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: California does not require measures of student growth in its teacher evaluation system. California's policy states that the teacher evaluation instruments used in the districts should include, among other criteria, evidence of student progress toward district-established "standards of expected pupil achievement" and, if applicable, achievement on state-adopted criterion-referenced assessments.
State's Role in Evaluation System: California requires local school districts to develop teacher evaluations that meet a list of criteria established by the state.
California Education Code 44662
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
California 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. Specifically, a teacher should not be able to earn an overall rating of effective if he or she is less-than-effective at increasing student growth.
California declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.
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.