Issuu on Google+

Results. Relationships. Reputation.

The New Era in Teacher and Principal Evaluations Pre-Conference Implementing New Evaluation Systems and Repercussions for Teacher Terminations Presented by Jennifer N. MacLennan Gust Rosenfeld P.L.C. ASBA 37th Annual Law Conference Preconference


What must the definition of inadequate classroom performance include?


Definition

A.R.S. §15-538(C) •  adopt a definition of inadequacy of classroom performance •  aligns with the performance classifications. •  may set standards that exceed the standards of the performance classifications.


How shall the definition of inadequate classroom performance be adopted?


Adoption •  •  •  •  •  •  • 

in consultation with its certificated teachers public hearing by forming an advisory committee providing teachers an opportunity to respond. Use of surveys Use of evaluation committees allow for public discussion at a board meeting.


What must the definition of inadequacy of classroom performance include?


Definition •  Minimum –The evaluation instrument must include 33% to 50% evaluation data. This definition should include the data piece. •  Maximum – the law states specifically that the definition of inadequacy may exceed the standards of the performance classifications.


ASBA example A teacher’s classroom performance in inadequate if: •  During any school year, the certificated teacher receives either: –  A performance rating of “ineffective” with respect to the performance component of the District’s evaluation instrument; or –  A rating of “ineffective” with respect to the District’s evaluation instrument as a whole; or


ASBA example cont. •  During each of two consecutive school years, the certificated teacher receives either: –  A performance rating of “ineffective” or “developing” with respect to the performance component of the District’s evaluation instrument; or –  A rating of “ineffective” or “developing” with respect to the District’s evaluation instrument as a whole.


REIL Example A teacher's classroom performance is inadequate if: •  the teacher receives five or more ratings of zero (0) or one (1) on the elements assessed in the REIL Learning Observation Instrument; or •  the teacher is designated in the ineffective classification based upon the REIL score received on the teacher’s evaluation as a whole; or •  Beginning in 2015-2016, the teacher is designated in the ineffective or developing classification for two consecutive years based upon the REIL score received on the teacher’s evaluation as a whole.


Example distinguishing between probationary and continuing A teacher's classroom performance is inadequate as follows: •  For a probationary teacher, if the teacher receives a performance rating of ineffective or developing as follows: §  in two (2) out of three (3) components in Domain I (Planning and Preparation) §  in five (5) out of ten (10) components in Domain II (Implementation of Instruction) §  in two (2) out of three (3) components in Domain III (Learning Environment) §  in the indicator for Domain IV (Teacher Responsibilities) §  in the indicator for Domain V (Student Growth)


Example distinguishing between probationary and continuing (cont.) •  For a continuing teacher, if the teacher receives a performance rating of ineffective or developing as follows:

§  in two (2) out of three (3) components in Domain I (Planning and Preparation) §  in four (4) out of ten (10) components in Domain II (Implementation of Instruction) §  in one (1) out of three (3) components in Domain III (Learning Environment) §  in the indicator for Domain IV (Teacher Responsibilities) §  in the indicator for Domain V (Student Growth)


Example distinguishing between probationary and continuing (cont.) For either a continuing or a probationary teacher, if the teacher receives a performance classification of “ineffective” with respect to the District’s evaluation instrument as a whole; or •  For either a continuing or a probationary teacher, if the teacher receives a performance classification of “ineffective” or “developing” with respect to the District’s evaluation instrument as a whole for two consecutive years. • 


Example re Developing category Effective the 2015-2016 school year, a designation for two consecutive school years in one (1) of the two (2) lowest performance classifications on the District’s Standard Evaluation System as a whole unless the teacher is in the first or second year of employment with the District or has been reassigned to teach a new subject or grade level for the preceding or current school year. The District will designate teachers as inadequate under this subsection of the definition as follows:


Example re Developing category, cont. •  a probationary teacher who is in second year of employment with the District and has the performance classification of developing on the District’s Standard Evaluation System as a whole for two consecutive years will be placed on an improvement plan. If the teacher receives a performance classification of developing after the conclusion of the improvement plan in the teacher’s third year of employment, the teacher’s performance shall be deemed inadequate


Example re Developing category (cont.) •  a continuing teacher who receives a designation for two consecutive years of developing on the District’s Standard Evaluation System will be placed on an improvement plan in the following school year. If the teacher receives a performance classification of developing after the conclusion of the improvement plan, the teacher’s performance shall be deemed inadequate.


