Board of Education Approves New Model for Teacher Evaluation
The Board of Education today approved a new model for evaluating teachers that emphasizes student academic progress as a measure of teacher quality. The evaluation model was developed by a work group formed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in July 2010 that included teachers, principals, administrators, school board members and representatives of professional organizations, including the Virginia Education Association.
The evaluation model is included in a revised guidance document, Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, that was first presented to the Board of Education in March and unanimously approved today.
“This model recognizes that to be meaningful, teacher evaluations must include objective measures of student academic progress,” Board President Eleanor B. Saslaw said. “It is designed to give school divisions a means of evaluating teachers fairly while identifying the supports and professional development needed to improve quality and effectiveness.”
The model recommends that 40 percent of teachers’ evaluations be based on student academic progress, as determined by multiple measures of learning and achievement, including, if available and applicable, student-growth data from VDOE.
Standards related to professional knowledge, instructional planning, instructional delivery, assessment of and for student learning, learning environment and professionalism each account for ten percent of the evaluation and performance rating within the model.
“Teacher quality is the most important school-related factor impacting student achievement,” said board member and Henrico County parent Betsy Beamer, who serves as the board’s liaison to its Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure. “This research-based model provides an objective means for school divisions to identify exemplary and proficient teachers – and those teachers whose performance must improve if all of our students are to finish school college and career ready.”
Under the model evaluation system, teachers earn one of four ratings:
- Exemplary – Teacher maintains performance, accomplishments and behaviors that consistently surpass the established standard. Rating reserved for performance that is truly exemplary that exemplifies the school’s mission and goals.
- Proficient – Teacher meets the standard in a manner consistent with the school’s mission and goals.
- Needs Improvement – Teacher often performs below the established standard or in a manner inconsistent with the school’s mission and goals.
- Unacceptable – Teacher consistently performs below the established standard or in a manner inconsistent with the school’s mission and goals.
The model includes suggested procedures for classroom observations and other evaluation activities and sample forms for documenting teacher performance and student academic progress.
The Board of Education approved the revised guidance document to become effective on July 1, 2012, to allow time for training and technical assistance but school divisions that wish to implement the evaluation model prior to July 1, 2012, may do so.
School divisions participating in Governor Robert F. McDonnell’s Virginia Performance-Pay Incentives initiative, which was announced earlier this month, must use the new evaluation model during 2011-2012. The initiative will provide exemplary-rated teachers in hard-to-staff schools with performance incentive payments of up to $5,000.
“VDOE staff will work closely with administrators across the commonwealth to ensure that this new evaluation model is fully understood and implemented fairly,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. “I want to extend my deep appreciation to all of the educators and other professionals who have given their time and expertise and have contributed to the accomplishment of this important work for the commonwealth’s schools, teachers and students.”
The Board of Education today also approved a revision of a companion guidance document, Virginia Standards for the Professional Practice of Teachers, that defines the knowledge and skills all teachers must possess and includes specific standards of professional practice for all teachers and content-specific guidance for teachers of English, history and social science, mathematics, science, career and technical education, English as a second language, fine arts, foreign languages, health and physical education and special education.