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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

To: Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
June 20, 2014


Educator Evaluation - Progress Report on Student and Staff Feedback

In June 2011, the Board adopted new regulations to guide evaluation of all licensed educators: superintendents, principals, other administrators, teachers and specialized instructional support personnel. The regulations identify three categories of evidence to be gathered over the course of a five-step evaluation cycle:

  • Category 1: Products of Practice (Artifacts & Observations)
  • Category 2: Multiple Measures of Student Learning, Growth and Achievement
  • Category 3: Other Evidence related to Standards of Practice

The third category of evidence includes feedback from students and staff. At the Board meeting on June 24, 2014, Associate Commissioner Heather Peske and I will present the work completed by the Educator Evaluation team incorporating student and staff feedback into the evaluation cycle, including information on the DESE Survey Pilot Project and the development of the DESE Model Student and Staff Feedback instruments. We will be joined by Superintendent David DeRuosi (Malden Public Schools) and Superintendent Becky McFall (Lincoln Public Schools) as well as DESE staff.


The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is committed to ensuring the success of the statewide Educator Evaluation framework by providing educators with training materials and resources, meaningful guidance, and timely communications, and by engaging educators in the development and ongoing refinement of the framework. Our Educator Evaluation team has been charged with recommending and supporting a feasible, sustainable, cost effective way for districts to collect and report back feedback to educators in a manner that can inform and improve educator effectiveness. To that end, we have created model student and staff feedback surveys for optional use by Massachusetts districts beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

The DESE Survey Pilot Project

DESE Model Survey items were developed, tested, and refined through a rigorous pilot project in the 2013-14 school year. Eight Massachusetts districts and one educational collaborative volunteered to participate in the pilot. For more information on the DESE Survey Pilot Project, please see the information sheet accompanying this memo.

The DESE Model Feedback Surveys

Model surveys for classroom teachers (grades 3-12) and school-level administrators will be published in July 2014. The DESE model surveys are designed in accordance with the following criteria:

Districts may adopt or adapt these surveys, or may choose to use other feedback instruments. In addition, we will make available a group of feedback items appropriately designed for students in grades K-2 with recommended administration procedures.

Along with the surveys, DESE will publish guidance which will include: recommendations on the use of student and staff feedback in the five-step evaluation cycle, an administration protocol, a review of alternative methods for collecting feedback from students and educators, and a set of considerations for collective bargaining.

Parent Feedback

In this guidance described above, we will also publish our recommendation on the incorporation of parent feedback. The use of parent feedback in teacher and administrator evaluation will be optional; districts will not be required to develop or use a parent feedback instrument at this time. DESE will monitor national findings and work with local stakeholders to see if the role of parent feedback should be formalized in the future.

I look forward to discussing this topic with the Board on June 24 and hearing from the two superintendents about how they are using student and staff feedback in their districts.

Last Updated: June 23, 2014
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