Measures of Student Growth: Washington

2019 Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy

Goal

The state should require objective measures of student growth to be included in a teacher's evaluation score.

Meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2019). Measures of Student Growth: Washington results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/WA-Measures-of-Student-Growth-95

Analysis of Washington's policies

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. 

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.

Citation

Recommendations for Washington

Due to Washington's strong policies in this area, no recommendations are provided.

State response to our analysis

Washington recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Updated: June 2019

How we graded

7A: Measures of Student Growth 

  • Student Growth: The state should require:
    • That districts use an evaluation instrument that includes objective student growth measure
The full goal score is earned based on the following:

  • Full credit: The state will earn full credit if it requires teacher evaluations to include objective measures of student growth. 

Research rationale

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.[1] 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,[2] rich data and strong controls can eliminate error and bias.[3] 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.[4] Teacher evaluation instruments should include factors that combine both human judgment and objective measures of student learning.[5]


[1] Hanushek, E. A., & Hoxby, C. M. (2005). Developing value-added measures for teachers and schools. Reforming Education in Arkansas, 99-104.; Clotfelter, C. & Ladd, H. F. (1996). Recognizing and rewarding success in public schools. In H. Ladd (Ed.), Holding schools accountable: Performance based reform in education (pp. 23-64). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.; Ladd, H. F., & Walsh, R. P. (2002). Implementing value-added measures of school effectiveness: Getting the incentives right. Economics of Education Review, 21(1), 1-17.; Meyer, R. H. (1996). Value-added indicators of school performance. In E. A. Hanushek (Ed.), Improving America's schools: The role of incentives, (pp. 197-223). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.; Braun, H. I. (2005). Using student progress to evaluate teachers: A primer on value-added models. Educational Testing Service.
[2] Rothstein, J. (2009). Student sorting and bias in value-added estimation: Selection on observables and unobservables. Education, 4(4), 537-571.; McCaffrey, D. F., Lockwood, J. R., Koretz, D., Louis, T. A., & Hamilton, L. (2004). Models for value-added modeling of teacher effects. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 29(1), 67-101.; Darling-Hammond, L., Amrein-Beardsley, A., Haertel, E., & Rothstein, J. (2012). Evaluating teacher evaluation. Phi Delta Kappan, 93(6), 8-15.; McCaffrey, D. F., Lockwood, J. R., Koretz, D. M., & Hamilton, L. S. (2003). Evaluating value-added models for teacher accountability. Monograph. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.
[3] Chetty, R., Friedman, J. N., & Rockoff, J. E. (2014). Measuring the impacts of teachers II: Teacher value-added and student outcomes in adulthood. The American Economic Review, 104(9), 2633-2679.; Ballou, D., Sanders, W., & Wright, P. (2004). Controlling for student background in value-added assessment of teachers. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 29(1), 37-65.; Chetty, R., Friedman, J. N., & Rockoff, J. E. (2014). Measuring the impacts of teachers I: Evaluating bias in teacher value-added estimates. The American Economic Review, 104(9), 2593-2632.
[4] Weisberg, D., Sexton, S., Mulhern, J., Keeling, D., Schunck, J., Palcisco, A., & Morgan, K. (2009). The widget effect: Our national failure to acknowledge and act on differences in teacher effectiveness. New Teacher Project.; Glazerman, S., Loeb, S., Goldhaber, D., Staiger, D., Raudenbush, S., & Whitehurst, G. (2010). Evaluating teachers: The important role of value-added. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.
[5] Kane, T. J., Taylor, E. S., Tyler, J. H., & Wooten, A. L. (2011). Identifying effective classroom practices using student achievement data. Journal of Human Resources, 46(3), 587-613.; Taylor, E. S., & Tyler, J. H. (2012). The effect of evaluation on teacher performance. The American Economic Review, 102(7), 3628-3651.