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Educator Evaluation

Evaluator Calibration

What is calibration?Why is calibration important?
Calibration is the result of ongoing, frequent collaboration of groups of educators to (1) come to a common, shared understanding of what practice looks like at different performance levels and (2) establish and maintain consistency in aspects of the evaluation process including analyzing evidence, providing feedback, and using professional judgment to determine ratings. Research suggests that most educators in Massachusetts perceive their own evaluator's assessment of their performance to be fair. However, when asked about the process overall, many educators perceive there to be inconsistencies both within and across schools in how evaluators conduct evaluations. Inconsistency leads to questions of fairness. Engaging in calibration activities can help evaluators and educators norm their expectations and ensure that all educators experience a meaningful evaluation experience.

Bottom line: evaluators want to deliver high quality, actionable feedback just as much as educators want to receive it. Calibrating expectations for educator practice and deepening collective knowledge of strategies that can help educators grow is integral to sustaining an evaluation process that will strengthen educator practice and improve student learning.

Online Calibration Training Platform — Coming in February 2019!

The Office of Educator Effectiveness is partnering with TeachForward to design, pilot, and launch an enhanced Online Calibration Training Platform.

MA DESE; Calibration Training and Support for Evaluators and Observers

The Online Calibration Training Platform supports Massachusetts educators in public school districts and educator preparation programs to cultivate common expectations for and a shared understanding of effective instructional practice and high quality feedback.

The new Online Calibration Training Platform will enable educators to:

  • Access an expanded library of 100+ videos of classroom instruction and student work samples across grade-levels and content areas;
  • Identify and tag evidence of practice aligned to high priority elements from the Massachusetts Standards of Effective Teaching Download PDF Document and standards from the Curriculum Frameworks;
  • Draft and review evidence-based feedback;
  • View real-time data displays and reports filtered by organization and role; and
  • Calibrate as a team around perceptions of practice, standards-aligned instruction, and content-specific feedback.

Start planning your professional development today! The Platform will be available at no cost to MA districts and preparation providers from February 2019 through June 2020. Stay tuned for more information about its February 2019 release, including information tutorials and implementation resources.

Calibration Video Library & Protocols

DESE is pleased to provide a collection of professionally created videos of classroom instruction produced by the School Improvement Network, along with sample training protocols and activities. These videos depict a range of practice — this is not a collection of exemplars — to support within-district calibration activities that promote a shared understanding of instructional quality and rigor.

Email for additional information about DESE's calibration training supports.

Last Updated: December 17, 2018
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