The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Oregon does not require that objective evidence of student learning be the preponderant criterion of its teacher evaluations.
The state requires local school districts to formulate their own evaluation instruments based on performance standards and performance goals established by the districts.
Oregon has recently passed legislation requiring the state to adopt model core teaching standards by January 1, 2012, that will inform performance evaluation of teachers. These standards must "take into consideration multiple measures of teacher effectiveness" as well as "evidence of student academic growth and learning based on multiple measures of student progress, including performance data of students, schools and school districts."
Oregon Revised Statutes 342.850 S.B. 290
Require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Oregon 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. Whether state or locally developed, a teacher should not be able to receive a satisfactory rating if found ineffective in the classroom.
Ensure that classroom observations specifically focus on and document the effectiveness of instruction.
Oregon should not only require that its evaluations include classroom observations, but also the state should specifically articulate that these observations focus on effectiveness of instruction. The primary component of a classroom observation should be 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.
Utilize rating categories that meaningfully differentiate among various levels of teacher performance.
To ensure that the evaluation instrument accurately differentiates among levels of teacher performance, Oregon should require districts to utilize multiple rating categories, such as highly effective, effective, needs improvement and ineffective. A binary system that merely categorizes teachers as satisfactory or unsatisfactory is inadequate.
Oregon was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state added that its new law calls for distinguishing multiple levels of proficiency in the evaluation process, thus eliminating the former binary system. Also, teacher evaluations must use the core teaching standards as a basis for performance evaluation and also link directly to the professional growth plans offered to teachers. "The model core teaching standards will provide the foundation for consistent teacher evaluation criteria and teacher professional growth and development throughout a teacher's career."
Oregon also noted that the parallel passage of its new law provides a grant program to improve student achievement through the collaboration of teachers and administrators to design and implement rigorous approaches to evaluation, career pathways, enhanced professional development and new compensation models.