In Worthington we have GREAT teachers! I believe that almost everyone I talk with would agree with this statement. Certainly as parents some teachers fit our personal styles better than others and of course teachers are human, meaning just like you and I, they sometimes make mistakes. But, without question our teachers in Worthington are outstanding and on a traditional bell curve showing most of the teachers across Ohio, I believe ours would be primarily far to the right. Because teachers are so important, Ohio passed HB 153 that mandated a more rigorous teacher evaluation system. (We’ve always had an extensive teacher evaluation process in Worthington but it did differ from the new state mandated system.) For the past month this has been a major part of my work as we ready ourselves to implement this system next year. At a work session with the Worthington Board of Education on Monday, March 11th at 5:30 P.M. I will present WoTES 1.0 to the Board of Education. It will represent our thinking to date but certainly will not be a finished product. Even once we implement next year my belief is that this system is only the beginning. I suspect we’ll look back in a few years and laugh at how primitive our first system was and how much better versions, 2.0, 3.0 are, etc…Here’s what we know thus far:
In the Worthington Teacher Evaluation System (WoTES) there are two equally important halves: Teacher Performance on Standards and Student Growth Measures.
TEACHER PERFORMANCE ON STANDARDS
To assess Teacher Performance on Standards Worthington principals will use evidence gathered by completing a pre-conference, two formal observations of at least 30 minutes, multiple walkthoughs of 10-20 minutes, and other informal observations which will all be taken into account to provide the teacher with a rating of Accomplished, Proficient, Developing or Ineffective.
Pre-Conference and Post-Conference:
Pre-conferences will be scheduled with individual teachers prior to the first formal observation. This pre-conferences will allow the evaluator and the teacher to discuss what the evaluator will observe during the classroom visitation. Important information is shared about the characteristics of the learners and the learning environment. Specific information is also shared about the objectives of the lesson and the assessment of student learning. The conference will provide the teacher an opportunity to identify areas in which he/she would like focused feedback from the evaluator.
After each formal observation a post-conference will be held with the teacher. While the WoTES observation is used to evaluate a teacher’s instruction it is also used to provide a basis of support that teachers receive for professional growth. The purpose of the post-conference is to provide teachers opportunities to self-reflect on their lessons with the guidance and support of their evaluator. The WoTES design team determined in Worthington that the first pre-conference is mandatory for all teachers and administrators. A pre-conference before the second formal observation will only occur at the request of the principal or teacher.
Multiple walkthroughs will be conducted by the evaluator of each classroom teacher. These informal observations should last 10 to 20 minutes. The walkthroughs are intended to establish a supportive connection between the evaluator and the teacher and monitor the teacher’s progress on targeted areas of instruction. These visits also are a tool to inform evaluation that provides the opportunity to gather evidence of instruction over a series of short classroom visits.
In Worthington the WoTES design team determined that evaluators will provide informal notice of general timeframes when walkthroughs will take place. (For example: principal A sends an email that says walthroughs will occur on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon this week.) Teachers will be provided written feedback on evaluator walkthroughs in a timely manner and will have the opportunity to write a response if they choose to do so.
The Formal Observation Process:
Observations of teaching provide important evidence when assessing a teacher’s performance and effectiveness. As an evaluator observes a teacher engaging students in learning, valuable evidence may be collected on multiple levels. As part of the formal observation process, ongoing communication and collaboration between evaluator and teacher help foster a productive professional relationship that is supportive and leads to a teacher’s professional growth and development. Teachers will participate in a minimum of two formal observations. A formal observation consists of a visitation of a class period or the viewing of a complete class
lesson. The observation should be conducted for an entire class period, lesson or a minimum of 30 minutes. During the classroom observation the evaluator documents specific information related to teaching and learning. Each formal evaluation will be analyzed by the evaluator using the Teacher Performance Evaluation Rubric. A narrative will then be completed by the evaluator to document each formal observation.
Student Growth Measures
Value-Added. In Ohio, Value-Added refers to the EVAAS Value-Added methodology, provided by SAS, Inc. This is distinct from the more generic use of the term “value- added,” which can represent a variety of statistical modeling techniques. The Ohio EVAAS Value-Added measure of student progress at the district and school level has been a component of the Ohio Accountability System for several years. Ohio’s Race to the Top (RttT) plan provides for the expansion of Value-Added to the teacher level. Value-Added calculations currently utilize data from the Ohio Achievement Assessments (OAA). As the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments become operational and replace the current assessment system, they will be integrated into the Value-Added calculations. Additionally, the EVAAS data reporting system has added several features to help educators use this important data. Battelle for Kids (BFK) is providing professional development and other related services across the state.
