2019 Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require objective measures of student growth to be included in a teacher's evaluation score.
Impact of Student Growth: Although Arkansas requires "that evidence of student growth is a significant part of the Teacher Excellence and Support System" and "ensure that student growth is analyzed at every phase of the evaluation system to illustrate teacher effectiveness," it appears Arkansas' policy does not necessarily require the inclusion of objective student growth measures in its teacher evaluations. Specifically, Arkansas requires the use of data as one of the multiple sources of evidence of a teacher's professional practice. However, data are defined as "teacher performance data, student performance data, or overall school performance data...[and] may include multiple measures of student growth, school quality, or student success."
State's Role in Evaluation System: Arkansas districts must implement evaluation systems using the Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS) as a blueprint.
Rules Governing Educator Support and Development http://www.arkansased.gov/public/userfiles/Educator_Effectiveness/Educator_Support_and_Development/Educator_Support_and_Development_-_Rules_for_TESS_and_LEADS.2018.pdf Arkansas Code Annotated 6-17-2803 and 2805
Require objective measures of student growth to be included in teacher evaluation.
Arkansas should require that objective measures of student growth be included in a teacher's evaluation rating, and that such measures play a profound role in a teacher's overall evaluation rating.
Arkansas 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.