The state should have a data system that contributes some of the evidence needed to assess teacher effectiveness.
Arkansas has a data system with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness.
The state has all three necessary elements of a student- and teacher-level longitudinal data system. The state has assigned unique student identifiers that connect student data across key databases across years and has assigned unique teacher identifiers that enable it to match individual teacher records with individual student records. It also has the capacity to match student test records from year to year in order to measure student academic growth.
Develop a clear definition of "teacher of record."
Arkansas has not yet established a definition of teacher of record, which is essential in order to use the student-data link for the purpose of providing value-added evidence of teacher effectiveness. To ensure that data provided through the state data system are actionable and reliable, Arkansas should articulate a definition of teacher of record and require its consistent use throughout the state.
Arkansas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it has "generally" decided on a two-part definition of teacher of record. First, a teacher of record is an individual (or individuals in co-teaching assignments) who has been assigned the lead responsibility for a student's learning in a subject/course with aligned performance measures. Second, a contributing professional is an individual who has been assigned the responsibility to provide additional services that support and increase a student's learning. Arkansas also indicated that it is moving toward implementation of this definition in its data systems.