Using Student Growth to Evaluate Teachers: An update

February 24th, 2011

Category: News

Here is a quick update from last week’s State Board meeting on how student growth measurements will be used to evaluate teachers (in the new DPAS II system). There has been some concern that evaluations will be based on just one, cut-and-dry measure of student performance, which causes concern among teachers and others who know that there are many factors that impact how a student achieves.

According to the Delaware Department of Education’s Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Unit (TLEU), skeptics need not be concerned. The TLEU reported that:

  • Measures should substantiate, rather than dictate, the overall teacher, specialist and administrator evaluations.
  • Multiple measures are being evaluated for every distinct subject area / grade level in collaboration with teachers, school leaders, DDOE staff and DSEA leadership.
  • A “model of continuous improvement” is the objective; to strengthen both the assessments and the growth model over time.
  • “Student growth” needs to be further defined, i.e., what it means in terms of quantitative and quantitative measures.
  • DPAS II’s purpose is quality assurance, professional growth, and continuous improvement.
  • Novice educators will receive a minimum of 2 observations per year under DPAS II (one announced and one unannounced), and a Summative Evaluation. Experienced educators will receive a minimum of 1 announced observation and a Summative Evaluation.

It’s good to see that this is a collaborative process, as the DDOE laid out last year. Throughout the spring there will be an extensive review process before the growth measures are finalized, and in May the DDOE plans to start training for teachers, specialists and administrators on both the assessments and the student growth model. Stay tuned for more updates.

Sarah Grunewald



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