Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require objective measures of student growth to be included in a teacher's evaluation score.
Impact of Student Growth: Texas requires 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.
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/
Due to Texas's strong policies in this area, no recommendations are provided.
Texas recognized the factual accuracy of 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.