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: Virginia requires student academic progress to be a "significant" component in its teacher evaluation system. Virginia recommends a weight of 40 percent.
Virginia 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. Virginia's guidelines offer a grading system in which a teacher could be rated developing/needs improvement for student growth and still be rated overall proficient if this teacher is rated exemplary for teacher performance.
State's role in evaluation system: Virginia districts develop their own teacher evaluation systems consistent with state criteria.
Code of Virginia 22.1-295 Guidelines: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/performance_evaluation/guidelines_ups_eval_criteria_teachers.pdf
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Virginia 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. Virginia 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.
Virginia provided the text from its Standards of Quality, Standard 5: Quality of classroom instruction and educational leadership states in part:
A. Each member of the Board of Education shall participate in high-quality professional development programs on personnel, curriculum and current issues in education as part of his service on the Board.
B. Consistent with the finding that leadership is essential for the advancement of public education in the Commonwealth, teacher, principal, and superintendent evaluations shall be consistent with the performance standards included in the Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents. Evaluations shall include student academic progress as a significant component and an overall summative rating. Teacher evaluations shall include regular observation and evidence that instruction is aligned with the school's curriculum. Evaluations shall include identification of areas of individual strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for appropriate professional activities.
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.