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: Nebraska does not require measures of student growth in its teacher evaluation system. Nebraska's teacher evaluation model, which is currently being piloted in more than a dozen districts, uses multiple measures, including one that measures how well students meet learning objectives. Nebraska's teacher evaluation model is voluntary and does not require student growth as measured by state standardized assessments for teachers of tested grades and subjects.
State's Role in Evaluation System: Nebraska requires local school districts to develop teacher evaluation instruments that must include basic criteria established by the state. Each district's evaluation instrument must be approved by the state.
Nebraska Department of Education Title 92, Chapter 10, 007.06 Nebraska Statute 79-828(2) Model: https://www.education.ne.gov/EducatorEffectiveness/Policy/TeacherEducationalSpecialistEvaluationPolicy.pdf Nebraska Educator Effectiveness: https://www.education.ne.gov/EducatorEffectiveness/index.html
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Nebraska should require that objective measures of student growth be included in a teacher's evaluation rating, and that such measures play a profound role in a teacher's overall evaluation rating. Specifically, a teacher should not be able to earn an overall rating of effective if he or she is less-than-effective at increasing student growth.
Nebraska recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state also provided that although its school system practice is much higher than minimum requirements in its state rule, NCTQ's analysis is factually correct according to published state rule and statute.
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.