New Race to the Top teacher evaluations with strong reliance on test scores begin in 2014-2015

downeyart0726 (Medium)As expected, House Bill 244 passed both the House and the Senate, incorporating the educator evaluation system piloted by Georgia’s Race to the Top districts into state law. With the Senate vote this week, the bill now moves to the governor, who will sign it into law.

As you can tell from reading the bill, there are some vague references to yet-to-be-finalized evaluation details.

The teacher evaluations will now give great weight to student academic growth as measured by testing. Measures of student growth count for at least half an educator’s rating.

The passage won praise from former Washington, D.C., chancellor Michelle Rhee, founder of StudentsFirst. “The overwhelming bipartisan support of House Bill 244 provides a clear example of leaders putting politics aside and doing what’s best for students. By passing this legislation, the Georgia Legislature has sent a strong message to the rest of the country – our kids deserve to have great teachers in public school classrooms,” she said.

It was heralded by Gov. Nathan Deal, who said, “The statewide teacher and leader evaluation system established by this legislation builds upon the work accomplished with Georgia’s Race to the Top grant and will allow us to continue to improve educational practices in Georgia. These improvements will increase student learning and academic growth.”

Here is the meat of the bill:

No later than the 2014-2015 school year, each local school system and all charter schools shall implement an evaluation system as adopted and defined by the State Board of Education for elementary and secondary school teachers of record, assistant principals, and principals. The evaluation system shall be developed by the department in consultation with stakeholders, such as teachers and principals. The evaluation system shall use multiple measures, prioritizing growth in student achievement. For purposes of the evaluation system established pursuant to this subsection, the state board shall define and designate teachers of record, assistant principals, and principals.

Teachers of record, assistant principals, and principals shall be evaluated using multiple, rigorous, and transparent measures. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, teachers of record, assistant principals, and principals shall be given written notice in advance of the school year of the evaluation measures and any specific indicators that will be used to evaluate them. Evaluation measures shall include the following elements:

(A) For teachers of record who teach courses that are subject to annual state assessments aligned with state standards and the principals and assistant principals of elementary or secondary schools that are subject to such assessments, growth in student achievement on such assessments shall count for at least 50 percent of the evaluation, using the student growth and academic achievement measures identified in the evaluation system;

(B) For teachers of record who teach courses not subject to annual state assessments, growth in student achievement shall be assessed through measures of student achievement growth developed at the school system level and approved by the Department of Education. When sufficient data becomes available from the department to calculate student achievement growth measures, such measures of student achievement growth shall count for at least 50 percent of the evaluation, using student growth and academic achievement measures developed by the school system in a process approved by the State Board of Education;

(C) For teachers of record, the annual evaluation shall also include multiple additional measures that shall be correlated with impacts on student achievement results. These measures shall include multiple classroom observations each year by appropriately trained and credentialed evaluators, using clear, consistent observation rubrics, and supplemented by other measures aligned with student achievement, including student perception data and documentation of practice; and

(D) For assistant principals and principals, the annual evaluation shall also include multiple additional measures that shall be aligned with impacts on student achievement results. These measures shall include multiple school observations each year by appropriately trained and credentialed evaluators. When sufficient data becomes available from the department to calculate performance measures, these measures shall also include the principal’s ability to attract and retain highly effective teachers, effectively manage the school, and establish a positive climate for learning, and other measures aligned with student achievement for students in all subgroups.

(3) The evaluation system adopted by the State Board of Education shall give every teacher of record, assistant principal, and principal one of four rating levels that are designated as ‘Exemplary,’ ‘Proficient,’ ‘Needs Development,’ or ‘Ineffective,’ as further defined by the State Board of Education.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

148 comments Add your comment

Centrist

March 27th, 2013
6:35 pm

Great!

(Unless you are a liberal)

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

March 27th, 2013
6:38 pm

Yup. Democrats absolutely HATE having the actual results of their programs/ideas measured.

NFparent

March 27th, 2013
6:40 pm

Our latest x-ray shows my child has another cavity. Can I pay my dentist half?

