Sept. 21, 2011 Ad Hoc Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Ad Hoc Subcommittee
New Educator Evaluation Requirements
Quincy High School
September 21, 2011, 6:00 p.m.

  1. Quincy Public Schools Educator Evaluations

  2. Adjournment


Ad Hoc Subcommittee on New Educator Evaluation Regulations
Quincy High School, September 21, 2011

A meeting of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on New Educator Evaluation Regulations was held on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm at Quincy High School. Present were Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Dave McCarthy, Superintendent DeCristofaro, Mrs. Colleen Roberts, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Allison Cox, QEA, and Ms. Laura Owens, Acting Clerk.

The meeting was called to order at 6:10 pm by Mrs. Lebo.

Mr. Mulvey presented a binder of materials for the new Educator Evaluation Regulations (603 CMR 35.00) from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The materials include a history of the Quincy Public Schools evaluation process (professional and non-professional staff) and the full text of the new regulations, along with the outline that he developed for the September 7, 2011 School Committee meeting. The binder will be a resource and as DESE continues to develop models and other guidelines, these can be added to the binder.

Dr. DeCristofaro clarified that the purpose of the meeting is to understand the new regulations and establish a shared knowledge base. Specific decisions about adopting the DESE model tool or adapting it for Quincy Public Schools are to come and will require discussions with the Quincy Educator’s Association and most likely, Executive Session discussions.

In the section about new regulations, Mr. Mulvey included DESE’s purpose for passing these regulations, and an outline of the regulations developed by KM. Also included are a memorandum from the Commissioner of Education and frequently-asked questions. The new evaluation consists of three parts: standards and indicators for educators and leadership; student performance and educator practice, plus the combination of the two as effective total evaluation of a school system. Information on the integration of the two is also provided; more information is to come from DESE. The model tool for all districts is projected to be available in January; it can be adopted as is without further approval. If we choose to adapt it, there will be an approval process.

DESE’s purpose of new regulations:

  1. Rewarding excellence

  2. Promote growth and development

  3. Setting a high bar for tenure; new teachers must demonstrate proficiency within three years.

  4. Shorten timelines for improvement for both professional or nonprofessional teachers.

  5. Student learning is central to the evaluation and development of the Commonwealth’s teachers and administrators.

Key elements of New Profession Educator Evaluation Regulations:

  1. Student Performance Measures: 10 total

    a. District-wide set of student performance measures for each grade (Pre-K through 12) and subject that permit a comparison of student learning gains. These are core academic subjects only; non-academic teacher models are yet to be developed (Art, Music, Phys Ed, Nurses, Guidance Counselors, and other professional interventionists), due July 2012.
    b. At least two measures of student learning gains, one being MCAS student growth percentiles, must be employed for each grade and subject.
    c. Districts may select from a number of options for the 2nd measure, including other standardized tests (commercially available, state- or district-developed), mid-term or final exams, or student work samples.
    d. Districts will be required to report the process they use to reconcile discrepancies between MCAS growth and local assessments of student progress.
    e. Aggregate school, grade, or MCAS student growth percentiles may be employed as a measure of student learning
    f. Determine educator’s impact on student learning: low, moderate, or high.
    g. through i. Definitions of moderate (one year’s growth), low (less than one year’s growth), high (more than one year’s growth)
    j. Districts will be required to clearly identify levels based on DESE guidelines still to be developed.

Ms. Isola inquired as to whether we already have assessments in place that could be used as the 2nd measure; Mrs. Roberts mentioned DIBELS, Q-Math, mid-terms and final exams as options.

Ms. Lebo inquired about the timing of information being available on Student Growth and the impact on the timing of evaluation; data not available until after new school year has begun. Mrs. Roberts explained that preliminary (but embargoed) data was available in August this year, which is earlier than ever. In the early years of MCAS, data was not available until November.

Ms. Isola asked about the one-year growth being for every student across the board. Mrs. Roberts explained that this is part of the MCAS data and that more information on this will be shared through the upcoming PIP and SIP presentations.

