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Office of Planning and Research

ESE Research Update, May 2014

Reports from ESE

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Educator Evaluation Data: Student Growth Percentiles, Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Professional Teaching Status (April 2014)
This report shows how the 2012-13 summative performance ratings under the state's new educator evaluation system relate to MCAS median student growth percentile and disaggregates the overall performance ratings by race and gender. Ultimately, 37,940 educators were evaluated in 2012-13, representing 62 percent of the 61,441 educators in the districts that met the criteria to be evaluated and 43 percent of educators statewide. The report found that teachers rated Exemplary in the summative performance rating were more likely than others to have achieved high student academic growth, and teachers rated Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory were more likely to have achieved low student academic growth. The distribution of ratings for educators of color was more disperse than the distribution for white educators. Female educators were more likely than males to receive high summative performance ratings and less likely to receive low ratings. Importantly, the educators evaluated were not a random or representative sample of all educators, but rather are representative of those educators in Race to the Top districts that districts chose to evaluate in the first year of implementation.

Reports from ESE

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Kindergarten Expansion Grants - FY14 (March 2014) - Legislative Report

Other Sources

  • Taking Stock: Five Years of Structural Change in Boston's Public Schools, from The Boston Foundation's Boston Indicators Project, examines the impact of increased autonomy in Boston Public Schools (BPS) from 2008 to 2013. The number of schools with some form of instructional and structural autonomy increased from 24 out of 139 schools (17 percent) in 2007-08 to 44 of 124 schools (35 percent) in 2012-13. In all but one case (grade 4 math), trend lines show that schools with greater autonomy have higher student growth in both ELA and math than those with lesser autonomy. From this broad analysis, the authors suggest that that autonomy may be a powerful way for schools to improve their student performance, but further analysis is needed.

  • Promise and Paradox: Measuring Students' Non-cognitive Skills and the Impact of Schooling, from the Harvard Center for Education Policy Research, studied the relationships between schooling, cognitive skills, and academic achievement in 1,368 eighth-grade students who attended 32 different public schools in Boston. At the student level, scales measuring non-cognitive skills such as conscientiousness, self-control and grit were positively correlated with attendance, behavior, and test-score gains between fourth and eighth grade. At the school level, however, students attending over-subscribed charter schools with higher average test-score gains scored lower on these scales than students attending non-charter schools. The authors suggest that these paradoxical results may be driven by the tendency for survey responses to be influenced by social context. Specifically, students attending demanding charter schools may rate themselves more critically on non-cognitive skills than students in other schools.

  • The New Opportunity to Lead, commissioned by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education,argues that Massachusetts needs to make changes to create a more skilled workforce and avoid stagnant academic performance. The authors assert that although Massachusetts consistently ranks at or near the top of state scores on the NAEP and fares well on international tests such as the PISA, Massachusetts school improvement has slowed in some areas. The authors calls for changes to state education policy, including: providing more autonomy to schools; overhauling the state's school funding system to ensure that money is weighted to provide resources to schools with the highest levels of need; changing teacher licensure and creating a professional ladder to recognize master and advanced teachers; and creating new opportunities for schools to innovate through the use of technology. The report also calls for a "grand bargain" between the state and teachers' unions covering salary and workforce issues across all districts.



Last Updated: June 3, 2014
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