can eliminate error and bias. In the area of teacher quality, examining student growth offers a fairer and potentially more meaningful way to evaluate a teacher's effectiveness than other methods schools use.
Unfortunately, districts have used many evaluation instruments, including some mandated by states, which are structured so that teachers can earn a satisfactory rating without any evidence that they are sufficiently advancing student learning in the classroom. Teacher evaluation instruments should include factors that combine both human judgment and objective measures of student learning.