Mr. Mulvey continued with the next section:

  1. Measures of Educator Practice: four standards for teachers (with indicators) and four standards for administrators (also with indicators).
    For teachers:
    a. curriculum planning and assessment
    b. teaching all students/instruction
    c. family and community engagement
    d. professional culture

    For administrators:
    a. curriculum planning and assessment
    b. management and operations
    c. family and community engagement
    d. professional culture

    Mr. Mulvey noted that standards c. and d. are common to both teachers and administrators and that DESE is placing a high value on these standards.

    The standards are assessed through consideration of evidence, including peer review, feedback from students and parents (guidelines to come from DESE at a later date), and lead to development of summary ratings across the four standards of practice. DESE wants all teachers to be Exemplary, but Proficient is acceptable as well. There are specific guidelines for what defines each rating; in order to receive Exemplary or Proficient ratings, both teachers and administrators must be Proficient or above in standards a and b.

    Mr. Mulvey next reviewed the multiple indicators under each standard for both teachers and administrators.

Ms. Lebo noted that some of the DESE language is already in our current evaluation tool. Mr. Mulvey agreed that our current tool is very comprehensive.

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification about Administrator definitions. Mr. Mulvey said these would include any DESE Administrator licensed staff member: Principal, Assistant Principal, Director of Special Education, Director of Student Support Services, etc. Mrs. Roberts noted that the regulations allow for adapting standards to be applicable to the role and responsibilities of that administrator. Mr. Mulvey mentioned that Assistant Principals are currently part of QEA bargaining unit, while Administrators with individual contracts (Principals, Directors, Coordinators) are not.

Mr. Mulvey went on to talk about the the heart of the new evaluation process: the third piece which combines the first two: student and educator growth, as the most complex. This summary evaluation will have to be sent electronically to DESE for their evaluation. Mrs. Lebo asked is this a required submission for every educator? Mr. Mulvey replied that similar to EPIMS information we now provide about qualifications and goals for 100% teacher licensure and qualification. Ms. Isola asked how many people are going to have to be hired to do this? Is this an unfunded mandate? Mr. Mulvey answered yes. Mrs. Lebo suggested that p erhaps some funds are coming from the federal Race to the Top funding (RTTT). Mrs. Roberts replied that for RTTT money, 50% was kept at state level, so may be helping fund these types of initiatives; 2 nd year of four-year grant.

Mr. Mulvey continued to review that in terms of indicators, we and DESE want all teachers to be in the green zone of rating; yellow zone will indicate a need for intervention and improvement plan. There ios a time limit for this status, the goal being moving the educator into the green zone as soon as possible. Red zone indicator requires immediate action for improvement plan to move teacher into yellow zone on the way to green zone. Different time frames for both non-professional and professional teacher status improvement. The development of the evaluation tool will be an ongoing process, a large task to undertake, but we are committed to getting this done.

Dr. DeCristofaro spoke with the Associate Commissioner about available model evaluations and DESE is currently in the process of developing Model Evaluation prototype for Level 4 Underperforming Schools. There is nothing ready for the state to share at this point. In terms of next steps, are there questions that Mr. Mulvey can research?

Mr. Mulvey agreed and suggested that the next session will be presentation of how DESE expects student and teacher standards to be combined to create an evaluation tool.

Mrs. Lebo mentioned that in her reading that non-core subject teachers will also be evaluated on their school’s MCAS scores.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Mr. Mulvey and Mrs. Roberts for all their work in presenting this in a way that is making it more understandable.

Mrs. Roberts thought the Commissioner’s memo and studying the actual regulations were key to developing a comfort level with the information.

Ms. Isola noted that she read the FAQs on the DESE website, so feels like tonight’s discussion was helpful because repeated exposure to the terms and elements of the regulations is helping to make this become more clear.

All agenda items having been covered, the meeting was adjourned at 6:55 pm