2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should have a data system that contributes some of the evidence needed to assess teacher effectiveness.
Pennsylvania has a data system with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Pennsylvania has all three necessary elements of a student- and teacher-level longitudinal data system. The state has assigned unique student identifiers that connect student data across key databases across years and has assigned unique teacher identifiers that enable it to match individual teacher records with individual student records. It also has the capacity to match student test records from year to year in order to measure student academic growth.
Data Quality Campaign www.dataqualitycampaign.org
Develop a clear definition of "teacher of record."
A definition of teacher of record is necessary in order to use the student-teacher data link for the purpose of providing value-added evidence of teacher effectiveness. Pennsylvania defines the teacher of record as any public school teacher with primary responsibilities for direct instruction, including the assignment of grades in one or more of the following core subjects: English, reading/language arts, math, science, foreign language, arts and social studies. However, to ensure that data provided through the state data system are actionable and reliable, Pennsylvania should articulate a more distinct definition of teacher of record and require its consistent use throughout the state.
Pennsylvania asserted that it uses the NCLB definition of teacher of record.
The state should consider whether its NCLB definition will be appropriate and suitable for performance-based teacher evaluations. The indication from states that are ahead in bringing these systems online is that their NCLB definitions need to be reconsidered for this purpose.