Update on Implementation Supports and Model System for the New Regulations on Evaluation of Educators
On June 28, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted new Regulations on Evaluation of Educators. The regulations, which apply to both administrators and teachers throughout the state, are designed to:
- Promote growth and development amongst leaders and teachers,
- Place student learning at the center, using multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement,
- Recognize excellence in teaching and leading,
- Set a high bar for professional teaching status, and
- Shorten timelines for improvement.
Implementation is beginning this fall in 34 Level 4 schools, Chelsea High School, and in 11 districts1 and 4 collaboratives2 whose applications to serve as "early adopter" sites were accepted this summer. Implementation will continue in Race to the Top districts in the fall of 2012 and in remaining districts in the fall of 2013.
Support for Effective Implementation
ESE is committed to supporting effective implementation of the new regulations. This summer, ESE worked with teachers and administrators in Level 4 schools, along with their district administrators and union leaders. ESE provided tools and guidance for developing new evaluation systems that conform to the new regulations. ESE has convened the "early adopter" districts and will be holding the first face-to-face meeting of their leadership teams on October 12th. Assisted by its implementation vendor, AIR/Learning Points Associates, ESE will continue intensive implementation support over the next several years, using a portion of Massachusetts' Race to the Top (RttT) funds.
ESE is developing a range of material to support implementation, including:
- An overview of the regulations, their key components, and a timeline for implementation;
- PowerPoint presentations with notes that district and school leaders can use to introduce the regulations to a variety of audiences, and deepen practitioners' understanding of key components such as using rubrics for self-assessment, setting goals for professional practice and student learning, and using multiple measures of student learning;
- A website3 to serve as a central repository for information, resources, and tools: Educator Evaluation;
- Up to date "frequently asked questions" posted on the website;
- A regularly-monitored email box (firstname.lastname@example.org) for stakeholders to pose questions and offer suggestions;
- Each component of the "model system" for implementing the regulations, as they are developed (see below).
The regulations require that all districts use rubrics for the standards and indicators contained in the new regulations. Districts can adopt ESE's model rubric or propose an alternative that is comparable in rigor and comprehensiveness. ESE has drafted classroom teacher and principal rubrics for use by Level 4 schools and early adopters in 2011-2012. By January 2012, ESE will release updated versions based on feedback received, along with role-specific rubrics, e.g. , counselor, caseload educator, superintendent. These updated and new role-specific rubrics will be available for all RttT districts as they plan for implementation in 2012-13.
By January, ESE will release key components of a "model system" for implementing the regulations, including revised job-specific rubrics, draft contract language, protocols for principal and superintendent evaluation, and forms, templates, and tools for implementing the protocols. The model system is being developed through the Department's ongoing work with Level 4 districts and early adopters, state associations, and in-state and national experts.
Rating Educator Impact on Student Learning
A key aspect of the regulations is the rating of educator impact on student learning. The rating of high, moderate, or low helps determine the type of plan that will guide the educator's development. The rating is based on a combination of state assessments (MCAS Growth and MEPA when available) and "district-determined measures" common across grades or subjects district-wide. Consistent with the regulations, by July 2012 ESE will develop and disseminate guidance and tools for developing district-determined measures of student learning and using these measures, plus MCAS Growth and MEPA scores when available, to rate educator impact on student learning and growth.
Using Student, Parent, and Staff Feedback
The regulations also call for the use of student feedback and, for administrators, staff feedback. They anticipate the possibility, too, of using parent feedback in the evaluation process. Recognizing that there are a number of important practical issues involved in making effective use of such feedback, the regulations do not require feedback to be used right away. Consistent with the regulations, by July 2013, ESE will develop and disseminate guidance and tools for using student and, possibly, parent feedback, along with staff feedback (for administrators) in evaluations.
We are excited about the possibilities the new regulations offer for strengthening the profession and improving student learning, and look forward to working with you in the years ahead to ensure their effective implementation. For the Department to be effective, we need to learn with and from you. Please do not hesitate to offer suggestions, raise questions, or sign up to receive updates on ESE's implementation efforts, by emailing EducatorEvaluation@doe.mass.edu.
1 The "early adopter" districts are Ashland, Attleboro, Everett, Franklin, Greater Lawrence Regional Vocational Technical School, Mashpee, Reading, Revere, Wachusett, Wareham, and Whitman-Hansen.
2 The "early adopter" collaboratives will pilot new evaluation processes in selected special education sites. The collaboratives are Bi-County, Collaborative for Educational Services, Lower Pioneer Valley, and South Coast.
3 Educator Evaluation is accessible from the left side of the ESE homepage.