Should a district exclude any professionalism component of the evaluation instrument from its definition of inadequacy?


Professionalism Components •  “Complies with District policy and state law.” •  blur the lines between what is unprofessional conduct and what is inadequate classroom performance •  risk that a teacher may argue that they must be put on a performance improvement plan before being terminated for the violations alleged.


When can a district issue a preliminary notice of inadequate classroom performance?


Timing of Issuing Preliminary Notice •  When a teacher has demonstrated inadequate performance as per District definition. •  districts may issue preliminary notices after the first observation if the teacher’s performance is inadequate. •  important to include in the definition of inadequacy that a teacher is inadequate if the teacher receives certain ratings on the performance portion of the evaluation instrument.


What is the process that should be followed prior to issuing a preliminary notice of inadequate classroom performance?


Process in Issuing Notice The district should ensure as follows: •  That the district has approved qualified evaluators who are received training; •  That preliminary notice is based upon an observation (or the entire evaluation) performed by a qualified evaluator;


Process in Issuing Notice •  That the qualified evaluator followed the district’s protocol and procedures as contained in any evaluation handbook or regulation. •  This may include such items as holding a pre-conference, providing notice, or allowing certain observers.


Process in Issuing Notice •  That the observation(s) that led to the preliminary notice were based upon a review of a complete and uninterrupted lesson. •  That the qualified evaluation has provided written feedback regarding any observation within 10 business days and/or transmitted a copy of the entire evaluation within 5 days (not specified if calendar or business days).


Are there any reporting requirements?


Reporting Requirements The District must report the issuance of a preliminary notice of inadequate classroom performance to the Governing Board within ten (10) business days (increased from five (5) days).


What must the preliminary notice say?


Content of Preliminary Notice •  specific notice of the nature of the inadequacies •  “with such particularity as to furnish the teacher an opportunity to correct inadequacies and maintain adequate classroom performance.” •  A.R.S. § 15-538(B).


What must the preliminary notice include?


Included in Preliminary Notice •  copy of the evaluation or observation that spurred the issuance •  Copy of performance improvement plan


Must the preliminary notice be issued by January 15th for probationary teachers?


Deadlines •  January 15th deadline to issue preliminary notices for probationary teachers has been removed


What should the performance improvement plan contain?


Content of Improvement Plan •  like a contract with the teacher •  specify what assistance the district is going to give •  Could include –  specific professional development –  assignment of a mentor –  viewing other teachers, –  having lessons modeled with the teacher’s class. –  provision for regular and consistent feedback to the teacher.


How long should the performance improvement plan be?


Length of Improvement Plan

•  plan must give the teacher forty-five (45) instructional days to improve. •  no longer a requirement that the district wait any amount of time before beginning the plan. •  same amount of time for probationary or continuing teachers.


Should the district evaluate a teacher during the 45 day period?


Evaluations During Improvement Plan

If a formal observation is conducted during that period, and that observation is used to determine if improvement was or was not made, then the district may not have given the full amount of time.


What about informal evaluations? This is an open question but many school districts conduct informal walk through during the 45 day period. If the district does so, feedback should be given.


What happens at the conclusion of the plan?


Conclusion of Plan A governing board cannot issue a notice of intent to dismiss or not to reemploy after the conclusion of a performance improvement plan unless the district has completed an observation at the conclusion of the plan.


Does the requirement regarding having sixty (60) calendar days between observations apply when a preliminary notice has been issued?


60 Calendar Days Yes. •  requirement exists that sixty (60) calendar days elapse between the first and the last observation •  if a teacher is put on a plan of improvement, this is not an issue, as the forty-five (45) instruction days is longer than sixty (60) calendar days.


What if the teacher has made improvement in one area but dropped performance in another?


Failure to Maintain Performance •  House Bill 2500 included a provision that states that a teacher must improve in the areas of deficiency and maintain adequate performance. •  If another domain of the evaluation instrument drops into inadequacy according to the district’s definition, then the teacher has not made the improvements necessary.


How does the process of termination differ for continuing and probationary teachers?


