The data and analysis on this page is from 2019. View and download the most recent policy data and analysis on Measures of Student Growth in Alabama from the State of the States 2022: Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policies report.
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: Alabama requires some student growth data to factor into a teacher's evaluation rating. One-third of a teacher's overall rating is comprised of the "impact on engagement and learning" component, which includes "data on student engagement from observations, survey data from parents and/or students, and student growth data from various assessments."
Alabama does not require that teachers meet student growth goals or be rated at least effective for the student growth portion of their evaluation to be rated overall effective.
State's Role in Evaluation System: Alabama requires all teachers in the state to be evaluated under the EDUCATE Alabama system. Districts may develop local systems, but those systems must be approved by the state.
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Alabama requires that objective evidence of student growth be included in a teacher's evaluation rating, it does not play a profound role in a teacher's overall evaluation rating. Alabama should ensure that a teacher is not able to earn an overall rating of effective if he or she is rated less-than-effective at increasing student growth.
Alabama was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for 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.