Effective evaluation

LIHUE – Despite concerns from some Kauai and statewide teachers about the burden of a teacher effectiveness program implemented during the past school year, results show that the teachers were doing their jobs well under the new program.

A majority of the state’s more than 11,000 teachers were rated “effective” and “highly effective” educators, according to the Educator Effectiveness System results from the 2013-14 school year, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Hawaii State Department of Education.

“Overall the results reflect more or less what we expected: Most teachers are effective, with very few teachers rated as marginal, and even fewer rated as unsatisfactory,” DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe stated. “More importantly, EES is designed to help teachers and their administrators have high-quality conversations throughout the year about how to improve teaching and learning.”

With ratings of either highly effective or effective, 97.7 percent of Hawaii teachers fell into one of two categories. Whereas only 2.3 percent were in the marginal or unsatisfactory ratings category.

Kauai Complex Area Superindendent Bill Arakaki said, “Our results are similar to the state where most Kauai teachers are highly effective and effective, a few teachers rated marginal and no teacher rated as unsatisfactory. The EES process engages teachers and administrators in deeper and highly quality conversations about improving teaching and learning.”

The system evaluates teachers in two primary areas: student growth and learning measures, and teacher practice measures. Educators are evaluated on several areas including classroom observations, student survey, core professionalism, student learning objectives and the Hawaii Growth Model.

In an effort to make the evaluation system most effective for teachers and students, the DOE solicited feedback earlier this year from a wide range of groups, including educators. Several significant changes were announced in June designed to simplify the EES. They included streamlining its components and differentiating the approach for teachers based on need.

One of the more notable changes to take effect this school year includes differentiating the number of required classroom observations based on need from twice annually to none for highly effective teachers; one or more for effective teachers, and two or more for marginal, unsatisfactory or beginning teachers. Based on these results, approximately 1,800 teachers rated highly effective last school year will carryover their rating.

“We look forward to continuing the conversation with educators about how to improve the EES to make it the best tool we can for supporting teachers,” Nozoe said.

Arakaki agreed saying, “We all learned a lot about the intent, purpose, and implementation of EES from last year. We will continue to improve the EES process together with teachers and administrators and provide a system of support for all teachers. We have awesome teachers in our Kauai Complex Area Schools. I am proud of each and every teacher.”

Other areas of the EES will see changes as well, more notably, reduction in the administration of the Tripod Student Survey from twice to once annually, and eliminating the survey for grades K-2.

In the school year 2014-15, the Tripod Student Survey is being included as a subcomponent under Core Professionalism, and will no longer be an independent component with a stand-alone rating.

Teachers received their effectiveness results during conferences with their administrators earlier this year. The 2013-14 school year represented the first year of statewide implementation with no negative consequences for tenured teachers. Teachers and their principals have access to more detailed reports with individual teachers’ data.

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