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Educator Evaluation

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Regulations
  2. ESE Supports & Engagement
    1. Integration with other Initiatives
      1. Licensure and Professional Development
      2. MA Curriculum Frameworks
      3. Educator Preparation
      4. Other District Priorities
    2. Model System
  3. 5-Step Cycle & Summative Performance Rating
    1. Training
    2. Rubrics
    3. Goal Setting
    4. Evidence (including Student and Staff Feedback)
    5. Student and Staff Feedback
    6. Formative Assessment/Evaluation and Summative Performance Rating
  4. View all


III. 5-Step Cycle & Summative Performance Rating

Formative Assessment/Evaluation and Summative Performance Rating
Does ESE expect a certain percentage of educator ratings at each performance level?
No. There are no expectations that a certain percentage of educators within a school or district fall into each Summative Rating performance level (Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement and Unsatisfactory). Please note that Proficient is a rigorous yet attainable level of practice, indicating that the educator has met all expectations for a given Standard.
How do you evaluate an educator on Standards not covered by his/her goals?
Educator goals may or may not address practice across all four Standards. When evaluating an educator's practice related to a Standard not addressed by the educator's goals, the evaluator may use observational evidence, artifacts of practice specific to that Standard, and/or relevant measures of student learning, growth and achievement. Rubrics provide an organizing framework for evaluators when analyzing evidence related to Standards. Educators and evaluators should think strategically about evidence collection, keeping in mind that one piece of evidence often reflects practice associated with multiple Standards and Indicators. For more information about evidence, please see Module 5: Gathering Evidence, Teacher Workshop 4: Gathering Evidence, and the Evidence Collection Toolkit Download PDF Document  Download Word Document.
What is the difference between a Formative Assessment and a Formative Evaluation?
For educators on plans that are one year or less in duration, the Formative Assessment takes place mid-way through the cycle (typically January or February for a one-year plan). Evaluators may give ratings on goals and/or practice related to the Standards; ratings are not required. For educators on 2-year self-directed growth plans, a Formative Evaluation takes place at the end of year 1 (usually May or June). ESE requires districts to report ratings on each of the four Standards as well as an overall performance rating. Formative Evaluation ratings default to the prior Summative Evaluation Rating unless there is significant evidence suggesting a change (603 CMR 35.06(5)(b)).
How are student learning, growth, and achievement incorporated into the Summative Performance Rating?
Evidence of student learning, growth, and achievement plays a significant factor in the Summative Performance Rating in two ways. First, multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement are a required source of evidence. An evaluator will review outcomes from student measures that an educator has collected to make judgments about the effectiveness of the educator's practice related to one or more of the four Standards. Such evidence may be from classroom assessments, projects, portfolios, and district or state assessments. Second, evaluators must consider progress toward attainment of the educator's student learning goal when determining the Summative Performance Rating.

For more information on determining Summative Performance Ratings, read the Performance Rating Guidance Download PDF Document  Download Word Document and associated practice worksheets Download PDF Document  Download Word Document.
Does the Summative Performance Rating inform the Student Impact Rating?
No. The Massachusetts educator evaluation system is designed to allow educators and evaluators to focus on the critical intersection of educator practice and educator impact. Its two independent but linked ratings create a more complete picture of educator performance.
  • The Summative Performance Rating assesses an educator's practice against four statewide Standards of Effective Teaching or Administrator Leadership Practice, as well as an educator's progress toward attainment of his/her professional practice and student learning goals. This rating is the final step of the 5-step evaluation cycle.
  • The Student Impact Rating is a determination of an educator's impact on student learning, informed by patterns and trends in student learning, growth, and/or achievement based on results from statewide growth measures, where available, and district-determined measures (DDMs).
Taken together, these two ratings will help educators reflect not only on their professional practice, but also the impact they are having on their students' learning. The Summative Performance Rating determines the type of educator plan an educator is placed on and the Student Impact Rating determines the length of that plan for educators who receive a Summative Performance Rating of Exemplary or Proficient. A visual, video-based tutorial on the two ratings and their relationship to Educator Plans is available online.

Last Updated: December 22, 2017
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