Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
New York does not require that objective evidence of student learning be the preponderant criterion of its teacher evaluations.
The state requires that 40 percent of the evaluation score be comprised of student growth and achievement measures. More specifically, 20 percent is student growth on state assessments or a comparable measure of student achievement growth (this increases to 25 percent upon implementation of a value-added growth model), and 20 percent is locally selected measures of student achievement that are determined to be rigorous and comparable across classrooms (this decreases to 15 percent upon implementation of a value-added growth model).
The remaining 60 percent is made up of other measures of teacher effectiveness. At least 40 of these 60 points are assigned to multiple classroom observations. Further, teachers must earn better than "ineffective" ratings on at least one of the two student growth/achievement subcomponents as well as the other 60 percent measure in order to earn an overall rating higher than "ineffective." In addition, if both student achievement subcomponents are "ineffective," the overall rating will be "ineffective."
Teachers must be rated using the following multiple rating categories: highly effective, effective, developing and ineffective.
New Regulations, May 12, 2011 http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2011Meetings/May2011/511bra4.pdf Press Release, 5/16/11: "Regents Adopt Rules for Evaluating Teacher and Principal Effectiveness" http://www.oms.nysed.gov/press/EvaluatingTeacherPrincipalEffectiveness.BORAdoptRules.html
Require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although New York's requirement of student growth and achievement is a step in the right direction, it falls short by failing to require that evidence of student learning be the most significant criterion. The state 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. This can be accomplished by requiring objective evidence to count for at least half of the evaluation score or through other scoring mechanisms, such as a matrix, that ensure that nothing affects the overall score more. Whether state or locally developed, a teacher should not be able to receive a satisfactory rating if found ineffective in the classroom.
Ensure that evaluations also include classroom observations that specifically focus on and document the effectiveness of instruction.
Although New York 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.
New York recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.