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: Delaware requires that 20 percent of its teacher evaluation rating is derived from objective evidence of student growth. The student improvement component of Delaware's teacher evaluation system is comprised of multiple measures. For educators teaching English/language arts or math in grades 4-8, the state assessment comprises half of the student growth component, with the other half comprised of either an approved assessment or a student growth goal.
Delaware does not require that teachers 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. Based on the point system allotted to overall evaluation rating calculations, it is possible for a teacher who earns a rating of ineffective on the student growth component to earn an overall rating of effective.
State's role in evaluation system: Delaware requires all teachers to be evaluated using the statewide educator evaluation system, the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II (DPAS II).
DPAS-II Guide, 2017-2018: https://www.doe.k12.de.us/cms/lib/DE01922744/Centricity/Domain/375/2017%20DPAS%20II%20Guide%20for%20Teachers_Revised%20August%202017.pdf HB 399 (2016) Policy Statement: http://www.doe.k12.de.us/cms/lib09/DE01922744/Centricity/Domain/375/2016-17%20Component%20V%20Policy%20-%20FINAL.pdf
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Delaware 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. Delaware 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.
Delaware was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced 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.