This fall, Senate Bill 191 will take effect. The goal is to ensure every student across the state is receiving a quality education.
But the path to that goal is likely to be very time-consuming for principals who are charged with evaluating every teacher in their building every year. The process requires principals to observe teachers in action throughout the year and will include a review of annual goals and the teacher performance plan, a mid-year review, an end-of-year review, evaluator assessment, a final rating, and goal-setting and performance planning for the next school year.
At the June 20 school board meeting, Delta County Joint School District #50 adopted the model evaluation system developed by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for the 2013-14 school year, which has been designated a "practice" year.
School superintendent Caryn Gibson said the evaluation system will change the role of principals. They will have to become educational leaders, striving to provide meaningful and credible feedback that will improve teacher performance at every grade level.
"We will be holding teachers accountable for what they're doing, to ensure we're providing the best education we can," she said.
Half the evaluation is based on five quality standards that measure professional practice — content knowledge, classroom environment, facilitating learning, reflecting on practice and demonstrating leadership.
Student outcomes/growth drive the other half of the evaluation. Delta County has developed its own "flag out" model for this portion of the evaluation process. Teachers will have different options for demonstrating student achievement/growth. TCAP, Dibels and ACT scores will be one method of measuring student outcomes, but the evaluator must use other indicators as well. Where no formal assessment is available, such as in band, the principal will use a performance-based means of measuring student growth. One example cited was comparing the first band concert of the school year to the last.
Scores are based both on classroom achievement and school outcomes. At the end of the process, teachers will receive a final individual rating of highly effective, effective, partially effective or ineffective.
Teachers will be granted non-probationary status only after demonstrating three consecutive years of effectiveness, rather than the current system that's based on the number of years they have taught.
This first year of statewide implementation will be a "hold harmless" year, in that a final rating of partially effective or ineffective will not count toward the loss of non-probationary status for teachers. Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, a final rating of partially effective or ineffective will count toward the loss of non-probationary status.
Teachers who perform unsatisfactorily will be given professional development opportunities, a remediation plan and a reasonable amount of time to correct the deficiencies.
CDE notes the year-long cycle includes regular conversations between the evaluator and evaluatee; it is not a one-time event or observation, but rather a process that focuses on continuous improvement of the skills, knowledge and student outcomes of the person being evaluated.
Because there is a great deal of subjectivity within the evaluation process, all evaluators must hold a principal's license. Administrators within Delta County Joint School District #50 are taking advantage of the training offered by the CDE, superintendent Caryn Gibson said. The district will also be employing the "train the trainer" model to allow training to continue within the district. At an Aug. 13 back-to-school day for staff members, the particulars of the evaluation system will be explained so everyone "is on the same page," Gibson said.
Principals will also be evaluated, and as with the teachers, half their evaluation will be based on student achievement. The rest is based on quality standards: strategic leadership, instructional leadership, school cultural and equity leadership, human resource leadership, managerial leadership and external development leadership. The professional practices can be measured with the state-developed rubric. School performance data will be the basis for measuring student achievement.
Principals whose evaluations indicate unsatisfactory performance will have an opportunity to correct deficiencies.
The guidelines for evaluating other licensed school district personnel, including audiologists, psychologists, nurses and counselors, are currently being developed. Those evaluations will begin with the 2014-15 school year, one year after teacher and principal implementation.
As the process is refined, Gibson said the school board will probably start having conversations about performance pay for teachers. "Right now we're watching and waiting," she said. "Across the state some of those programs are going well and some aren't going so well."blog comments powered by Disqus