EDUCATOR EFFECTIVENESS SYSTEM FAQs
Q: What is the State of Hawaii Department of Education's (DOE) new Educator Effectiveness System?
A: The new Educator Effectiveness System is based on a concept from a group of teachers. It is designed to measure educators' professional practice and their impact, and provide feedback and support to teachers to improve their effectiveness with students. Highly effective teachers can be identified for recognition and to serve as teacher leaders. The DOE shares Hawaii State Teachers Association's (HSTA) vision for "A Quality Teacher in Every Classroom." In fact, HSTA has participated in DOE's statewide discussion about how to achieve this most important goal for our students and Hawaii's future.
Q: What kind of input have educators had?
A: The DOE has collaborated actively with educators in developing the new performance management system.
- Developed implementation plan for principal development and performance evaluation plans with HGEA.
- Teachers in ZSI considered various tools for teacher observation and selected a common observation protocol, which is being implemented in the pilot schools.
- Various feedback loops provide ongoing input from educators about the design and implementation of the pilot system.
- In January 2012, the Governor reconstituted the Great Teachers and Great Leaders Task Force, made up of representatives from the business, philanthropy, labor, and education sectors. The Task Force advises the Superintendent on strategic personnel management approaches, for example, by meeting on educator evaluation and student growth models.
- The Complex Area Superintendent Roundtable provides an opportunity for leaders at the Complex Area level to advise on the evaluation system, particularly by recommending supports for schools and assessing schools' readiness to implement evaluation systems. Members of this group now include superintendents from all Complex Areas participating in the second year pilot.
- Finally, the Teacher-Leader workgroup provides input on the overall model and suggests potential improvements and ways to avoid implementation challenges.
Q: Why is educator feedback so crucial?
A: Stakeholder feedback was used to shape the design of the Educator Effectiveness System and then to develop a pilot initiative, in order to test ideas about how to shape a new system that would support and ultimately rate teacher effectiveness. The pilot began during school year 2011 – 12 with 18 schools and expanded to 81 schools during the 2012-13 school year. Since the launch of the EES pilot, the feedback from school staff has been primarily focused on the implementation. Stakeholder engagement work has also focused on the quality of implementation, including advocacy for additional resources and training in many instances. The DOE is deeply appreciative of the feedback provided up to this point. The second semester of this school year is a critical four-month period in which numerous decisions must be made for statewide rollout in 2013. Thus our focus on collecting feedback and stakeholder input/engagement must move away from implementation to design questions and policy decisions. The DOE will launch an expanded strategy to seek maximum input from and participation from teachers in the final, critical stage.
Q: Why are we implementing such a system?
A: Research clearly identifies the teachers, after children's families, have the largest impact on student outcomes/achievement. The system ensures/improves educators' effectiveness by opening the channels of communication and providing teachers with timely information; making greater feedback available and more support for teachers that lead to student learning and growth. In addition, the new system is far superior to the prior system, which rated 99% of teachers as satisfactory and provided infrequent review, little feedback, and little support for professional improvement. It also protects teachers' due process rights that have existed in collective bargaining agreement. It also implements the existing law and policies. Prior collective bargaining agreements with HSTA have included many provisions of the system including termination of unsatisfactory teachers and requiring satisfactory performance to advance in pay.
Q: When do the new educator evaluations begin?
A: The new system goes into effect statewide in the 2013-14 school year, but it is based on a two-year pilot program in 81 schools; in the 2011-12 school year 18 schools in the ZSI, which included the Nanakuli-Waianae and Kau-Keaau-Pahoa complex areas and in 2012-13 an additional 63 schools. It's helpful to remember that results from the pilots do not count on personnel records.
Q: What are the main components of the new Educator Evaluation System?
A: The two main components are teachers' professional practice and their students' learning and growth. The evaluation system includes multiple research-based tools, all geared to generate greater feedback to support teachers:
- A common observation protocol of teachers in the classroom based on Charlotte Danielson's well-recognized instructional model.
- A student survey, called the Tripod Student Survey, which offers detailed feedback on students' perceptions of their teacher's interaction with students and instruction in the classroom.
