The state should have a data system that contributes some of the evidence needed to assess teacher effectiveness. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Teacher of Record: Kentucky defines a teacher of record as a "certified school personnel who has been assigned the responsibility for student learning in a classroom, grade level, subject, or course and holds a teaching certificate."
Teacher Roster Verification: Kentucky has a process in place for teacher roster verification. However, this process is not explicitly articulated in state policy.
Linking Student-level Data and Teacher Performance: Kentucky's Longitudinal Data System's purpose is to "collect accurate education data and workforce data...in order to link the data and generate timely reports about student performance through employment to be used to guide decision makers in improving the Commonwealth of Kentucky's education system and training programs." However, it does not appear to have the capacity to link student-level data and teacher performance.
Teacher Mobility Data: Kentucky does not track teacher mobility data and make it publicly available.
Formalize a process for teacher roster verification.
Although Kentucky appears to have a process in place for teacher roster verification, the state should make this process part of state policy. This is of particular importance for using the data system to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Link student-level data to teacher effectiveness.
Kentucky should ensure that it has a longitudinal student data system with the capacity to link student-level data to teacher performance, consistent with applicable privacy constraints. This will allow the state to identify whether certain groups of students are being systemically underserved by ineffective teachers.
Track teacher mobility data and make it publicly available.
Kentucky should not only track teacher mobility data at both the state and district levels, but it should also make these data publicly available, consistent with applicable privacy constraints. Providing detailed analyses of teacher mobility and attrition will help provide a clearer picture of Kentucky's teaching force.
Kentucky recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that the capacity to link student-level data and teacher performance is available; however, data are not available at this time. Kentucky also noted: "The disclosure, pursuant to KRS Chapter 61, of any data or information, including student growth data, that local school districts or the Department of Education collect on individual classroom teachers under this section is prohibited. The results of evaluations conducted under this section shall not be included in the accountability system described in KRS 158.6455 and no reporting requirements related to these results shall be imposed upon the local school districts by the Department of Education."
7E: Data Systems Needed for Evaluation
It is an inefficient use of resources for individual districts to build their own data systems for value-added analyses. States need to take the lead and provide districts with state-level data that can be used not only for the purpose of measuring teacher effectiveness, but also to track teacher mobility across the state. As such, multiple years of data are necessary to enable meaningful determinations of teacher effectiveness and to identify staffing trends.
Teacher effectiveness analysis, including teachers' value-added measures, requires both student and teacher identifiers and the ability to match test records over time. Such data are useful not just for teacher evaluation, but also to measure overall school performance and the performance of teacher preparation programs.
States need to have some advanced elements in place in order to apply data from the state data system fairly and accurately to teacher evaluations. Each state must have a clear definition of "teacher of record" that connects teachers to the students they actually instruct and not just students who may be in a teacher's homeroom or for whom the teacher performs administrative but not instructional duties. There should also be in place a process for roster verification, ideally occurring multiple times a year, to ensure that students and teachers are accurately matched. Systems should also have the ability to connect multiple educators to a single student. While states may establish different business rules for such situations, what is important is that the mechanism exists, in recognition of the many possible permutations of student and teacher assignments.
Additional elements are needed to use data to assess teacher supply and demand. For example, states should include in their data systems means of tracking when teachers leave schools or districts, as well as when they re-enter new ones, and should make these data publicly available. These data can support the state's effort to build a cohesive picture of the state's teacher labor market and workforce needs.