Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require objective measures of student growth to be included in a teacher's evaluation score. This goal is reorganized for 2019.
Impact of Student Growth: Rhode Island requires 30 percent of a teacher's overall evaluation rating to be comprised of student learning. A teacher's assignment determines which measure(s) will be used to assess impact on student learning: Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), Student Outcome Objectives (SOOs), and/or the Rhode Island Growth Model (RIGM).
State's Role in Evaluation System: Rhode Island has developed the Rhode Island Model, but districts may design their own system with state approval. However, district-developed systems must adopt the state model for SLO ratings.
Evaluation Guidebook (2018-19): http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Teacher_Guidebook_Ed_IV_7.31.18.pdf
Due to Rhode Island's strong policies in this area, no recommendations are provided.
Rhode Island recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it has engaged in pilots of new models for measuring student learning. Starting in the fall, all districts will have the option of using new models of student learning, including an embedded practice model and student growth goals. Student learning will continue to weigh at least 30 percent in educator evaluations.
Although educators could incorporate Rhode Island Growth Model data in their SLOs or other measures of student learning, the Rhode Island Growth Model data are not a separate measure of student learning integrated into educator evaluations. A new edition of the Rhode Island Model guidebook will be posted in the summer of 2019.
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.