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: Texas requires some student growth to be included in a teacher's evaluation score. For districts that choose to use the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) and provide a single overall rating, student growth must count for 20 percent of a teacher's overall evaluation rating. Texas outlines four possible student growth options: student learning objectives (SLOs), portfolios, district-level pre- and post-tests, and value-added measures (VAM), if applicable. Districts may select any measure for their teachers—no single measure is required to be used for a particular grade or subject (e.g., VAM does not have to be used for teachers of tested grades and subjects). Districts may also use different measures for different grades or subjects. Districts that choose to keep component ratings disaggregated, or choose to not use T-TESS, may determine the weight of student growth.
Texas does not explicitly 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.
State's Role in the Evaluation System: Texas provides districts with the presumptive evaluation model T-TESS. Districts may design a comparable system.
T-TESS Guidebook: https://teachfortexas.org/Resource_Files/Guides/T-TESS_Implementation_Guidebook.pdf Student Growth Overview: http://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Educators/Educator_Evaluation_and_Support_System/Texas_Teacher_Evaluation_and_Support_System/
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Texas 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. Texas 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.
Texas was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this 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.