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 District of Columbia 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: The District of Columbia requires the use of objective evidence of student growth and recommends that it be a "significant" criterion of its teacher evaluations.
The District does not require teachers to meet student growth goals or be rated at least effective for the student growth portion of their evaluation to earn an overall rating of effective.
State's role in evaluation system: The District of Columbia provides criteria and approves district-designed evaluation systems.
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although the District of Columbia 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. The District of Columbia 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.
The District of Columbia was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The District added that it requires its local school districts to report data points based on guidelines mandated under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in compliance with the equitable access initiative that ensures that low-income and minority students are not disproportionately served by out-of-field, inexperienced, and ineffective teachers. "The law does not set specific requirements for the various components of the teacher evaluation system. State policy must allow [districts] autonomy and flexibility in this area unless ESSA has a federal mandate for specific compliance."
The District of Columbia also noted that it has created a Model Teacher Evaluation System (MTES) that LEAs may use as a guide in their performance evaluation process. MTES is a recommended tool, and other comparable systems are allowed because local school districts have the autonomy and flexibility to create their own teacher evaluation systems. MTES has four evaluative levels and incorporates the use of objective evidence of student learning as a "significant" criterion of its teacher evaluations in the teacher's overall rating.
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.