Looking for Solutions

March 27th, 2013
6:40 pm

I predict test scores for students in metro Atlanta will take a nose dive because principals and teachers will be less likely to risk going to jail for cheating on standardized tests.
The indictments for the APS scandal are happening at this very moment and all kinds of witnesses are lining up to testify, including students who were threatened by their very own teachers.
The teaching profession has hit a new low.

d

March 27th, 2013
6:40 pm

Hey, I’m a proud NEA member – I don’t care about test scores if they are reliable tests. My problem is using TKES, I, as an economics teacher, am evaluated showing how I grew children from US History – not exactly a related subject. My US History teacher colleagues are responsible for 3 years of growth because the last test the children took was the 8th grade CRCT…. and most of them haven’t taught these children in 9th or 10th grade. SOOOOOO….. I hope they redesign the testing program before 2014.

Google "NEA" and "donations"

March 27th, 2013
6:43 pm

It’s a scandal that it’s taken until 2013 to pass this measure. Shame on the Georgia Association of Educators membership that funded opposition to such reforms—including parental choice.

Centrist

March 27th, 2013
6:44 pm

@ NFparent – Suggest having a sealant applied, more parental oversight of proper brushing, and less sugar.

From a Art Teacher

March 27th, 2013
6:49 pm

As a non-core content teacher (Art) I have great problems with this system for me. I see my elementary students aprox. 30 mins per week. There are 36 weeks in the school year this give me 18 hours of instruction per year at max. There is no way I am getting a full 18 hours per year as testing and special programs sometimes alter our schedules. They need to rethink this for teachers of non-core subjects

NFparent

March 27th, 2013
6:53 pm

No, Centrist, it’s time for my dentist to take responsibility! I’m sure my Special Snowflakes never eat sugar and brush all the time! You must be part of a greedy Dentist Union interested in selling me more sealants and protecting lazy dentists!

Hey Teacher

March 27th, 2013
6:57 pm

I have a huge problem with the 50% part of the equation. How does one measure “growth” in a class where students don’t come to school or take school seriously? How does one measure “growth” in a gifted class where students are already scoring in the 99th percentile? Like the TPAI, this too will cost taxpayers large sums to implement, give additional “administrators” six figure jobs, and will ultimately be proven unreliable as an evaluation tool. The only way we are going to attract and keep high quality teachers is to improve working conditions — period.

Centrist

March 27th, 2013
7:03 pm

@ NFparent – Your Special Snowflakes need only slow their rate of cavities – need not compete with children who actually are encouraged to brush, avoid sugar, and have sealants.

@ Art Teacher – Maybe the intent is to evaluate within like teacher groups (core, STEM, non-core). Or maybe you are exempt by this: “(B) For teachers of record who teach courses not subject to annual state assessments …”

Courtney

March 27th, 2013
7:05 pm

DUMBEST IDEA EVER. This is nothing more than a lawyer employment bill.

bad idea

March 27th, 2013
7:06 pm

Just a horrible idea. Im held accountable for a student whose parents take them out of school for vacations in the middle of the academic year? What about students who are chronically absent? All from a for profit test generating company? Do baseball players have contracts awarded per r.b.i. and base hit after the season has concluded? Should I not be allowed to teach what I want if I will be held accountable for results? So you tell me what to teach, how I must teach it, how I assess the students performance, and then hold me accountable for how they perform on the tests? BAD IDEA…the school culture only gets worse…..

FoCo Teacher

March 27th, 2013
7:08 pm

As a language teacher, I want to know how growth is measured differently from the level 1 class (where great strides can be made from the beginning of the year to the end) when compared to the AP Level class (where knowledge and ability was already good-to-great and in a world where CB has said that AP scores should not be counted as a measure of teacher effectiveness)?

Despite what others may think of Democrats, I believe that most Democraticeducators don’t have a problem with this idea IN THEORY – it’s the practical application that is concerning.

Hey Teacher

March 27th, 2013
7:09 pm

Courtney — that’s exactly what happened to the TPAI. Only the lawyers got anything out of the deal. We need to spend our money on something else — copy paper would be a good start.

FoCo Teacher

March 27th, 2013
7:10 pm

*Democratic educators (Please pardon the lack of a space before…my laptop gets jumpy sometimes.)

ScienceTeacher671

March 27th, 2013
7:19 pm

It would work better if the state assessments and “system designed tests” were a bit more reliable and maybe even rigorous, and if it were possible to compare the curriculum in all subjects from one year to the next.

Personally, if I were an elementary or middle school teacher, I’d rather be evaluated based on how my students did using a nationally-normed test.

And then there are the students who don’t want to be at school, or rarely come to school, or who haven’t EVER passed a standardized test in 8-10 years of being at school.

Not that those who think all teachers are lazy, teat-sucking NEA members would ever believe it, but it’s not always the teacher’s fault.

ScienceTeacher671

March 27th, 2013
7:21 pm

Hey Teacher, some days I’d walk across fire or broken glass for a case of copy paper or a couple of printer cartridges!

(only partly joking, as I’m sure those of you in the classroom know)

mteachhh1

March 27th, 2013
7:29 pm

this is my last year of teaching, then its back into the business world. Thank Gid i will not have to deal with my job relying on something i have little control over. I feel bad for the teachers who stay in the profession. This country is done. The direction we are going, good luck finding new teachers!

Thurston Howell IV

March 27th, 2013
7:30 pm

@ Science Teacher 671 et al,

We taxpayers are sending the money for stuff like that.It’s just being stolen by the battalions of deadwood administrators before it ever reaches you.That’s why reformers are so passionate about real change.

ScienceTeacher671

March 27th, 2013
7:35 pm

Centrist – “@ NFparent – Suggest having a sealant applied, more parental oversight of proper brushing, and less sugar.”

You’ve made NFparent’s point, if inadvertently. For instance, when a child is absent every time I give a test, and won’t make it up, whose fault is that? When I child is absent 20-30% of the time, how can I teach that child much of anything?

Old Physics Teacher

March 27th, 2013
7:38 pm

So Thurston,

This new “law” that puts more regulation on the teachers, that causes school systems to hire more administrator/statisticians/student support/babbysitters so there’s even less money for teaching… that’s a good thing? I don’t think your definition of “good” is very good.

ScienceTeacher671

March 27th, 2013
7:39 pm

Thurston Howell IV, I’m aware there’s a lot of waste in the system (particularly at the county office) but I can’t see how this bill or anything else the General Assembly even proposed this session does anything about it.

teacherwantingachange

March 27th, 2013
7:43 pm

Look at Dekalb’s “balanced scorecard.” You will see how few students are proficient, according to benchmarks. In fact, some tests resulted in 99% or 97% not passing.

How are legislators going to determine the validity of such tests?

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

March 27th, 2013
7:45 pm

Just wait till older students discover they can account for 50% of a teachers evaluation and undermine an unpopular teacher by deliberately bombing the tests…afterall, there is NO negative consequence for most students for not doing well on the tests. And “unpopular” does not necessarily equate to “poor”. Sometimes the best teachers are “unpopular” because they push students more than the students want to be pushed.

Dina

March 27th, 2013
7:48 pm

“I Love Teaching”…..you are correct.

Bernie

March 27th, 2013
7:54 pm

The story line of this article is quite humorous when one thinks about it.
Claims of racing to the TOP when all around us our Political Leaders and Republican supporters, Clearly and Unapologetically have us ALL on a SPRINT to the Bottom.

Especially when to comes to the education and healthcare of Georgia’s millions of students. We will soon be joining closer with the likes of States like Mississippi,Louisiana and Alabama in our planned Education and Healthcare initiatives.

States whom have a well known and documented host of Failures when it comes to the Education and the Healthcare of their children. Seems, we are welcoming them all with open arms and big wet kisses of adoration.

Ten years from now, many will question here. What on EARTH were these People thinking?

The all too familiar response will be…They were NOT!

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

March 27th, 2013
7:55 pm

These are not tests. They are assessments. Growth is affective. What the Georgia legislature and the governor are doing is insisting that every teacher must adopt the sociocultural approach to learning, not the transmission of knowledge. There will come a time over the next few years when the states that aggressively imposed Soviet psychological practices on their classroom teachers and students will become well-known. And contrary to what the Chamber of Commerce is telling you this will not be good for business.

Every time I turn around tracking bad ideas through footnotes I have yet another creator of a theory being foisted on classrooms admitting openly it is grounded in Soviet psychology. And I am not looking for that. It’s that omnipresent. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/imitating-the-ussr-in-striving-to-discover-how-the-child-can-become-what-he-not-yet-is/

And that odd quote is fro, a 1977 published article in the US quoting Leontiev about what he calls the great transforming experiment in the West. So good to know it is a bipartisan effort to make us experimental guinea pigs.

