Q: Will the new evaluation system require more class time for testing?
A: As teachers, we know that providing students an opportunity to show what they already know before a unit of study will help to streamline and prioritize instruction. Pre-assessment will allow an opportunity for this. Using both pre- and post-assessments will provide teachers the data necessary to document student growth. Without a pre-assessment it would be impossible to show student growth.
Q: How can I possibly do this with all my students and everything I teach?
A: The good news is you don’t have to! You select the instructional cohort whose growth you want to measure and it applies to two learning opportunities per year.
Q: Really? One more thing on our plates?
A: It may seem like “one more thing”, but actually it synthesizes many of the initiatives that are already in progress (i.e.: proficiency-based learning, MEA (SBAC), Lucy Calkins, Restorative Practice, school-based goals, etc).
Q: Am I responsible for students who aren’t consistently present for instruction?
A: For purposes of the evaluation system, to be counted as part of the cohort students need to be present 80% of instructional time and have taken the pre- and post-assessments.
Q: Will standardized tests be the only assessment used to determine student growth?
A: No. Multiple assessments can be used. For example, state assessment, commercial test, district-designed assessment, school-based assessment, course-based assessment, teacher-developed assessment, and performance measured using a rubric or scale.
Q: Am I going to lose my job based on a student growth measure?
A: The purpose of a teacher evaluation system is to ensure student growth and continued professional development. Student growth is an important part of this model but makes up only 20% of your overall evaluation.
Q: Can you please explain to me how Specialists will be evaluated in this new evaluation system?
Specialists would be the teacher of record for all of their students because they would have them for more than 80% of the instruction time in that particular subject. They would be evaluated with the same rubric and process as all teachers, but are able to choose a sub-group they want to use as the group for whom student growth will be measured in pre/post test situation. The Specialist will create the assessment used to measure that growth with approval from the building administrator. Students identified as the sub-group for growth will need to be present for both the pre and post assessment, as well as a minimum of 80 percent of the total instructional time. Much care is being taken to create an RSU #1 system/protocols that will spur professional growth, not a ‘caught ya’ kind of system for all teachers, Specialists included.