The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Kentucky does not require that objective evidence of student learning be the preponderant criterion of its teacher evaluations.
The state requires local districts to develop their own evaluation instruments, but these instruments are subject to approval from the state's Department of Education. The evaluation guidelines offer some direction about performance criteria, including performance of professional responsibilities and demonstration of effective communication skills; district performance criteria must also be linked to teacher effectiveness. While the state does require classroom observation, it does not mandate the inclusion of objective measures of student learning as a component in the evaluation.
Kentucky Revised Statutes 156.070, 156.557(2), 156.557(3) Kentucky Administrative Regulations 704:3:345
Require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Kentucky should either require a common evaluation instrument in which evidence of student learning is the most significant criterion, or it should specifically require that student learning be the preponderant criterion in local evaluation processes. Whether state or locally developed, a teacher should not be able to receive a satisfactory rating if found ineffective in the classroom.
Ensure that classroom observations specifically focus on and document the effectiveness of instruction.
Although Kentucky commendably requires classroom observations as part of teacher evaluations, the state should articulate guidelines that focus classroom observations on the quality of instruction, as measured by student time on task, student grasp or mastery of the lesson objective and efficient use of class time.
Utilize rating categories that meaningfully differentiate among various levels of teacher performance.
To ensure that the evaluation instrument accurately differentiates among levels of teacher performance, Kentucky should require districts to utilize multiple rating categories, such as highly effective, effective, needs improvement and ineffective. A binary system that merely categorizes teachers as satisfactory or unsatisfactory is inadequate.
Kentucky recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it is developing a Professional Growth and Evaluation System, which will be based on multiple measures of teacher effectiveness, including student learning. The system is scheduled to pilot statewide during the 2012-2013 school year.
NCTQ looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.