Termination Process - Probationary

The district’s governing board can take action to non-renew a probationary teacher who has not made adequate improvement after the teacher received a preliminary notice and forty-five days to improve.


Termination Process - Continuing The district’s governing board must issue a notice of intent to dismiss and statement of charges to a continuing teacher who has not made adequate improvement after the teacher received a preliminary notice and forty-five days to improve. The continuing teacher has the right to request a hearing, which is governed by A.R.S. § 15-539.


How does a continuing teacher lose status as continuing?


Loss of Continuing Teacher Status •  A continuing teacher who is in the lowest performance category (ineffective) is at risk. •  If that teacher fails to move up upon the teacher’s next evaluation, then the teacher will become a probationary teacher •  Teacher will stay a probationary teacher until the teacher moves into either the effective or highly effective performance classifications.


How will the loss of continuing status change the procedures for terminating teachers?


Loss of Continuing Status •  A continuing teacher is found to be ineffective in an evaluation (which would likely include two observations as the teacher is unlikely to have been able to waive a second observation, which requires the teacher to be in the top two categories).


Loss of Continuing Status •  The district could move forward in terminating the teacher after the ineffective evaluation if the district had issued a preliminary notice and improvement plan after the first observation. This would require a statement of charges and a notice of intent to dismiss. The teacher would be entitled to a hearing.


Loss of Continuing Status •  The district could also choose to retain the teacher. The district would be best suited to place the teacher on another improvement plan. The district could do so upon the ineffective evaluation. The district could also choose to see how the teacher did on the first formal evaluation and then put the teacher on a plan.


Loss of Continuing Status •  If the teacher did not make improvement after preliminary notice and a plan of improvement in that next school year •  and the teacher remained classified as ineffective, •  then the teacher would lose continuing status upon receipt of the classification that second year and become a probationary teacher.


Loss of Continuing Status •  The district could then non-renew and the teacher would not have a right to a hearing.


What happens if a continuing teacher is developing for two school years in a row?


Developing Category for Two Years •  Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, the District is required by law to issue a preliminary notice and to place the teacher on a plan of improvement in the second consecutive year that the teacher is in the ineffective or developing category.


Developing Category for Two Years •  If the district places a continuing teacher who is developing on a plan of improvement, and the teacher remains developing upon conclusion, the district can move to dismiss that teacher upon the conclusion of the plan and final evaluation. •  The district would need to adopt a statement of charges and notice of intent to dismiss and the teacher would have the right to a hearing.


Developing Category for Two Years •  What if the continuing teacher loses status (rated ineffective) and then is developing for two years in a row? •  Scenario may include a non-renewal and not a right to a hearing


Do the changes to the evaluation systems for principals change the non-renewal process?


Non renewal of Administrators

Arizona law still requires that a school district non-renew an administrator prior to April 15th.


How will the focus on student data affect the process of a teacher termination hearing?


Teacher Termination Hearings •  what evidence is there to support that the teacher did not perform adequately as the District defines it. •  If data is 35% to 50% of a teacher’s evaluation, then that data will become crucial evidence.


Teacher Termination Hearings –  Whether there are any flaws in the testing system; –  whether the tests used are reliable indicators; –  whether the teacher can show value added growth for his or her classroom; –  how that teacher did compared to other staff –  the statistical analysis.


Teacher Termination Hearings If all or most teachers in a particular school show minimal student growth in math scores, for instance, the problem may be in the choice of textbooks, the timing of when various math concepts are taught, poor hiring practices for that school, or a number of other reasons, separate and apart from individual teacher skill or effort


What arguments can we expect against the use of data as a basis for a teacher termination?


Teacher Termination Hearings •  Group B data. •  violation of substantive due process. •  Deprivation of a property interest. •  Civil rights claims


What does this mean for a hearing?


Teacher Termination Hearings •  focus on “student growth” rather than absolute levels of achievement. •  more credible if results from two or three years, not just one year. •  employ experts to interpret the data and the reliability and consistency of results of any standardized tests •  may become the “battle of the experts”.


Teacher Termination Hearings •  Districts will also need to address mitigating factors –  higher class sizes, –  greater numbers of disabled or EnglishLanguage Learner students, –  racial minorities or students living in poverty –  Discrepancies in class loads


Results. Relationships. Reputation.

Thank You


New era in teacher and principal evaluations mclennan