Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  

Educator Evaluation

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Regulations
  2. ESE Supports & Engagement
    1. Communications
    2. Integration with other Initiatives
      1. Licensure and Professional Development
      2. MA Curriculum Frameworks
      3. Educator Preparation
      4. Other District Priorities
    3. 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. Student Impact Rating
    1. Implementation and Timing
    2. Statewide Growth Measures
    3. DDMs
  5. Data Reporting & Confidentiality
  6. View all


IV. Student Impact Rating

Implementation and Timing
How is evidence of student learning, growth, and achievement incorporated into the Student Impact Rating?
Evaluators are responsible for determining a Student Impact Rating of high, moderate, or low for each educator based on patterns and trends using multiple measures of student learning, growth, and/or achievement (statewide growth measures and district-determined measures). Annual data for each educator from at least two measures is needed to establish patterns and trends.
  • Patterns refer to results from at least two different measures of student learning, growth and achievement.
  • Trends refer to results from at least two years.
Statewide growth measures (e.g., median student growth percentiles (SGPs)) must be used as one measure where available. For more information on determining Student Impact Ratings, read the Impact Rating Guidance Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document. Resources and guidance to support the identification of common measures, or district-determined measures, are available on ESE's Developing Common Measures webpage and in the common assessments section of the Guidebook for Inclusive Practice.
What is the purpose of the Student Impact Rating?
A key purpose of the evaluation framework is "to promote student learning, growth, and achievement by providing educators with feedback for improvement, enhanced opportunities for professional growth, and clear structures for accountability (603 CMR 35.01(2)(a))." The Student Impact Rating is designed to ensure that the evaluation process is focused on students by requiring evaluators and educators to focus specifically on student outcomes from multiple measures.
How will Student Impact Ratings be used?
Student Impact Ratings are used in several ways. First, they determine whether an experienced educator who earns a Summative Performance Ratings of Proficient or Exemplary will be placed on a one- or two-year Self-Directed Growth Plan. Second, when there is a discrepancy between an educator's Summative Performance Rating and Student Impact Rating, the Student Impact Rating serves as a spur to explore and understand the reasons for the discrepancy. Lastly, when combined with an educator's Summative Performance Rating, Student Impact Ratings provide a basis for recognizing and rewarding Exemplary educators and identifying educators who may be eligible for additional roles and responsibilities subject to local collective bargaining agreements.
When will districts issue Student Impact Ratings?
In accordance with the revised implementation timeline, outlined in the Commissioner's August 15th, 2013 memorandum, ESE will begin collecting Student Impact Ratings from districts at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. Some districts have requested and been granted additional time following the process outlined in Alternative Pathways QRG Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document. No district has been approved to report Student Impact Ratings later than 2016-17 for some educators and 2017-18 for all educators.
How will student learning, growth, and achievement be assessed for specialized instructional support personnel (SISP) - e.g., nurses and counselors?
For educators whose primary role is not as a classroom teacher, appropriate measures of the educator's contribution to student learning, growth, and achievement must be identified. ESE worked with statewide associations to support the identification of appropriate measures for a variety of specialized instructional support personnel roles. Read the Implementation Brief on Indirect Measures and SISP Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document and visit the developing common measures webpage for more information and examples.
Does the Student Impact Rating inform the Summative Performance 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.

For more information about the intersection between the Student Impact Rating and Summative Performance Rating, read the Impact Rating Guidance Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document.
What are alterative pathways for evaluating educator impact?
In the spring of 2015, ESE provided districts the opportunity to submit a proposal to use an alternative pathway for determining Student Impact Ratings. Alternative pathways were approved if they met the five core principles outlined in the Alternative Pathways QRG Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document. Districts using an approved alternative pathway are still required to determine Student Impact Ratings based on student outcomes from multiple measures of student learning and must use at least one common assessment as a piece of evidence for each educator.

Last Updated: December 30, 2015
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search·Public Records Requests · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE