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Sunday, August 21, 2011

American Institutes for Research Has Been Awarded a Contract to Aid NY State In Evaluating Teachers and Principals

Teachers, Principals To Be Evaluated
Morth Country Gazette, Saturday, 20 of August , 2011 at 6:27 pm

ALBANY – American Institutes for Research has been awarded a contract to develop methodologies and measures for the student growth component of the State’s new teacher and principal evaluation system.

The goal, according to the state Education Department, is to ensure New York has a state-of-the-art approach to developing fair and reliable assessments of educators’ contributions to their students’ growth in learning.

“The Race to the Top (RTTT) is in full swing,” State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said. “If we don’t know how our educators are doing, they can’t get to where they need to be, and our students can’t get to where they should be. We need every tool possible to measure student progress and teacher effectiveness. Our students are counting on us to help them succeed.”

King said the contract, awarded through a competitive bidding process and valued at approximately $2.7 million over 3 years, will be paid for from federal RTTT funds. The contract requires AIR to develop the state-provided measures of student growth for teacher and principal evaluations. The other components in New York State’s multiple-measure evaluation system include locally selected measures of student achievement and other measures of educator effectiveness.

King noted that a variety of student and classroom characteristics will be included in the state evaluation measures AIR will develop including, among others, past test scores, English Language Learners, disabilities, and poverty.

Under the terms of the contract, AIR will provide three specific services:

The design and production of growth and value-added measures covering teachers and principals with students in grades 4-8 taking the State English language arts (ELA) and/or mathematics assessments;

The design of value-added methodologies and measures covering teachers and principals with students taking other existing State assessments, or new assessments added during the contract period, that are identified by the State Education Department (SED) as part of the teacher and principal evaluation initiative;

The design and delivery of reports that effectively communicate student growth measures to parents/students, teachers, principals, schools, districts, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Teacher and Principal Preparation programs, and SED.

Founded in 1946, AIR is one of the largest not-for-profit behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. AIR is a national leader in teaching and learning improvement, providing the research, assessment, evaluation, and technical assistance to ensure that all students—particularly those who face historical disadvantages—have access to high-quality, effective education.

The contract runs through the 2013-14 school year.