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 York requires student growth to be factored into a teacher's evaluation score. The overall evaluation score is determined based on a matrix that combines the teacher's ratings on the performance category and the observation category.
The student performance category is comprised of at least one subcomponent, with an optional second subcomponent. The first subcomponent is either the state-provided student growth score or, for teachers of grades and subjects where there is no state growth model, a student learning objective (SLO) that results in a student growth score. Districts may add a second subcomponent, which may either be another state-provided student growth score on a state test or a growth score based on a supplemental state assessment.
New York does not allow a teacher rated ineffective for student growth to earn an overall rating of effective. In the state's matrix, a teacher who earns an ineffective rating for the student performance category must be rated ineffective or developing overall. If two subcomponents are used and the second subcomponent is a state-designed supplemental assessment, then the teacher can be rated no higher than ineffective overall. However, a teacher rated developing for student performance who also earns either highly effective or effective for observation is rated overall effective.
State's Role in Evaluation System: New York districts design their evaluation systems based on criteria articulated by the state; the state approves these systems.
Education Law 3012-D
Ensure that teachers meet student growth goals to be rated overall effective.
New York should strengthen its policy and require that, in order to be rated overall effective, teachers must be rated effective at increasing student growth. Specifically, teachers rated "needs improvement" for student growth should not be eligible to earn an overall rating of effective.
New York was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced 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.