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: South Carolina requires some evidence of student growth in teacher evaluation scores. One student learning objective (SLO) is required; this SLO relies on student growth measures as artifacts to support various evaluation indicators.
South Carolina does not require that teachers meet student growth goals or be rated at least effective for the student growth portion of their evaluation to earn an overall rating of effective. SLO scores are used as modifiers for teachers' overall evaluation ratings; however, they are not weighted heavily enough to automatically increase or decrease a particular rating.
State's Role in Evaluation System: South Carolina requires districts to use the statewide evaluation system (Expanded ADEPT) or a district evaluation instrument that is state approved and equivalent to the state instrument.
ADEPT System Guidelines for 2018-2019 https://ed.sc.gov/scdoe/assets/File/educators/teacher-evaluations/20170313_ADEPT_Guidelines_FINAL_Edited.pdf
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although South Carolina requires that objective evidence of student growth be included in a teacher's evaluation rating, it does not play a profound role in a teacher's overall evaluation rating. South Carolina should ensure that a teacher is not able to earn an overall rating of effective if he or she is rated less-than-effective at increasing student growth.
South Carolina recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis, and was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced the 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.