NFparent

March 27th, 2013
7:56 pm

@centrist:
Are you implying that my children need to take some action or responsibility for the dentist to be paid in full?
Or does my dentist needs to find some children with Genetically Awesome Teeth and a Health Sealant Insurance Plan to bring said dentist back to a basic level of pay?

mountain man

March 27th, 2013
8:16 pm

Hey, here is a novel idea! Let’s use test scores to evaluate…THE STUDENTS!

Dc

March 27th, 2013
8:20 pm

This is ridiculous….its like expecting football coaches to take the athletic talent that they are forced to take, and have to motivate them to work out, work hard, and then to actually keep score in the games! And then expect them tp perform! Heresy

And some of these kids have parents that don’t care!

I can’t imagine actually holding the coach accountable for the performance of the team, when it’s clearly not their fault that the athletes sukk and don’t care…………

Thurston Howell IV

March 27th, 2013
8:20 pm

” I can’t see how this bill or anything else the General Assembly even proposed this session does anything about it.”

I’m quite sure you don’t. But since the education establishment didn’t offer any alternatives, you have to live with what the legislature has passed into law. Elections have consequences. Right now, reforms are being passed by the duly elected representatives of the state.(And by constitutional amendment last November 6) . These reforms cane either be accepted or rejected by the voters in the next election cycle. You have a vote, the rest of the education community has a vote, so make your voice heard. Taking to blogs (like the one you’re reading) and calling the current majority party a lot of crude names won’t win hearts and minds. (Indeed, the more that the education cartel campaigned against the charter school amendment,the worse the numbers became).

No, I think that the real problem for a lot of the education community is that they want to exercise the power they USED to have and that playbook is dead. Nobody’s listening anymore. APS testing scandals,Clayton and DeKalb dysfunction and myriad wasteful payouts to fired superintendents have chased teachers and other education professionals from the moral high ground. The barn needs to be cleaned and since you can’t trust the current occupants to clean it, well, you know the rest.

I’m sorry you feel that way,but the voters/taxpayers/stakeholders want some change and we want it now.

mountain man

March 27th, 2013
8:23 pm

“I can’t imagine actually holding the coach accountable for the performance of the team, when it’s clearly not their fault that the athletes sukk and don’t care…………”

Exactly! Which is why I want Mark Richt fired! We are paying him A LOT MORE than teachers and he STILL can’t win a SEC Championship!

NFparent

March 27th, 2013
8:25 pm

@Mountain Man
Oh sure, it sounds like a great idea. But if we do that, we might be forced to address some Very Real Problems in this country. It’s a slippery slope, is what I’m saying.

mountain man

March 27th, 2013
8:25 pm

I mean, Coach Richt can’t throw people off his team if they don’t perform. He can’t make them come to practice. And there is no incentive for them to work hard (like NFL salaries).

J'Dinkalage Moregoon

March 27th, 2013
8:25 pm

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Educrats are the best. Or legislators, I guess. They are all smart people. I have 11th graders that can’t read and that’s 50% of my eval! Huzzah! Time to work at QuikTrip. At least there’s growth there.

mountain man

March 27th, 2013
8:26 pm

“Oh sure, it sounds like a great idea. But if we do that, we might be forced to address some Very Real Problems in this country. It’s a slippery slope, is what I’m saying.”

Yeah, we don’t want to address any REAL PROBLEMS. Dang administrators might actually have to grow a pair.

ScienceTeacher671

March 27th, 2013
8:28 pm

Thurston Howell IV, I was not the one suggesting that this bill would fix the waste, YOU were. Now you’re admitting it won’t.

‘Nuff said. Don’t try to blame me for the other perceived problems in education.

living in an outdated ed system

March 27th, 2013
8:37 pm

The bill passed with both houses with very little, if any opposition. The new reality is that we must be able to measure teacher effectiveness and part of the formula must include a quantitative factor. I am still uncomfortable with the value added measure being standardized tests. I would like to see this plan evolve and tap into some of the new research out there, such as the MET that received support from the strangest places, such as the American Federation of Teachers’ Randi Weingarten. 50% is a bit high to me, but what is clear is that all parties realize we must be able to reward effective teachers and train or coach out poor ones.

