The data and analysis on this page is from 2019. View and download the most recent policy data and analysis on Measures of Student Growth in Washington from the State of the States 2022: Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policies report.
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: Washington requires some evidence of student growth to be factored into a teacher's overall evaluation rating.
Washington requires teacher evaluations to include a minimum of eight criteria: 1) centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement; 2) demonstrating effective teaching practices; 3) recognizing individual student learning needs and developing strategies to address those needs; 4) providing clear and intentional focus on subject-matter content and curriculum; 5) fostering and managing a safe, positive learning environment; 6) using multiple student data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning; 7) communicating and collaborating with parents and the school community; and 8) exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instructional practice and student learning.
Student growth data must be a "substantial factor" in evaluating the overall performance for standards 3, 6 and 8. Student growth data must be based on multiple measures that can include classroom-based, school-based, district-based and state-based tools and can include measures of performance across an instructional team or school.
Washington 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. Teachers with a preliminary rating of distinguished and a low student-growth rating will earn an overall proficient rating.
State's role in evaluation system: Washington districts must choose one of three instructional frameworks: CEL, Danielson, or Marzano. The state's approved student growth rubrics must also be used by the districts.
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Washington 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. Washington 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.
Washington had no comment on this goal.
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.