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: Georgia requires student growth to count for 30 percent of a teacher's evaluation rating. For teachers teaching tested grades and subjects, a Student Growth Percentile (SGP) is calculated based on state assessment data. For teachers teaching non-tested grades and subjects, student growth is comprised of district-determined measures, which "may include" student learning objectives (SLOs), the school or district mean growth percentile, or another measure identified or developed by the district. As of the 2016-2017 school year, Georgia requires teacher evaluation ratings to include one growth measure, instead of two such measures.
Georgia does not require that teachers meet their student growth goals or earn ratings of at least effective for student growth to earn an overall rating of effective. Instead, Georgia's system enables a teacher to earn the lowest rating for student growth - a level 1 rating - and earn an overall rating of proficient.
State's role in evaluation system: Georgia districts must utilize the evaluation system adopted by the state, Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES).
2016-17 Handbook: https://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Teacher-and-Leader-Effectiveness/Documents/Finalized%20TKES%20Handbook%20with%20district%20feedback%20%202016-2017.pdf SB 364 (2016)
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Georgia 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. Georgia 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.
Georgia 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.