Wisconsin’s waiver for the No Child Left Behind legislation was approved on July 6, 2012. This waiver approval set many new initiatives in motion designed to improve achievement. I am fortunate enough to be able to participate in a pilot of one of the major components in the new effectiveness teacher evaluation system that will take place during the 2012-13 school year.
Multi-faceted effectiveness in a teacher evaluation
Fifty percent of a teacher’s evaluation, according to the waiver, will be made up of factors the teacher controls independently, ie. planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. This portion of the evaluation will be largely based on the work of Charlotte Danielson.
The other fifty percent of the evaluation will focus on student performance. Student performance will be measured in a variety of ways based on the availability of good data and the connections that can be made between data and a specific teacher’s influence. Some measures that will be used as evidence of student performance will include state testing, district standardized testing, and attainment of Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). This work has for the most part been created by the Southeastern Wisconsin Teacher Evaluation Consortium (SWTEC) with contributions of many of the member school districts of CESA 1.
I have been selected as one of a handful of teachers in my school to work with my principal on the piloting of the SLO process. I will be required to create Student Learning Objectives, basically goals and levels of student performance growth that I expect to be able to measure on a subgroup of my students this year. I will meet often with my principal to ensure that I am collecting adequate evidence that my students are on track to meet the expectations written in my SLOs.
Is This a Change?
This is a change in that teachers have not necessarily been evaluated on the performance of their students in the past. In respect to the SLO process, teachers have always set goals for performance growth for their students and worked to help students meet or exceed those goals. The SLO process requires a more formal way of going about the goal-setting and the evidence collecting, and is expected to make teachers more cognizant of their impact on their student’s growth as part of the teacher’s evaluation.
Do you think this change in teacher evaluation will have a direct impact on student performance? What efforts are being done locally in your state or community in regard to teacher evaluation? Send us your thoughts via Facebook, Twitter, or comment below.