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Educator Evaluation

New Resources for Educator Evaluation Implementation September 3, 2015

From: Peske, Heather
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 5:00 PM
Subject: New Resources for Educator Evaluation Implementation

Dear Superintendents and Educator Evaluation Contacts,

On behalf of ESE's Center for Educator Effectiveness, we wish you all a great start to the 2015-16 school year. Our team has been hard at work this summer putting the finishing touches on new resources we hope will be of use to you as you continue to refine your educator growth and development systems. We also want to share with you some findings from a recent report on statewide implementation of the Educator Evaluation Framework in Massachusetts commissioned by ESE and conducted by SRI International. As many of you know, SRI has been researching educator evaluation in Massachusetts since 2012, and provides regular formative data to ESE that we use to inform our work and set our priorities.

With many districts entering their fourth year of using systems aligned to the Educator Evaluation Framework, it is a good time to take stock and consider what is working and what could be improved. Of paramount importance is ensuring that each component of your system promotes educator growth and development. We hope the research findings and related resources below catalyze good conversations and help you in your district to leverage the Educator Evaluation Framework to support students, educators, and evaluators.

Finding #1: Educators are divided about whether the evaluation system in their district is focused on professional growth and development. Educators' experiences with and perceptions of the Educator Evaluation Framework appear strongly linked to their districts' communication efforts about its purpose and uses.

Related Resources:
  1. The Transforming Educator Evaluation in Massachusetts (TEEM) video series features educators from Amherst-Pelham, Manchester Essex, Northbridge, and Revere discussing how they have successfully implemented educator evaluation systems. The series includes videos on effective communication Watch Video and identifying meaningful professional development .Watch Video
  2. Using the Educator Evaluation Framework to identify and recognize high performers is a terrific way to underscore that the framework is focused on growth. Check out ESE's new Teacher Leadership webpage, which includes a short paper authored by members of our Teacher and Principal Advisory Cabinets entitled "Building a School Culture that Promotes Teacher Leadership." Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
  3. The Educator Effectiveness Guidebook for Inclusive Practice (Guidebook) includes actionable tools that are aligned to the Educator Evaluation Framework and promote inclusive practice. It presents a great model for districts seeking to use the Educator Evaluation Framework to further a district priority.

Finding #2: Educators have mixed views of whether individual components of the Educator Evaluation Framework improve instruction. Teachers and principals value most the components of the Framework that provide opportunities to collaborate and reflect on instructional practices, such as goal setting, observations, and feedback.

Related Resources:
  1. The TEEM video series includes videos on each step of the 5-step Evaluation Cycle. Use these videos with your educators to showcase the purpose and inter-connectedness of each step (the self-assessment and goal setting videos are particularly timely to share now). The series also includes a video on connecting educator evaluation to district priorities. Watch Video
  2. Through our Teacher Leadership Professional Learning Network (PLN), we learned about Revere's structure for shared decision-making and communication Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document that involves 80 teacher leaders. Involving teachers in planning, implementation, and communication will help all educators understand the value of each component of the evaluation system and ensure that there is a steady feedback loop to monitor what's working and what's not.
  3. The Guidebook includes tools related to conducting targeted observations, as well as tools to help educators collect and apply student and staff feedback to their practice. These tools are designed to help educators strengthen connections between their goals, practice, and feedback.

Finding #3: Districts have made significant progress on developing and implementing DDMs, though educators have mixed perceptions about their utility and fairness. Interviewed teachers and principals were more likely to report positive perceptions of the implementation of DDMs when they had been involved in the identification and development process and when their districts had emphasized the purpose and uses of the DDMs for informing practice.

Related Resources:
  1. ESE worked with six Collaboratives in 2014-15 to bring teams of educators together to develop common measures. Explore the examples and watch the video Watch Video on the development process.
  2. The Guidebook tools on reviewing common assessments include a tool to review the accessibility of an assessment and a tool for determining growth across a range of diverse learners. Both tools are designed to ensure that common assessments are fair for students and educators.

Finding #4: Surveyed principals and teachers are confident that evaluators have the appropriate knowledge and skills to effectively conduct evaluations. Nevertheless, evaluators indicated that they struggled to balance their responsibilities and ensure consistency, and perceived inconsistencies have led educators to question the fairness of the process.

Related Resources:
  1. The TEEM video series includes videos on observations and feedback Watch Video, evaluator calibration Watch Video and evaluator workload Watch Video that may spark new ideas about how to support evaluators in providing meaningful, actionable feedback to educators.
  2. Learn how eight MA districts are supporting evaluators by reading On Track with Evaluator Capacity Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document, the culminating report of ESE's Professional Learning Network for Supporting Evaluator Capacity.
  3. Read about Wareham's efforts Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document to promote teacher leadership and distribute evaluator responsibilities by redefining the role of "instructional leaders." The more people sharing evaluator responsibilities, the more substantive and meaningful the evaluation becomes for each and every educator.

Superintendents: Now is a great time to update your district's Educator Evaluation Contact in Directory Administration. Superintendents are the default Educator Evaluation Contact, but you are free to remove yourself from the role and/or add as many team members as you see fit. Educator Evaluation Contacts receive timely updates from ESE about new resources and information to support educator evaluation implementation, including our bimonthly newsletter. To check your district's current contact(s), select "Educator Evaluation Contact" from the drop-down menu. We are always interested in learning more about your work and sharing good work with other districts. Please feel free to reach out to us.

Heather & Ron

Heather Peske, Associate Commissioner for Educator Effectiveness
Ron Noble, Educator Evaluation Manager

Last Updated: September 9, 2015
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