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: Maine requires student growth to a "significant" factor in its teacher evaluation system. To be significant, student growth measures must have a "discernible impact" on a teacher's overall evaluation rating. Standardized tests, if applicable, must be used. For districts that failed to reach consensus on the issue of the proportionate weight of student growth measures by July 15, 2015, the proportionate weight of student growth measures must be 20 percent.
Maine does not explicitly require that teachers meet student growth goals or be rated at least effective for the student growth portion to be rated overall effective.
State's Role in Evaluation System: Maine districts develop evaluation systems based on criteria set forth by the state.
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Maine 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. Maine 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.
Maine 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.