SBE Oks streamlined waiver for LEAs revising teacher evaluations

A new state waiver option was approved Wednesday offering districts relief from virtually any part of the Education Code if they have also established new teacher and principal evaluation systems partially based on student performance.

The California State Board of Education approved the new streamlined process in a clear effort to promote district participation in multiple measure evaluation systems that have proved difficult to sell to teacher groups in California.

There is a growing base of evidence outside California that multiple measure evaluation systems can drive student achievement," said board president Ted Mitchell. "We don't have that experience in California for whatever reason and creating this may be a mechanism to getting some districts unstuck."

The waiver, which drew a sharp rebuke from staff of the California Department of Education when first brought forward at last month's state board meeting, would streamline wavier approvals for districts that meet a detailed list of criteria.

The new streamlined process comes in addition to the board's existing streamline wavier process for high-performing district with scores of 800 or higher on the Academic Performance Index.

At the core of the wavier process for districts using new evaluation systems is a review committee made up of district representatives and other stakeholders whose job would be to ensure that districts wishing to take advantage of the wavier offer, actually meet the required criteria.

According to a staff report to the board, among the requirements are:

⢠Evaluations of teachers, local educational agency leadership, including the superintendent, and participating school site leadership, including the principal(s), which are conducted annually.

⢠Evaluations that are based on multiple measures, including no less than 30 percent based on growth in student achievement toward meeting grade-level proficiency. Measures of student achievement can include, but are not limited to, local and state academic assessments, classroom work, student grades, classroom participation, student presentations and performance and student projects and portfolios. The measures of student achievement used must be valid, reliable and appropriate for this use and for the student population assessed.

⢠Evaluation measures that also include evidence of: differentiated instruction and practices based on student progress; culturally responsive instructional strategies to address and eliminate the achievement gap; high expectations and active student engagement; consistent and effective relationships with students, parents, teachers, administrators and other school and district staff; and meaningful self-assessment to improve as a professional educator.

⢠For principals, evaluation measures that also include evidence of effective school management.

⢠Multiple observations of instructional and other professional practices that are conducted by trained evaluators.

⢠Evaluations that differentiate levels of instruction and performance.

⢠Evaluations that are used to improve instructional practices for teachers.

There are also requirements on the review committee that:

⢠Teachers, principals, parents and students are consulted in the development of the evaluation system.

⢠There is a nexus between any waivers the local educational agency plans to request and the evaluation system that will lead to improved instruction and student achievement.

⢠The local educational agency has set rigorous academic performance objectives for the evaluation system and any waivers the district plans to request.

⢠The local educational agency has identified objectives for any waivers it plans to request associated with fiscal solvency, student and staff health and safety, school safety, counseling and support for services and facilities.

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