Second Year of Educator Evaluation Ratings Shows Majority of Massachusetts Teachers Performing at High Levels- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Contact:Jacqueline Reis, 781-338-3115

Second Year of Educator Evaluation Ratings Shows Majority of Massachusetts Teachers Performing at High Levels

State's Evaluation Framework Designed to Provide Educators with Meaningful Feedback to Benefit Both Students and Educators

Malden - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today released the second year of educator evaluation ratings produced under the state framework. Similar to the first year, the vast majority of teachers and administrators who were evaluated received a solid performance rating.

Close to 71,700 educators in 372 districts were evaluated using systems aligned to the new state framework in 2013-14. Statewide, 86.5 percent of educators evaluated last year were Proficient. Smaller percentages of educators received the highest performance rating of Exemplary (8.1 percent) or a rating of Needs Improvement (4.8 percent). Less than one percent of educators were rated as Unsatisfactory (0.5 percent).

The state's new evaluation framework is designed to ensure teachers and administrators receive more meaningful feedback than ever before to help them better serve students. When fully implemented, the new system will require all public school districts in Massachusetts to evaluate every educator and will help discern where educators are performing well, where there is room for improvement, and how districts can best support the development of all educators.

"Massachusetts leads the nation in student achievement, and our educators are the driving force behind those results," said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. "We know that these evaluations help educators inform their practice and will positively impact student outcomes."

"No single school-based factor is more important to student learning than our teachers, and Massachusetts teachers work hard every day to give students the best education possible," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. "This framework is designed to help teachers and administrators collaborate and receive meaningful feedback that lets educators recognize their strengths and address areas where they could do better."

Three years ago, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted regulations that place educator practice and student learning at the center of evaluations. The regulations provide educators with greater feedback and opportunities to support their improvement while also shortening the timelines for improvement. The regulations also set a high bar for teacher tenure.

Under the framework, every educator is an active participant in her or his own evaluation. The process promotes collaboration and continuous learning and emphasizes professional conversations about teaching and learning. The goal is to provide opportunities for even the most expert educators to improve their practice by working with their colleagues and evaluators. For educators who are in need of improvement, the system provides the opportunity to grow.

Every educator, including superintendents, principals, and teachers, takes part in a five-step evaluation cycle that includes self-assessment; analysis, goal setting, and plan development; implementation of the plan; a formative assessment/evaluation; and a summative evaluation. Evaluators rate educators using multiple categories of evidence, including observations, multiple measures of student learning and evidence linked to effective practice such as samples of student work, lesson plans, and materials showing engagement with families.

Every educator evaluated in 2013-14 received a Summative Performance Rating of Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement, or Unsatisfactory. The summative rating determines the type of educator plan an educator is placed on for the next cycle. Experienced, effective educators are placed on educator plans of a longer duration that offer them more autonomy. Plans are designed to provide educators with meaningful feedback and support. The types of plans include:

  • Self-Directed Growth Plan – a one- or two-year plan for experienced educators who were rated Proficient or Exemplary.
  • Directed Growth Plan – a plan up to one year in length for educators rated Needs Improvement.
  • Improvement Plan – a plan of 30 calendar days up to one school year for educators rated Unsatisfactory.
  • Developing Educator Plan – a one-year plan for educators without Professional Teaching Status (also known as tenure), administrators in their first three years in a district, or at the discretion of an evaluator for an educator in a new assignment.

Eventually, educators will receive two ratings, a Summative Performance Rating and a Student Impact Rating (High, Moderate, or Low). Districts will not issue Student Impact Ratings until the 2015-16 school year, when trends and patterns across multiple measures have been established. An educator's Student Impact Rating must include at least two years of data that identifies trends and patterns using multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement. Student growth scores from state assessments must be used as one of the measures when possible.

Under the state's rollout of its evaluation framework, the 233 Massachusetts districts receiving Race to the Top funds began implementing systems aligned to the state framework in 2012-13. All other districts began in 2013-14. In 2013-14, Race to the Top districts were required to evaluate all of their licensed educators, and 89.6 percent were evaluated. Non-Race to the Top districts were required to evaluate at least 50 percent of their licensed educators, and 62.6 percent were evaluated. This year, 2014-15, will be the first year in which all educators statewide will be evaluated under the new framework.

Similar to last year, districts in their first year of implementation targeted supports to newer teachers: 91.2 percent of teachers identified as not having Professional Teacher Status in these districts were evaluated as compared to 68.6 percent of teachers identified by districts as having Professional Teacher Status. As expected, the evaluation data showed that teachers with less experience need more support to develop their knowledge and skills and improve their practice. Statewide, 10.4 percent of teachers without Professional Teacher Status were rated Needs Improvement in 2013-14, compared to 3.1 percent of Professional Teacher Status teachers.

Other 2013-14 results released today include:

  • All Educators: Statewide, 8.1 percent were rated Exemplary, 86.5 percent were Proficient, 4.8 percent were Needs Improvement, and 0.5 percent were Unsatisfactory.
  • Administrators: Statewide, 12.9 percent were rated Exemplary, 83.5 percent were Proficient, 3.4 percent were Needs Improvement, and 0.1 percent were Unsatisfactory.
  • Principals: Statewide, 11.3 percent were rated Exemplary, 84.1 percent were Proficient, 4.4 percent were Needs Improvement, and 0.2 percent were Unsatisfactory.
  • Teachers – Professional Teacher Status: Statewide, 8.3 percent were rated Exemplary, 88.2 percent were Proficient, 3.1 percent were Needs Improvement, and 0.4 percent were Unsatisfactory.
  • Teachers – Non-Professional Teacher Status: Statewide, 3.5 percent were rated Exemplary, 85.3 percent were Proficient, 10.4 percent were Needs Improvement, and 0.9 percent were Unsatisfactory.

Per state law, individual evaluation data submitted to the Department is considered personnel information and is confidential and not subject to disclosure under the public records law. The exception is data for superintendents, whose annual evaluations are a matter of public record.

For school- and district-level evaluation data, visit Educator Evaluation Performance (DISTRICT): All Educators. For more information on educator evaluation, go to Educator Evaluation.

Last Updated: November 13, 2014

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