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 Dakota requires student growth to be a "significant" factor in evaluation scores. Teachers assigned to tested grades and subjects must use data from state assessments as part of the student learning objective (SLO) process to prioritize the learning content and analyze data to establish student baseline knowledge. Teachers of non-tested grades and subjects must include district-, school-, or teacher-developed assessments.
South Dakota does not require teachers to 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. The state model's matrix for determining a teacher's overall rating allows teachers who earn a "low" student growth rating to earn an overall rating of meets expectations, if they earn a proficient or distinguished rating on professional practice. However, a teacher's overall rating is subject to review.
State's Role in Evaluation System: South Dakota districts design evaluation systems based on criteria articulated by the state; the state approves these systems.
ARSD 24:57 Handbook: http://www.doe.sd.gov/teachereffectiveness/documents/Handbook.pdf
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although South Dakota 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 Dakota 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 Dakota declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.
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.