NJDOE announces changes to use of student achievement measures

Published on Monday, May 7, 2012

Districts participating in the first year of the pilot teacher evaluation program were recently notified by the N.J. Department of Education (NJDOE) about changes to  some components of student achievement measures used to evaluate teachers.

For teachers in tested grades (4-8) and subjects (math and language arts), student growth percentiles (SGP) on state assessments (where two consecutive years of data are available) will be calculated. These SGPs will account for 35-45 percent of the teacher’s summative rating.  However, since the SGP data for the spring 2012 assessments are not yet available, pilot districts are advised to generate an interim summative rating for teachers this spring, with final summative ratings generated in the fall.

Districts will determine the remaining 5-15 percent of the student learning component, including a schoolwide measure of student achievement and other optional measure of student achievement.

Pilot districts will determine the assessment that will be used for the evaluations of teachers in non-tested grades and subjects. Student achievement measures may be used for 10-45 percent of the summative evaluation, with 5-10 percent derived from schoolwide measures.

Based on this formula, the summative rating for these teachers may be based on a higher percentage of teacher practice measures, up to 85 percent (with 15 percent based on student assessments).

The NJDOE also provided guidance for districts on selecting student achievement measures for non-tested grades and schoolwide measures (beyond state tests).

NJEA has serious concerns about the delay of the summative ratings until the fall for teachers in tested subjects and grades. This practice violates current statute and regulations.  In addition, the timeline for developing plans for non-tested subjects is unrealistic. While the stated intent is to provide “flexibility,” districts, districts will need to scramble to determine what measures will “count” in summative teacher evaluations for this year. Teachers will be evaluated on assessments that were chosen at the end of the school year, without the opportunity to align their lessons with the tests.

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