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: New Jersey requires that, for teachers of tested grades and subjects who earn median student growth
percentile ratings, the student growth component must be 30 percent to 50
percent of their overall evaluation rating. For teachers of nontested grades
and subjects who do not earn median student growth percentiles, the student
growth component must be at least 15 percent but not more than 50 percent of a
teacher's overall evaluation rating.
For the 2016-2017 school year, student growth counts for 45 percent of evaluation ratings for teachers of tested grades and subjects (median of students' change in achievement: 30 percent; student growth objectives: 15 percent). Student growth counts for 15 percent of the score for teachers of nontested grades and subjects. Student growth measures for teachers of nontested grades and subjects may include: teacher-set goals for student learning; student performance assessments, including portfolio projects, problem-solving protocols and internships; teacher-developed assessments; standardized assessments; and district-established assessments.
New Jersey does not require that teachers meet student growth goals or be rated at least effective for the student growth portion to earn an overall rating of effective. Teachers of tested grades and subjects can earn the lowest score - a one - on their student growth component and still be rated overall effective, provided that they earn the top score of four on teacher practice. Teachers of nontested grades and subjects can earn the lowest score - a one - on their student growth component and still be rated either overall highly effective or effective, provided that they earn a four or a three, respectively, on teacher practice.
State's Role in Evaluation System: New Jersey districts develop teacher evaluation systems based on the state's framework. The state approves districts' systems.
6A:10-4.1 Teacher evaluation and support: http://www.state.nj.us/education/AchieveNJ/intro/1PagerTeachers.pdf Teacher evaluation calculator: http://www.nj.gov/education/AchieveNJ/teacher/scoring.shtml
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although New Jersey 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. New Jersey 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.
New Jersey 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.