- A measure of a teacher's students' academic growth relative to their peers with similar academic histories (this measure is not the federal requirement of whether students have achieved proficiency, but rather a measure of the amount of growth students demonstrated in a teacher's classroom).
- Measures of student learning objectives, using a rigorous process where teachers set planned goals, based on the state standards, for what students will learn over a given time period. (The objectives would be driven by a thorough review of available data reflecting students' baseline skills, and reflect collaboration and consultation with colleagues and administrators)
Q: Specifically, what is the Charlotte Danielson Classroom Observation?
A: The highly-respected Charlotte Danielson Classroom Observation Framework, which is guided by more than 15 years of research and experience, has been adopted by many states and hundreds of districts around the country. School administrators and teachers across the state are being trained on the rubric-bound framework that focuses on every aspect of the teaching repertoire from planning lessons to keeping records and everything in between. Hawaii State Department of Education recognizes that well-conducted classroom observation provides only one indication of teacher performance. In order to the complete the picture, HIDOE will be using three additional measures to evaluate teacher practice – namely student perception surveys, student outcomes and progress towards student learning objectives. The multiple measures approach to evaluating teacher practice is a research-based method that is being developed, piloted or fully implemented in 36 states across the country.
Q: What is the Tripod Student Survey?
A: The Tripod Student Perception Survey was developed by Dr. Ron Ferguson of Harvard University, based on more than a decade of educational research. The "tripod" in the Tripod Project refers to three "legs" of quality teaching: content, pedagogy and relationships. This model emphasizes the importance of teachers' content knowledge and pedagogic skills and their capacity to form and sustain effective student-teacher relationships. The model's premise is that students will engage more deeply and learn more effectively when they perceive (or experience) all three legs are strong.
In order to build on this overarching idea, the Tripod Project framework identifies targets for student engagement. It also identifies seven elements of teaching practices—the Seven Cs— that correspond to key elements of teaching quality. Therefore, the survey generates information both about how students experience teaching practices and learning conditions in the classroom, as well as information about how students assess their own engagement. The elements of teaching practice organized by the Seven Cs closely align with teacher observation tools and rubrics used by most districts. The Tripod survey also includes measures of school climate and youth culture, and the surveys also gather information about family and student demographics.
Tripod correlates academic performance and student feedback with teaching practices. Tripod rates teachers on 7C's: Care, Captivate, Confer, Control, Clarify, Challenge, and Consolidate. The 7Cs measure teacher content knowledge, teacher pedagogy and instructional methods, and teacher/student relationships.
Q: Have students in Hawaii taken the Tripod Survey?
A: Hawaii has administered the Tripod on a pilot basis, beginning with the 18 schools in the ZSI last school year and expanding this school year to a total of 81 schools. Because the only available data now are from the ZSI schools last year, which are in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the state, we have to be careful not to consider them representative of the whole state. Nevertheless, the data give the DOE reasons to celebrate as well as opportunities for the DOE to guide professional development and improve practice.
Q: How will the four (4) multiple measures of the Educator Effectiveness System be weighted toward teacher?
A: Exact weighting of the EES components has yet to be determined; however we do know that half is going to be from student outcomes. The DOE will be looking at data from the 2012-2013 school year and decisions will be made some time during the spring semester of school year 2013.
Q: What other resources are available to teachers for the EES?
A: We intend to equip teachers with the information, tools, and supports they need to improve. The Office of Human Resources (OHR), which leads the implementation of the EES pilot, has developed a website which allows for comments and feedback to be given. This site serves as a clearinghouse for information and also a conduit for teacher feedback. Since the original Race to the Top application, OHR has staffed an email address that was set up explicitly for feedback on the system at GTGL_Evaluations@notes.k12.hi.us. Finally, OHR implemented an EES Help Desk (808-586-4072), which is staffed by OHR in order to get answers or support to teachers when requested. The Help Desk was launched December 10, 2012. Teachers are invited to access http://doeohr.weebly.com/ for additional resources.