Again, there are MANY reforms that need to take place in Georgia, and perhaps over time, they will collectively demonstrate improvement in our education system. But there will be dips, as we saw in Tennessee when they implemented their pioneering system.

mountain man

March 27th, 2013
8:42 pm

“The new reality is that we must be able to measure teacher effectiveness and part of the formula must include a quantitative factor.”

I hope that teachers are testing at the beginning of the year and at the end. Plus they should be able to curve the grades based on attendance in the classroom.

mountain man

March 27th, 2013
8:42 pm

Or all teachers could just quit and let the administrators teach…

echo

March 27th, 2013
9:11 pm

8 weeks and I will finally get to put an end to my teaching career, 16 years was probably 15 too many. I have had several students I have never met come to my classroom to tell me they were excited that they had signed up for one of my classes next year. I haven’t had the heart to tell them I won’t be the one teaching it. Part of me also wants to leave a little mess for the inept, dishonest & useless administration to have to deal with next fall when they have a bunch of disappointed students (and their parents!) dropping the class and then having to figure out where to put them. The next several years are going to be a nightmare fr teachers and I don’t know that there will be much improvement after that. The economy is starting to pick up and teachers will be bailing in large numbers if job growth and hiring gets to the levels it was during the late 90’s – early 2000’s. Not sure who will be willing to teach when that time comes.

Thurston Howell IV

March 27th, 2013
9:15 pm

@Science Teacher

“I was not the one suggesting that this bill would fix the waste, YOU were. Now you’re admitting it won’t. ”

You obviously didn’t read what I wrote. It’s impossible to have a principled disagreement with teachers because both sides end up talking past one another. Parents want to be listened to and teachers want to show everybody how smart they are and it ends up being a mud fight.Think what you want.It doesn’t matter much at this stage.The education cartel was exposed as a paper tiger last November and we’re moving ahead with ya’ or without ya’.

chickenwoman

March 27th, 2013
9:16 pm

Well, if we must do it this way, students should take the test at the BEGINNING of the year and again at the END. How can growth be measured when comparing last year’s test to this year’s test? In many subjects the content is different. For example, how can growth be measured from 5th grade to 6th grade when students jump from taking a few hours of a general science class to a 75-minute daily earth science class? No comparison between the two!

More Furloughs

March 27th, 2013
9:17 pm

Will never happen.

S.

March 27th, 2013
9:22 pm

Another program that cost billions to fund, develop, and implement…more money wasted down the drain and for what? It’s bound to fail and be replaced by yet another “new” program that costs billions…etc…get off the merry-go-round! You need to realize there will always be bad apples in any profession that’s life; get over it. You can’t fix everything by throwing money at the problem. Put the money back into smaller classes, teacher’s salaries, technology, and books. Re-establish vo-tech schools; know that not all children are cut out for college. Let the teachers teach. Please!

Spedteacher

March 27th, 2013
9:24 pm

I am involved in the new evaluation system this year: do some math on this – 45 minute observation, 2 10 minutes walk throughs, pre-observation meeting, mid-year meeting, summative meeting, plus the time spent writing up all the observations, meetings. All for ONE teacher by one administrator. Now multiply that by 30 teachers or more. When are the administrators taking care of the school? the students? the parents? the community? This doesn’t count the paperwork the teachers are having to do on top of the lesson plans and teaching of the students. I was hired to teach, let me teach!

irisheyes

March 27th, 2013
9:32 pm

I see no one has yet given a suggestion about what to do for the students who are chronically late or absent. Guess I better hope they’re just naturally bright.

FlaTony

March 27th, 2013
9:42 pm

Such eloquent language and yet no one can admit the fact that the student growth calculations are not reliable from one year to the next and are based on junk science.

This evaluation scheme completely ignores the facts about poverty and its effects on student achievement.

The line about evaluating principals based on “attracting and retaining the best” makes me laugh because the best are going to leave education.

Colonel Jack

March 27th, 2013
10:16 pm

All I can say after reading this is … thank God I’m now in a private school. I don’t have to worry about any of this bovine scatology.