The State Board of Education voted on May 1 to publish a proposed set of regulations regarding teacher evaluation. Those proposed regulations, which would take effect for the 2013-14 school year, will be subject to at least 60 days of public comment. The State Board is expected to take final action on the regulations on Aug. 7.
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FOR TEACHERS WORKING UNDER AN INSTRUCTIONAL CERTIFICATE
1. What will the length of my observations be?
The NJDOE is recommending a minimum mix of long and short observations. Long observations are defined as 40 minutes. Short observations are 20 minutes. How many you have of each will depend on your years of teaching and status as a tenured or nontenured teacher.
2. How many times will I be observed?
All teachers will be observed at least three times during the school year and not less than once during each semester.
- Non-tenured teachers in their first and second years of teaching will have at least two long observations and one short observation.
- Non-tenured teachers in their third and fourth years of teaching will have at least one long observation and two short observations.
- Tenured teachers will have at least three short observations.
- Teachers on corrective action plans shall receive at least one additional observation, with the length of that added one determined by the chief school administrator.
For all teachers, at least one observation will be announced (require prior notice) and at least one unannounced. The chief school administrator will decide if the third one is announced or unannounced.
3. Do I need a pre- and post-observation conference for all of my observations? Will all of my observations be announced?
Only those observations that need prior notice require a pre-conference. [See question #2, How many times will I be observed?] All observations require a post-observation conference to occur no more than 15 working days following the observation, with a supervisor who is present at the observation. However, post-observation conferences for short observations of tenured teachers can be conducted by written or electronic communication, as long as the teacher is not on a corrective action plan.
4. Will my observations be “double-scored?” Can outside observers conduct my observation?
Non-tenured teachers and those with a Corrective Action Plan must be observed by more than one certified supervisor during the year. A co-observation (done by two observers) fills this requirement, but counts as one observation. According to the law, only certified supervisors employed in the district in a supervisory capacity can conduct evaluations.
5. Will standardized test scores be used in my evaluation?
If you teach grades 4-8 language arts and/or mathematics, the state will determine your median student growth percentile (SGP) based on the NJ ASK test. For all teachers, multiple measures – including other standardized test scores – may be used to create your student growth objectives (SGOs). [See question #6, What formula will be used to determine my rating? for more details.]
6. What formula will be used to determine my rating? What percentage is given to student achievement and teacher practice?
● For tested grades and subjects (i.e., teachers who receive a median student growth percentile) – The proposed rules say student achievement shall be at least 40% to 50% of the rating. The Department of Education (NJDOE) states that for 2013-14, student achievement will make up 45% - 30% based on student growth percentiles (SGPs) from state standardized test results and 15% on student growth objectives (SGOs). Teacher practice will make up 55% of the rating.
● For non-tested grades and subjects (i.e., teachers who do not receive a median student growth percentile) - Student achievement will count for at least 15% and no more than 50% of the rating. Teacher practice will make up at least 50% and no more than 85%. For 2013-14, the NJDOE states that SGOs will make up 15% and teacher practice 85% of the rating.
7. Can the formula be changed?
Yes. The department shall provide the required percentage weight of each measure by April 15 prior to the year the evaluation rubric applies. The proposed rules do not require testimony or approval by the State Board of Education before the formula is changed.
8. How is student achievement calculated?
Student achievement will be a combination of standardized test scores and teacher- and principal-developed student growth objectives (SGOs), which may also be based on standardized tests. Teachers in tested grades and subjects have to create at least one but no more than four SGOs. Teachers in non-tested grades and subjects have to create at least two but no more than four SGOs. The number of SGOs will be determined by the chief school administrator. Please note that the distribution of student growth percentiles (SGPs) and SGOs as part of student achievement is not written in the proposed regulations.
9. How is the student growth percentile (SGP) calculated? How are test scores used?
The Department of Education will calculate the median SGP for teachers, using SGPs of all students assigned to the teacher. SGPs will be based on student test scores on the NJ ASK in grades 4-8 in language arts and mathematics. This Department of Education video explains how the state plans to calculate SGPs. Although not in the proposed regulations, the Department of Education is stating that students must be enrolled in the class for at least 70% of the year. Regulations state that a teacher must teach the course for a least 60% of the time from the beginning of the course until the standardized assessment, and that a teacher must have at least 20 SGPs for the year. If not, three years of SGPs may be used.
10. When do I get my annual summative rating?
If student achievement information necessary to determine the summative rating is available at the time of your annual summary conference, you will receive your rating at that time (at the end of the school year). If student achievement information is not available, pending results from state standardized assessments, the rating will be calculated when the assessment results become available. The department estimates that this will be in January of the following school year. The annual summary conference, however, will still take place in June.
11. How will my annual summative rating be determined?
For teachers with a student growth percentile (SGP) score, boards of education will submit your final rating to the Department of Education, which will then report your annual summative rating, including student growth percentiles, back to the local board. For teachers without SGP scores, the Department of Education will tell school districts how to calculate the rating using student achievement and teacher performance components.
12. Who gets a Corrective Action Plan (CAP)?
A Corrective Action Plan (CAP) is developed by the teacher and supervisor when a teacher receives a partially effective or ineffective rating on his or her annual summative evaluation.
13. How many times will I be observed if I have a Corrective Action Plan (CAP)? What are the rules of this observation?
Any teacher with a CAP will receive one additional mid-year observation with post-observation conference. If the CAP was developed before the start of the school year, the observation must be completed before Feb.15. If the plan is developed after the start of the school year, the mid-year evaluation must occur before the annual summary conference. The chief school administrator or principal shall determine the observation length. Tenured teachers with a CAP must be observed by multiple observers.
FOR TEACHERS WORKING UNDER AN EDUCATIONAL SERVICES CERTIFICATE
14. What will the length of my observations be?
Unspecified. For non-tenured staff members, the chief school administrator shall determine the length. Observations may include, but are not limited to, observations of meetings, student instruction, parent conferences, and case-study analysis of a significant student issue. There is no mention of tenured staff members.
15. How many times will I be observed?
In their current form, the proposed regulations do not specify the number of times teachers working under an educational services certificate will be observed.
However, state law still requires that all nontenured teaching staff members be observed a minimum of three times a year.
16. Who gets a Corrective Action Plan (CAP)?
A Corrective Action Plan (CAP) is developed by the teaching staff member and supervisor when a teaching staff member receives a partially effective or ineffective rating on his or her annual summative evaluation.
17. How many times will I be observed if I have a Corrective Action Plan? What are the rules of this observation?
Unspecified. The regulations do not appear to add any observations for educational services staff members working under Corrective Action Plans.