KBE reviews educator effectiveness model, names new districts of innovation

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    Assistant General Counsel David Wickersham, acting director of the Division of Next Generation Professionals Amanda Ellis, Associate Commissioner Felicia Cumings Smith and staff assistant Robin Chandler discuss changes in the evaluation guidelines of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System during the Kentucky Board of Education meeting. Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 5, 2013
    Assistant General Counsel David Wickersham, acting director of the Division of Next Generation Professionals Amanda Ellis, Associate Commissioner Felicia Cumings Smith and staff assistant Robin Chandler discuss changes in the evaluation guidelines of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System during the Kentucky Board of Education meeting.
    Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 5, 2013

    Plans for a statewide system of evaluation for Kentucky certified educators culminated in a discussion before the Kentucky Board of Education at its meeting in Frankfort.

    The board is considering repealing current regulations governing teacher and principal evaluation and replacing them with a single regulation, 704 KAR 3:370, based on the proposed statewide Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) model.

    The goal is that every student is taught by an effective teacher; every school is led by an effective principal; and every district is run by effective superintendent. Currently, multiple systems are being used across the state with no consistency or meaningful difference in performance levels or support.

    “This is a game changer for teachers and students in Kentucky,” state board member Brigitte Blom Ramsey said.
    “A new system is absolutely necessary if we are to continue moving forward.”

    Over the past four years, two steering committees and KDE staff have developed a model for teachers and one for principals that focuses on professional growth and continuous improvement. It includes elements of both formative and summative evaluation. Feedback from participants in a field test, statewide pilot and other stakeholders have helped shape the system. A similar system for superintendents is currently in development.

    Under PGES, teachers and principals will be evaluated in two main areas: professional practice and student growth trends. All evaluators and observers must be trained and tested before conducting evaluations.

    For teachers, the professional practice rating will be determined by evidence from observations, a student voice survey, professional growth plans and self-reflection, and district-determined sources weighed against components and indicators of educator effectiveness in four domains: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities. Peer reviews, which were once a measure of effectiveness, will only be used to provide supportive feedback a teacher can use to improve professional practice.

    The performance criteria for principals and assistant principals will fall into the following categories: instructional leadership, school climate, human resources management, organizational management, communication and community relations, and professionalism.

    Based on how they measure up, educators will receive a professional practice rating of ineffective, developing, accomplished or exemplary.

    The student growth trend rating of high, expected or low will be based on professional judgment and three years of data — student growth percentiles on state tests or locally determined student growth goals, developed collaboratively between the teacher and evaluator.

    An educator’s professional practice rating and student growth trend rating will determine the educator’s overall growth or improvement plan and whether it will: be directed or self-directed, run one or three years, and include formative and/or summative reviews. The ratings also will combine for an overall performance category of exemplary, accomplished, developing or ineffective.

    No individual performance ratings will be made public, but these will be reported by each performance category and will be used in determining the Next-Generation Professionals component of school and district accountability starting in the 2015-16 school year. Additionally, PGES will not be used to make personnel decisions until 2015-16.

    Alternatively, districts may develop their own plans for certified personnel evaluation as long as they are consistent with statute and regulation and are approved by the Kentucky Department of Education.

    The board will hold a special work session on the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System regulation in the afternoon of April 8 before it is scheduled to vote the following day on the regulation’s approval.

    In other business, Commissioner Terry Holliday provided state board members with an update on the World Language Program Review. Eleven districts participated in a pilot last fall and have provided recommendations to support implementation moving forward.

    “It is critical that Kentucky prepare its students for the global competition they will face,” Holliday told the board. “We must have conversations about ratcheting up our game or we will fall behind other states and nations.”

    The commissioner referenced the website, Mapping the Nation, which pulls together demographic, economic and education indicators to show how global Kentucky and the United States have become. For example, one out of every five jobs in Kentucky is now tied to international trade.

    Also at its February meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education approved three districts – Owensboro Independent, Owsley County and Trigg County as Districts of Innovation. The status relieves districts of certain administrative regulations and statutory provisions as well as the ability to waive local board policy in an effort to improve student learning and educational performance.

    In other action, the board approved:

    • the Statement of Consideration for 703 KAR 5:070, Procedures for Inclusion of Special Populations in State-Required Assessment and Accountability Programs
    • the Statement of Consideration for 703 KAR 5:080, Administration Code for Kentucky’s Educational Assessment Program
    • new district facility plans for Clinton and Lawrence County school districts
    • an amendment to the district facility plan for the Madison County school district
    • 702 KAR 3:300, school district lease and retirement incentive annuity agreements
    • revisions to the Kentucky State Plan for FY15 for the Carl D. Perkins Career & Technical Education Act of 2006

    The next regular meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education is scheduled for April 9 in Frankfort

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