About PGES

Welcome to Kentucky Teacher’s new Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) page.

A lot of work is underway with PGES as the Kentucky Department of Education works with teachers, school districts and others to pilot and finalize the system for statewide implementation. This page is the place to come to get your PGES questions answered, keep up with what is new and happening with the system, and hear firsthand from teachers how the system is impacting their teaching practice and classrooms.

New information will be posted regularly, so be sure to visit often for updates.


What is PGES?

PGES stands for the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. Actually, there are three systems under the PGES umbrella, one for teachers, one for principals and one for superintendents. Each system is based on clearly defined standards of effectiveness, multiple measures of those standards, and a process of collaborative feedback, support and professional learning designed to bring about continuous improvement in practice, increased educator effectiveness and improved student performance so that all students graduate ready for college and career.

Why do we need a new system?

The current system is broken. It does not provide a fair and equitable system across the state and does not focus on continuous improvement of practice to boost student outcomes.

Where did PGES come about?

Senate Bill 1 (2009) mandated change in Kentucky public school education and a focus on better preparing students to take the next step in life after high school. It called for new standards, new assessments based on those standards and a new balanced accountability system that would transform teaching and learning in order to better prepare students for college and the workforce. Recognizing the importance of effective teaching and leadership in reaching this goal, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) set the vision to have every student taught by an effective teacher and every school led by an effective principal and subsequently, every district led by an effective superintendent. To that end, the board established a goal to create a fair and equitable system to measure teacher and leader effectiveness. It is also a requirement under our ESEA waiver.

Who is developing the system? Are teachers involved?

Yes. The Kentucky Department of Education in cooperation with stakeholders and strategic partners is developing the new systems for teachers, principals and superintendents. Each system has a steering committee made up of mix of educators (teachers, principals, superintendents) pertinent to that system, representatives from partner organizations, higher education, and educator certification guiding the work. Teachers have been involved every step of the way in the development, field testing, and piloting of the new Teacher Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. Likewise, principals and superintendents also have taken an active role in the development of their systems.

As a teacher on what will I be evaluated?

The Kentucky Framework for Teaching adapted from the Charlotte Danielson framework lays out the expectations for effective teaching in five domains: Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, Professional Responsibilities and Student Growth. The framework includes a rubric that spells out what it takes to meet that standard of effectiveness. The Framework for Teaching is aligned to Kentucky Teacher Standards.

What are the multiple measures?

The Professional Growth and Effectiveness System is built on the premise that effectiveness cannot be determined by a single measure at a single point in time. So, multiple measures over the course of a school year are being used. For teachers, the measures include student growth, observations, peer observations, self-reflection and professional growth, and a student voice survey. All measures should be supported by evidence.

How will the multiple measures be weighted?

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), in partnership with the Teacher Effectiveness and Principal Effectiveness Steering Committees (TESC and PESC), is evaluating the weighting of the measures. A final decision has not been made. Both the teacher and principal steering committees will engage in this conversation during upcoming committee meetings in preparation to submit recommendations to the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) this academic school year.

Will performance ratings be assigned?

Yes. Differentiating performance in three or more categories is a critical aspect of a solid effectiveness system. Kentucky’s system will differentiate performance in four categories: exemplary, accomplished, developing, and ineffective.

Who will do my evaluation?

The principal will lead each teacher’s evaluation. However, it will be a collaborative process also involving the teacher. Principals will undergo extensive training and prior to conducting observations must be certified so the observation will be fair, reliable and free of bias. Peer observers will conduct observations in teachers’ classrooms for formative purposes, to give descriptive feedback to the teacher for the purpose of professional growth.

What if my peer observer doesn’t like me?

The formative nature of the observation is designed to provide feedback to the teacher focused on domains two and three (classroom environment and instruction) of the Framework for Teaching. This feedback is not shared with the principal. It is intended to improve teacher practice.

Is student voice one of the multiple measures? And if so, what steps will be taken to ensure those comments are focused on my teaching abilities?

Yes, student voice is a multiple measure. Survey questions focus on expectations and learning environments rather than teacher personality and student preferences. Research shows student survey data has the strongest correlation to student performance.

Will I know what my evaluation says?

Teachers play an active role in the evaluation process through a pre- and post-observation conference. No rating should be assigned to a level of effectiveness until after the teacher and principal meet and discuss the observation. Teachers see what is in the evaluation and sign off on it.

Will my evaluation be made public?


What if I don’t agree with something in my evaluation?

Procedures for due process will be in place.

How will my evaluation be used?

To provide feedback and guide professional learning to increase effectiveness in improving practice.

Do I receive credit for completing professional learning?


What is the timetable for implementing PGES?

2012-13: Field Test components implemented in 50 districts
2013-14: Statewide pilot – a minimum of 10 percent of schools in each district participating
2014-15: Statewide implementation (every school and district) without consequences — results cannot be used for personnel decisions
2015-16: Statewide implementation (every school and district) with consequences — results can be used for personnel decisions and the system moves into the Unbridled Learning Accountability model.

PGES Timeline

Sign up to receive e-mail updates from us!


PGES Resources

Kentucky Teacher is a publication of the
Kentucky Department of Education.

Content Calendar

September 2015
« Aug