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Educator Evaluation

Rubric Refinement Project

On June 28, 2011 the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted new regulations to guide the evaluation of all educators serving in positions requiring a license-teachers, principals, superintendents, and other administrators. As part of the state's model system for evaluation, ESE released a model classroom teacher rubric, which has since been adopted or adapted in over 90% of Massachusetts districts. The purpose of the rubric is to serve as the foundation for both deep reflection and rich dialogue about practice that drives the professional growth and development of our educators.

Regulations require that ESE update the ESE Model System as needed. Over the past four years, ESE has been collecting feedback from teachers and principals about the utility and effectiveness of the model teacher rubric. Through deep partnerships with districts and collaborations with individual educators, ESE identified four areas of focus for a rubric study in 2016:

  1. Exemplary Descriptors

  2. Redundant Content

  3. Alignment to Social-Emotional Learning

  4. Alignment to MA Curriculum Frameworks

The goal of the 2016-17 Rubric Study (Phase 1) was to develop a set of proposed refinements that streamline and strengthen the rubric, and to pilot (phase 2) a revised draft in 2017-18 for possible statewide release (phase 3) in Summer 2018.

Rubric Refinement Process

Rubric Study (Phase 1: 2016-2017)

In Phase 1, ESE facilitated a review cycle by multiple groups of teachers, principals, and district leaders for each of the four focus areas.

  1. First, a working group of teachers and principals from ESE's Principal and Teacher Advisory Cabinets reviewed the rubric and recommended specific refinements.

  2. Next, an ESE internal working group reviewed and finalized these proposed refinements.

  3. Third, proposed refinements were shared with an external advisory group of practitioners with expertise in the rubric for additional feedback.

  4. Finally, ESE project leaders from educator effectiveness and educator preparation confirmed proposed refinements.

Stage 1: 
Exemplary Descriptors
Clarification of Exemplary and its relationship to Proficient, including a shift from 'is able to model' to 'models this practice for others' 
Stage 2: 
Redundant Content
Clarification/removal of redundant content, including the collapse of eight elements into four 
Stage 3: 
Alignment to Social-Emotional Learning
Identification of the five core competencies for social-emotional learning within four existing elements 
Stage 4:
Alignment to MA Curriculum Frameworks
Alignment of practices embodied in the MA Curriculum Frameworks to three existing elements

The result is a draft rubric that proposes refinements in each of the four focus areas that are intended to improve the rubric's usability, clarity, and efficacy.

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The Draft Teacher Rubric and its Proposed Refinements

Rubric Pilot (Phase 2: 2017-2018 school year)

In 2017-18, ESE is partnering with schools and districts to pilot the draft rubric. ESE will collect qualitative data from teachers and principals at critical points throughout the year via focus groups and online feedback forms. Learn about becoming a pilot school or district.

Finalize Refinements (Phase 3: April 2018 - July 2018)

Based on results of Phase 2, ESE will bring together representatives from pilot schools and districts and other stakeholders to review and finalize refinements to the model teacher rubric, and parallel revisions will be developed and confirmed for the SISP rubric through a working group of relevant experts and stakeholders. ESE will develop support documents (updated Model System Part III, additional guidance around strategic evidence collection and calibration training), and implement a statewide communications outreach plan to introduce the refinements.

Statewide Release (Phase 4: August 2018) (pending results of Phases 2 and 3)

Last Updated: July 24, 2017
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