Educator evaluation system in brief

The educator evaluation system establishes standards for teachers and administrators and requires the following steps:

  • The educator does a self-assessment, meets with the evaluator to develop goals and an initial plan and begins implementing the plan.
  • Part-way through the evaluation cycle, the evaluator conducts a formative assessment through classroom observation and examination of the educator’s work products to help guide educator practice.
  • At the end of the cycle, the evaluator conducts a summative evaluation to give the educator one of four ratings: Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory.
  • The evaluator compares that rating with multiple measures of student learning, growth and achievement. There must be at least two measures for each educator: either two district-based measures or one district-based assessment and one measure of trends in MCAS Student Growth Percentile Scores (for the 17 percent of teachers for whom those scores are available) or on the Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment. A trend is defined as at least two years of scores; MTA will advocate that local associations bargain a three-year minimum at the local level. The educator’s impact on student growth will be deemed to be low, moderate or high.
  • An educator growth or improvement plan will be required depending on the relationship between the rating of educator practice and the student learning measures. That plan will serve as the basis for the next cycle of evaluation.

The most serious consequences are for those rated Unsatisfactory. These educators will be put on a one-year Improvement Plan and, if they fail to improve in that year, they may be dismissed or demoted.

Educators with an overall rating of Needs Improvement will be placed on a Directed Growth Plan for one year or less. At the end of that period, they must be rated either Proficient or Unsatisfactory. If they are rated Unsatisfactory, the one-year Improvement Plan process is implemented.

Educators with a Proficient or Exemplary rating and new teachers will be on different plans, with the least restrictive plans for those with a high rating and a moderate or high impact on student learning.

The regulations require districts to collect survey data from students in grades six or higher about teacher effectiveness starting in the 2014-2015 (originally scheduled to start in 2013-2014) school year. They will also have to collect staff feedback about administrators. In the future, parent feedback may also be required.