Committee Begins Work on State-Mandated Teacher Evaluation Instrument
In June, 2012, Missouri finalized a flexibility waiver with the US Department of Education regarding the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. As part of this waiver, the Missouri Department of Education is required to address three principles: College and career-readiness of all students, state-developed accountability, as well as supporting effective instruction and leadership. Out of this third principle has arisen state expectations regarding the evaluation system for teachers, administrators and superintendents in every public school district in Missouri. Rockwood is currently working to revise the TEI to meet the required standards outlined in the state’s expectations.
While DESE is requiring each district to incorporate these seven principles in their new evaluation instruments, they have not dictated to local school districts exactly how this is to be accomplished. As such, Rockwood put together a committee of teachers, administrators and central services personnel to tackle the challenge. Amongst those on the committee are RNEA President Suzanne Dotta and RNEA Vice President Paul Stanley. The committee is currently reviewing the state model, although there is latitude to make adjustments as necessary to meet the needs of Rockwood. In addition to developing the new TEI document, the committee will also consider forms to be utilized, timelines for evaluations, minimum expectations for observations as well as a professional development plan for administrators and teachers. Current timelines indicate these issues will be successfully addressed by the end of first semester.
Perhaps the greatest challenge facing the committee is the inclusion of measurement of student growth as evidence of teacher performance. The current TEI in Rockwood does not utilize any measurement of student growth as part of the evaluative process. While the state is requiring that this be a component of all teacher, principal and superintendent evaluation systems by Fall of 2014, there is no definition as to how that is measured or what portion of an individual’s evaluation it represents. The Missouri Department of Education has provided possible sources of evidence but no further direction. As such, the committee will be faced with the challenge of identifying sources of evidence and determining to what extent those impact the overall evaluation.
The committee will continue its work on September 26 with additional meetings scheduled throughout the fall. You can follow the progress of the committee work on the Insider page. The final teacher evaluation instrument will have tremendous impact on our practice. Please stay informed regarding the progress of the committee by checking this page regularly as well as talking to committee members. You can provide thoughts and feedback through those individuals as well as Suzanne Dotta and Paul Stanley of RNEA.
What is in an APR Score?
Recent stories in local media highlighted area school districts’ APR scores. APR, Annual Performance Report, is generated by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In the 2012-2013 school year, the factors utilized to calculate APR were changed. As such, APR scores reported in August were calculated utilizing a new system. Although Rockwood continues to have high raw testing scores, ranking sixth in the St. Louis region, our APR scores were lower than many county districts. For example, Rockwood’s MAP scores were higher than Parkway and Webster Groves, but our APR score was lower. What is in an APR score beyond actual test scores?