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Educator Evaluation: Update on Implementation and Proposed Technical Amendment to Regulations
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D, Commissioner
September 13, 2013


This memo provides an overview of the implementation of the Educator Evaluation framework, describes expectations for districts, and includes a summary of the resources and support that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) has committed to provide in the 2013-2014 school year. Additionally, I am requesting that the Board provide authorization to seek public comment on a technical amendment to the Educator Evaluation Regulations.

Overview of the Regulations and Framework for Educator Evaluation

In June 2011, the Board adopted new regulations to guide the evaluation of educators, 603 CMR 35.00. The evaluation system is designed first and foremost to promote leaders' and teachers' growth and development. It includes two independent but connected ratings: the Summative Performance Rating and the Student Impact Rating. The Summative Performance Rating is the final step of the 5-step evaluation cycle. This rating assesses an educator's practice against four statewide Standards of Effective Teaching Practice or Standards of Effective Administrative Practice, as well as attainment of the educator's goals. The Student Impact Rating is separate but complementary to the Summative Performance Rating. It is informed by trends (at least two years) and patterns (at least two measures) in student growth as measured by statewide growth measures, where available, and district-determined measures (DDMs). For more information about DDMs, see "Quick Reference Guide: District-Determined Measures."

2013-2014 Implementation Timeline: Expectations for Districts and RTTT Charter Schools

The regulations are designed to phase in evaluation processes over time. For example, in the 2012-13 school year, Race to the Top (RTTT) districts and charter schools completed implementation of the Summative Performance Rating for at least 50 percent of educators. As shown in the following chart, in the 2013-14 school year, all RTTT districts and charter schools will implement Summative Performance Ratings for their remaining educators and all non-RTTT districts will implement with at least 50 percent of their educators. During this school year, all districts and RTTT charter schools will pilot DDMs, as described in more detail below.

2013-2014 Implementation Timeline
September 2013

RTTT districts and charter schools begin implementation of new framework with balance of educators.

Non-RTTT districts begin implementation of new framework with at least 50% of educators.

All districts and RTTT charter schools submit list of DDMs to pilot during the 2013-2014 year

September 2013 - June 2014

All districts and RTTT charter schools implement the five-step cycle of evaluation (non-RTTT districts may do so with 50% of educators).

All districts and RTTT charter schools pilot DDMs.

December 2013DESE releases the June 2014 submission template and DDM implementation extension request form.
June 2014

RTTT districts and charter schools report summative or formative evaluation ratings for all educators.

Non-RTTT districts report summative or formative evaluation ratings for at least 50% of educators.

All districts and RTTT charter schools submit final plans for implementing statewide (MCAS) growth measures and DDMs for the purpose of collecting Year 1 Student Impact Rating data during the 2014-15 school year.

District-Determined Measures: Focus on the Five

In April and August, I sent memoranda to all superintendents and RTTT charter school leaders outlining my expectations for their work on district-determined measures.

View HTML Page
April memo
View HTML Page
August memo

During this school year, all districts will be piloting at least one potential DDM in each of five areas. The required minimum pilot areas, which were selected to align with the new Curriculum Frameworks, include:

  • Early grade (K-3) literacy
  • Early grade (K-3) math
  • Middle grade (5-8) math
  • High school writing to text
  • Traditionally non-tested grades and subjects (e.g., fine arts, music, physical education)

DESE Supports - Focusing on the Five and Integrating Educator Evaluation and Curriculum Frameworks

ESE's Educator Evaluation Team and Curriculum and Instruction Team are collaborating to provide the field with a multitude of supports particularly focused on the five minimum pilot areas, by integrating Educator Evaluation and the new Curriculum Frameworks implementation. These supports include:

  • Professional Practice Innovation Grant to support district initiatives that build the capacity of teachers and administrators to implement the rigorous standards of the Curriculum Frameworks, in ways fully aligned with the educator evaluation system.
  • Additional Model Curriculum Units, which include curriculum-embedded performance assessments. Information about the Model Curriculum Project and currently available Model Curriculum Units are available at Model Curriculum webpage.
  • Guidance on the use of curriculum-embedded performance assessments as part of a DDM-strategy (to be published this fall).
  • Quick Reference Guide: Integrating the Curriculum Frameworks and Educator Evaluation Implementation (to be published this fall).
  • Curriculum Summit: November 6-8, 2013. Will include breakout sessions related to the five required DDM pilot areas.
  • Professional development for evaluators on how to focus on the shifts embedded in the new ELA and math Curriculum Frameworks during classroom observations.

DESE Supports - Additional DDM Supports

  • Example DDMs to provide options for districts to pilot
  • Technical Guide B: Measuring Student Growth and Piloting District-Determined Measures
  • Technical Guide A: Considerations Regarding District-Determined Measures
  • Ongoing Webinar Series: DDM and Assessment Literacy

Coming Soon:

  • Technical Assistance and Networking sessions on September 19, 2013 in three regions, focused on DDM pilot plans in the five focus areas.
  • Model collective bargaining language related to the Student Impact Rating and DDMs.
  • Guidance on constructing local growth scores and growth models.
  • Guidance on determining Student Impact Ratings.
  • Professional development for evaluators on how to administer and score DDMs and use them to determine high, moderate, or low growth, focused on the five required DDM pilot areas.
  • Educator Evaluation Spring 2014 Convening.

Proposed Regulatory Amendment

Stakeholders including superintendents, principals, and union leaders agree the Educator Evaluation framework represents work well worth doing, but have requested additional time to implement with fidelity and to promote sustainability of these efforts. I agree that we should provide flexibility with respect to implementation timelines, where appropriate, to enable schools and districts to implement this important initiative effectively. For example, I believe it is wise to reserve the 2013-13 school year for researching and piloting DDMs. This will allow districts an opportunity to engage educators in the DDM identification and selection process, and to test assessment administration strategies in a no-stakes environment.

The regulations provide for a staggered rollout for the new educator evaluation system. While many of the dates in the regulations have been met, some dates need to be modified. For example, the regulations require that by September 2013, all districts must identify and report to DESE a district-wide set of student performance measures for each grade and subject that permit a comparison of student learning gains. Yet, as districts began the task of identifying at least two measures of student growth to match with each educator, it became clear that additional time was needed.

As a result, I am proposing an amendment to the regulations that would allow me to adjust dates in the regulations for good cause. The proposed regulation reads as follows:

(10) The Commissioner may, for good cause, modify the dates set forth in these regulations, including establishing new schedules for implementing regulatory requirements. Good cause may include the need to provide districts additional time in order to pilot for a limited period certain provisions of the regulations. The Commissioner shall provide notice of all such changes.

The proposed regulation is responsive to the field and provides appropriate flexibility. With the Board's approval, we will solicit comment on the proposed regulation, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, and plan to bring it back to the Board for a final vote in December. A redlined version of the regulations is attached, along with a motion authorizing the period of public comment.

Deputy Commissioner Alan Ingram, Associate Commissioner Heather Peske, and Associate General Counsel Deb Steenland will be at the Board meeting to answer your questions.


Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Proposed Amendment to Educator Evaluation Regulations, 603 CMR 35.00

Last Updated: September 20, 2013
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