For teachers with Value Added Data their value added data will count for the full 50% of the student growth measure beginning in 2014. The EVAAS Teacher Value-Added reports shall be used in proportion to the part of a teacher’s schedule of courses or subjects for which the measure is applicable. This mandate from HB 555 will be phased in and therefore will count as 25% of the student growth measure in 2013.
In 2013 Worthington teachers with value added data (4-8 grade reading and math teachers, science in grades 5 and 8) will use Value Added for 25% of student growth and an SLO for 20% of student growth. The final 5% will be shared attribution from building reading value added. Value Added data is from the year previous to a teachers evaluation. 2012-2013 Value Added data will be used for the 2013-2014 evaluation.
ODE-Approved Vendor Assessment.
HB 153 requires ODE to develop a list of student assessments that measure mastery of the course content for the appropriate grade level, which may include nationally normed standardized assessments, industry certification examinations, or end-of-course examinations for grade levels and subjects for which the Value-Added measure does not apply (the non-tested grades). ODE released two rounds of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) so interested vendors could demonstrate that their assessments qualified for use in Ohio schools. The list of approved assessments will be maintained and updated by ODE.
In Worthington MAP data (Measures of Academic Progress, NWEA) is an approved vendor assessment. For teachers with MAP data, 20% of student growth will be from MAP data and an SLO will be used for 25% of student growth. The final 5% will be shared attribution frombuilding reading value added.
Student Learning Objectives (SLOs).
SLOs are goals identified by a teacher or group of teachers that identify expected learning outcomes or growth targets for a group of students over a period of time. SLOs are determined by teachers after analyzing data on student academic performance and identifying areas that need a targeted effort for all students and subgroups of students. As a way to measure student growth, the objectives demonstrate a teacher’s impact on student learning within a given interval of instruction. Further, they enable teachers to use their own knowledge of appropriate student progress to make meaningful decisions about how their students’ learning is measured. As a collaborative process, SLOs also support teacher teams in their use of best practices.For Worthington elementary and middle school teachers without value added or MAP data, 45 % of student growth will be from a written SLO. The final 5% will be shared attribution from building reading value added. High School teachers do not have value added data and therefore those without MAP will use and SLO for the full 50%.
Shared Attribution Measures.
Shared attribution measures are student growth measures that can be attributed to a group. This could include a district, building, department or grade-level team. These measures encourage collaborative goals and may be used as data in the student growth component. The WoTES design team determined that building level value added in reading will count for 5% of evaluation in buildings with value added data. (Elementary and Middle School.)
Student Growth Calculation Examples:
Example #1: A sixth-grade math teacher in Category A1 only teaches sixth grade math, and will eventually use only Value-Added as her student growth measure component.
- In 2013-14, her Value-Added report must be at least 25% of the student growth measure component. An SLO will be 20% and Shared Attribution 5%
- In 2014-15, the Value-Added report would represent the entire 50% of the student growth measure component.
Example #2: A fourth-grade teacher in a self-contained classroom teaches all four Core subjects and is in Category A2:
- The Value-Added composite report (which includes math and reading) would represent 25%. The remaining 25% would be an SLO for 20% and Shared Attribution 5%.
Example #3: A seventh-grade social studies teacher teaches four periods of history and one period of economics. Worthington uses an assessment that is on the Approved Vendor list for history so this teacher would be in Category B.
- Worthington determined that Category B teachers will use Approved Vendor Assessments (MAP NWEA) for 20% and SLO for 20% and Shared Attribution 5%.
Example #4: A high school music teacher without Value-Added or Approved Vendor Assessment data would be in Category C, and will utilize relevant Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) as Worthington measures:
- This music teacher will develop SLOs for 50% of the student growth component.
Student Growth Rating:
Each teacher’s total student growth will be calculated to be provided in a category of Above Expected Growth, At Expected Growth or Below Expected Growth.
To obtain the final rating each category’s sub-scores are combined on the Evaluation Matrix to determine the rating. The vertical axis of the Evaluation Matrix represents student growth measures and the horizontal axis on the table represents teacher performance. By using the Evaluation Matrix, a final rating of Accomplished, Proficient, Developing or Ineffective will be determined.
If you’re interested in learning more about teacher evaluation the Ohio Department of Education has developed a wealth of resources and information that you can access here.