Use of 2014-15 PARCC Student Growth Percentiles in Educator Evaluation
|To:||Superintendents and Charter School Leaders|
|From:||Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner|
|Date:||July 17, 2014|
In the Spring 2015, some schools will administer MCAS and others will administer PARCC. We have received questions from districts that will administer PARCC about how to use results from the PARCC assessment as part of the educator evaluation process during the 2014-15 school year. This memorandum provides our recommendation about how to best use the results from the 2014-15 PARCC assessments.
Throughout the 2013-14 school year, I visited many districts and schools across the Commonwealth and remain consistently impressed with your efforts to implement rigorous curricula aligned to the Curriculum Frameworks and the new educator evaluation system in ways that are integrative and impactful. My visits and conversations with you have made clear your strong desire to be thoughtful in your implementation efforts.
When done well, the new educator evaluation system is an opportunity to promote the growth and development of our educators. By providing useful feedback on educator practice and linking observations to evidence of student learning, an evaluation system can provide opportunities to support educators to grow, to learn from high-performing educators, to identify what is working, and to adopt practices that promote stronger student learning. Remember that at its core, the Massachusetts system honors the evaluator's professional judgment. Unlike evaluation systems adopted in other states, the Commonwealth has avoided an algorithmic approach that dictates the weight given to test scores and other measures; the professional judgment of evaluators prevails.
As rollout of the educator evaluation system moves forward, the interest in PARCC continues to grow. As you know, districts have the choice of administering PARCC or MCAS next spring as part of our "test drive" of PARCC. As of June 30, we heard from 297 districts: 176 (59%) chose PARCC while 121 (41%) chose MCAS for spring 2015 grades 3-8 testing. In addition, 65 districts are planning to administer PARCC high school exams.
Initial Year for Collecting Student Impact Rating Data
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. At least two years of data for each educator from at least two measures each year is required to establish patterns and trends. Therefore, data collected in 2014-15 will be combined with 2015-16 measures of student learning, growth, and/or achievement to determine an educator's Student Impact Rating.
The 2014-15 school year is the first year that all districts will collect data from measures of student growth that will be used to determine Student Impact Ratings the following school year (at the end of 2015-16). Note that districts will not report the 2014-15 data to the Department - you will combine the 2014-15 and 2015-16 data to produce Student Impact Ratings, which you then will report to the Department.
Calculating 2014-15 PARCC Student Growth Percentiles
For districts that administer PARCC in 2014-15, we will generate Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs) at the student, teacher, school, and district levels. The PARCC SGPs will take into account prior student achievement on MCAS in a manner parallel to the approach used to generate MCAS SGPs. We anticipate that PARCC SGPs will carry the same significance as MCAS SGPs:
low SGPs signal lower year-to-year learning gains than is typical of the gains of students from across the state who have similar prior achievement;
moderate SGPs signal typical year-to-year learning gains when compared to the gains of students from across the state who have similar prior achievement; and
high SGPs signal higher year-to-year learning gains than is typical of the gains of students from across the state who have similar prior achievement.
Employing 2014-15 PARCC Student Growth Percentiles
In light of this initial year of PARCC administration, we recommend the following:
Incorporation of median SGPs based on PARCC should be consistent with the recommendations and requirements outlined in the Implementation Brief on Using Student Growth Percentiles. Median SGPs based on PARCC can be interpreted in the same way as median SGPs based on MCAS.
When determining Student Impact Ratings in 2015-16, evaluators will examine three SGP data points, if available, for educators who administer PARCC in 2014-15:
- the 2013-14 median SGP, based on MCAS scores;
- the 2014-15 median SGP, based on PARCC scores1; and
- the 2015-16 median SGP based either on PARCC or MCAS - whichever is the Commonwealth's assessment at that point.
If the educator's 2014-15 PARCC-based SGP is lower than the 2013-14 MCAS-based SGP, then the evaluator will discount the 2014-15 PARCC-based results and instead use the 2013-14 MCAS-based SGP and the 2015-16 state assessment-based SGP, along with data from District-Determined Measures to determine the educator's Student Impact Rating.
By considering three years of growth data for these educators, evaluators will know whether the 2014-15 PARCC-based SGP confirms or is contrary to the 2013-14 and 2015-16 SGP results. If the 2014-15 PARCC-based median SGP is consistent with the other two years, this is a strong signal about the educator's impact on student learning. We recognize that for incoming new teachers, 2013-14 MCAS-based SGPs will not exist. In the case of teachers who transfer to a new district in 2014-15, evaluators should still include the MCAS-based SGP measures from 2013-14.
For districts that are implementing MCAS in 2014-15, educators' median SGPs in 2014-15 will be based solely on MCAS.
The Commonwealth's educator evaluation initiative is intended to maximize the growth and development of our students as well as of our educators. It is encouraging that a growing number of districts and educators are reporting that the new approach is promoting meaningful conversations about teacher practice and student learning.
The Student Impact Rating brings an additional dimension to the discussion between evaluatees and evaluators - a dimension that is at the heart of schooling. I hope that this memorandum is helpful to districts that are implementing the PARCC assessments in the Spring 2015. I know that this work is challenging. I am grateful to you for your leadership in the continued implementation of the new educator evaluation system.
If you have questions, please reach out to Craig Waterman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781.338.3244.
Barbara Madeloni, President, Massachusetts Teachers Association
Tom Gosnell, President, American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts
Glenn Koocher, Executive Director, Massachusetts Assn. of School Committees
Thomas Scott, Executive Director, Massachusetts Assn. of School Superintendents
1 2014-15 PARCC SGPs will be calculated using students' 2014-15 PARCC scores compared to the scores of a cohort of students with similar prior-year MCAS scores.