HWRSD Educator Evaluation Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am wondering if the evidence that is submitted from each teacher is consistent from school to school?
A: Not necessarily. The evidence that is submitted from each educator will be specific to that individual. The Educator Evaluation Process is designed to be completed by individual educators in conjunction with their assigned evaluator, who is usually the building principal. Educators should use the Self Evaluation and Goal Setting components of the process to develop their Student Learning and Professional Practice Goals. Since the educator’s goals will be specific to improving their own individual practice, the evidence they use to document their progress will also be unique to them.
The only case where the evidence that is submitted by educators might be “consistent” is when two or more educators decide to work on a group goal.
Q: Should ALL teachers submit links to ALL their evidence? Some teachers do and some teachers do not, shouldn't there be uniformity across the system?
A: Ultimately, the evidence provided by educators to their evaluator at the end of the evaluation cycle should be used to support the reflection statement they have written on the “Goal/Standard Summary Form.” If an educator feels a specific document, lesson, parent letter, etc. illustrates the practices they discuss in their reflection, then they should provide a link to that piece of evidence in the “Standard Evidence” box on the “Goal/Standard Summary Form.” The best way to reach the decision regarding what evidence will or will not be provided to the evaluator should be through a conversation between the educator and the evaluator.
Q: What happens if two teachers submit the same evidence to two different evaluators and those evaluators rate that evidence differently? How can discrepancies between evaluators be resolved?
A: Evidence is not “rated.” Rather, evidence is used to support the educator’s demonstration of progress towards meeting the definition of “Proficiency” as outlined in the DESE’s Rubric. As they make their conclusions regarding an educator’s progress towards meeting their individual goals and proficiency on the four standards, evaluators will consider multiple sources of evidence, including artifacts of practice supplied by the educator, direct observations of classroom practice, evidence of student learning, growth and achievement, and other evidence related to the Standards of Practice, including evidence of fulfillment of professional responsibilities and evidence of family engagement. When considering these sources of evidence, the evaluator will ultimately rely on their professional judgement in deciding an educator’s ratings.
The HWRSD Leadership Team works to ensure they are consistent in developing their ratings. As a group, we have worked to calibrate our understanding of the components of effective practice. We do this through participating in professional development activities, such as the Research for Better Teaching’s “Strengthening Teacher Evaluation” course. In the current school year, we plan to use the DESE’s training materials, including the Calibration Video Library, to make sure we are reaching the same conclusions when evaluating teaching. We also plan to engage in the practice of “shared walkthroughs,” where two or more administrators observe classroom lessons together and meet to debrief what they witnessed.
Q: Can anonymous parent or student complaints be used against a teacher in their evaluation? What if the teacher submits evidence that demonstrates proficiency across all the essential indicators despite complaints?
A: Concerns that are brought to the attention of an evaluator by parents or students can be used as evidence as part of a educator’s evaluation. However, it is incumbent on the evaluator to use other pieces of evidence to establish that the concerns are legitimate. As stated above, it is ultimately the evaluator’s professional judgement that determines an educator’s ratings on their progress towards meeting their goals and proficiency on the standards.
Q: If a teacher submits evidence of meeting the proficient rating, including using the language of the DESE in their reflection, yet they still get rated "needs improvement" or worse, how should they go about resolving the difference of perception between them and their evaluator?
A: The evaluator is solely responsible for making the final determination of a teacher’s performance ratings relative to the Standards and the educator’s goals. As per DESE regulations, the educator has the right to respond in writing to the evaluator’s ratings of their performance. The Educator Response Form may be used for this purpose.
Q: If someone is in the middle of a two-year cycle, should they revisit their evidence from year one or simply focus on year two?
A: Educators who are in the middle of a two-year cycle do not need to revisit evidence collected during 2017-2018. They should, however, focus on the revised standards beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. As the revised rubrics were not released until late August, the current year will understandably be a transition year to the new “Essential Elements.” Educators who have questions regarding any adjustments to their Professional Practice or Student Learning Goals or to the evidence they will collect in anticipation of their Summative Evaluation should meet with their evaluator now to mutually agree to these changes in advance.