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Monday, June 17, 2013

Carol Burris: The Problem With Teacher Evaluation

Carol Burris

Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in Rockville Center, Long Island, spent her Saturday analyzing State Education Commissioner John King’s Educator Evaluation plan. Here is her review:
“When I took a look at the details of the plan imposed by Commissioner King on NYC, I was taken aback. The first thing I noticed was how low the points in the Effective range in the final 60 (other measures) were. These are the points assigned by the principal according to the rubric. I could not understand how the points in the Effective range could be as low as 45. A teacher could be rated effective in the first component, with a growth score of 9 points, effective in the second component the local measure with a score of 9 points and receive 45 points in the effective range established by the commissioner in the final 60 (see page 70) here  , but she would be rated Ineffective overall.
“If you add up the points, 9+9+45=63.
In other words, the teacher is rated INEFFECTIVE overall, even though she is Effective in all three categories. At least that is what the statute 3012c would say.
“Let me explain. 3012c, which you can find here: on page 46 the following when describing points awarded for the local measure:
“(ii) an Effective rating in this subcomponent if the results meet district-adopted expectations for growth or achievement and they achieve a subcomponent score of: (a) 9-17 for the 2011-2012 school year, and for the 2012-2013 school year and thereafter for teachers and principals whose score on the State assessment or other comparable measures subcomponent is not based on a value-added model; or (b) 8-13 for the 2012-2013 school year and thereafter for teachers and principals whose score on the State assessment or other comparable measures subcomponent is based on a value-added model.
“In other words, if the teacher receives a score of 9 – 17 on the local measure, prior to VAM, she is in the Effective category. After VAM, it changes to 8-13. That is defined in the statute. Now look on pages 35 and 36 of the plan imposed by the Commissioner:
“On these pages you will find matrices that award points on the local measure. However, a score of 9 is not in the Effective range as 3012c requires. Rather, a score of 9 is in the Ineffective range. A teacher has to accrue 15 of the 20 points to be Effective without an approved VAM, and 13 out of 15 if there is an approved VAM.
“The entire section is confusing, because it has typographical errors, as it tries to explain the ratings with or without VAM. However, even if VAM is approved this year, the statute does not change. In fact, Effective moves down to 8 points., according to the 3012C.
“Unless I am missing an additional conversion chart, it appears to me that this plan violates 3012C. It gives a weight to test scores that was never intended, and it explains why the points are so low in the final 60. They can be low because John King raised the bar in the local measure, expecting very high student performance, for a teacher to be rated effective in that measure, and that is not in accordance with the statute passed by the legislature.”