Delaware Still Leading the Way on Teacher Evaluation

June 8th, 2011

Category: News, Policy and Practice

After months of work across the state, committees of over 500 educators and school leaders have submitted their recommendations around the multiple measures of student growth to the Department of Education – which are now subject to review and final approval by the Secretary of Education by June 30th.

These recommendations will serve as the student improvement component of Delaware’s DPAS II teacher evaluation system – which is set for full implementation next school year. Student improvement components will vary by grade and subject, with teachers in tested subjects required to use DCAS as one of the multiple measures while all non-tested teachers must use at least two measures of student learning (portfolio assessments, alternative assessments, etc.).

This progress parallels other leading states in this critical work. Currently:

  • all tested subjects incorporate TVAAs growth metrics;
  • all non-tested subjects use school-wide growth as the student learning metric (this metric will be used until recommendations are developed by a designated group of educators); and
  • the evaluation framework follow the Teacher Advancement Program model.
  • all districts can either use the statewide model evaluation or adopt a technically sound one on their own;
  • student growth metrics must include CSAP scores and one other metric of their choosing; and
  • not all districts need to implement in 2011 – discussions are now proceeding about pilots to roll out next year.

While these other states are doing great work and moving faster in some respects, we believe our careful, and collaborative, approach will yield enormous dividends and ultimately prove sustainable long-term. However, we can’t expect perfection from the outset and must be willing to come together when we hit the inevitable bump in the road – and persevere through for the benefit of all Delaware students. With our history of strong collaboration, especially with the considerable involvement of educators, Delaware stands to create meaningful and lasting progress in teacher evaluation policy.

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Brett Turner



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