Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should have a data system that contributes some of the evidence needed to assess teacher effectiveness.
Rhode Island has a data system with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Rhode Island 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. Rhode Island defines the teacher of record as the teacher who is responsible for content instruction and determining students' grades. However, to ensure that data provided through the state data system are actionable and reliable, Rhode Island should articulate a more distinct definition of teacher of record and require its consistent use throughout the state.
Rhode Island recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it has draft policies for teacher of record: "Because this term causes confusion with HQT, we are using the term 'contributing educator.'" During the 2010-2011 school year, Rhode Island collected two snapshots of data to inform definitions and data-collection needs.