GA seeks delay on student growth measures in evaluations
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Posted by: Meg Thornton
Link to AJC article
Georgia seeks one-year delay in high-stakes teacher evaluation system
By Wayne Washington
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sept. 24, 2014 – Georgia has formally requested a one-year delay as it moves to an evaluation system that ties teacher ratings to how their students perform academically.
That system was supposed to be implemented this school year using student performance on the state’s standardized test. Teachers were to get one of four designations — exemplary, proficient, needs development or ineffective — based largely on how much their students’ academic performance improved. Principals would also be evaluated based in part on student performance.
Those repeatedly designated as needing development or ineffective could eventually lose their certification.
Georgia promised to come up with its own system for evaluating teachers when it was granted a waiver from the No Child Left Behind federal education law.
But with the state moving to a new standardized test this school year, Georgia Superintendent John Barge has asked the U.S. Department of Education for permission to delay the implementation of its evaluation system.
“As we transition to a new assessment system, we need additional time before incorporating student growth in high-stakes personnel decisions,” Barge said. “A one-year delay will ensure that teachers and leaders are aware of the impact of more rigorous standards and high-quality assessments, and that they have time to amend instructional practices and engage in the necessary professional learning.”
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has invited states to seek a delay. His department acknowledged receipt of Georgia’s request, but it has not officially said whether it will be granted.
If the request is granted, Georgia will collect the data used in the new evaluation system, but personnel decisions won’t be tied to that data.
Georgia Department of Education Press Release:
Georgia seeks one-year flexibility from consequences of student growth on teacher and leader evaluation; Implementation of educator evaluation systems to continue
September 24, 2014 – Georgia will seek flexibility from its Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) waiver in order to delay, for one year, the high-stakes consequences related to the use of student growth measures in new teacher and leader evaluation systems, Superintendent Dr. John Barge announced today.
“As we transition to a new assessment system, we need additional time before incorporating student growth in high-stakes personnel decisions,” Dr. Barge said. “A one-year delay will ensure that teachers and leaders are aware of the impact of more rigorous standards and high-quality assessments, and that they have time to amend instructional practices and engage in the necessary professional learning.”
Georgia will continue to implement the educator evaluation systems using multiple measures of student growth and will calculate student growth data based on the Georgia Milestones and student learning objectives. Teachers of tested and non-tested subjects, along with all principals and assistant principals, will be provided with their student growth data for the 2014-2015 school year. However, high-stakes consequences tied to that data will be delayed for one year if the waiver is granted.
Georgia’s 26 Race to the Top districts will continue full implementation this school year, including paying merit bonuses to the top 10 percent of teachers. Merit bonuses in those districts will be based on Georgia's current assessment system, including student growth measures.
The U.S. Department of Education announced in August that it would allow states with ESEA waivers to request flexibility related to the incorporation of test results in teacher and leader accountability. Georgia submitted its request for flexibility on Tuesday, September 23.