The nation’s eyes are on Delaware as we determine the multiple measures to be used for the new teacher evaluation system with implementation set to begin June 30, 2011. Hundreds of teachers are engaged in a process led by Delaware’s Department of Education, the Delaware State Education Association, and the Delaware Association of School Administrators to document the measures of student growth (change in performance between two points in time) used throughout Delaware. Groups representing each type of teacher and specialist use the Hope Street Group online platform to share current measures—from vendor-provided assessments such as DIBELs, NWEA MAPs, and Access to teacher-developed rubrics used in Delaware Recommended Curriculum units to evidence portfolios—and potential measures not currently used in Delaware that could be purchased or created.
The goal of the evaluation system is to improve teaching and learning and professional development, however, it will impact a number of policies implemented as part of Delaware’s Race to the Top plan such as bonuses, teacher leader selections, and tenure. A number of policies must still be determined, such as:
· For what percentage of the growth component will the new assessment system, DCAS, account in tested grades and subjects?
· How will a year’s worth of growth on DCAS be determined?
· Will 100% of students be required to show growth? (DC’s IMPACT system uses 90%)
· How will the other considerations in Delaware code, including “student mobility, student chronic noncompliance with school rules, chronic failure by parents to abide by the Parents’ Declaration of Responsibilities under § 157 of this title, and other factors that may adversely affect the evaluation”, be taken into consideration?
As we continue to pioneer in this field, we will seek to learn from others’ experiences—such as DC and Denver—to ensure the system is implemented in a way that improves teaching and learning, is coherent with the numerous other reforms underway such as DCAS, and Common Core standards, and informs decision making at all levels.