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: Michigan requires 40 percent of a teacher's evaluation to be comprised of student growth and assessment data by the 2018-2019 school year. For tested core content areas, half of a teacher's student growth component will be measured using state assessments, and half will be measured using "multiple research-based growth measures or alternative assessments that are rigorous and comparable across schools." Student learning objectives may also be used.
Michigan does not explicitly require that teachers meet their student growth goals or be rated at least effective for the student growth portion of their evaluation to earn an overall rating of effective.
State's role in evaluation system: Michigan provides criteria for districts to use when designing teacher evaluation systems.
Public Act of 173 of 2015
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Michigan requires that objective evidence of student growth be included in a substantial way in a teacher's evaluation rating, it does not play a profound role in a teacher's overall evaluation rating. Michigan 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.
Michigan recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state also provided a link containing further guidance on its teacher evaluation system.
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.