SB 191 Challenges


Integration District Trends and Resources in Meeting SB 191 Implementation Challenges

CEI Integration Districts report that major challenges include the amount of time it takes principals and teachers to participate in the evaluation process; teacher perceptions and misconceptions regarding the purpose of the new evaluation system; ensuring that the student growth component of evaluations is fair, valid and reliable; ensuring inter-rater reliability and/or agreement across evaluators and linking teacher and student data. This section provides resources for districts to consider in meeting these implementation challenges.

Finding Enough Time
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Overwhelmingly, stakeholders report that the time it takes principals and teachers to evaluate every teacher every year is a major challenge.NCTL’s School Time Analysis ToolThis tool is designed to help schools and districts assess their current use of time during the school day and year.  Educators who use the tool engage in a discovery and dialogue process that can lead to modifications in the school’s time, budget, and instructAdministrators from sites around the country including Memphis City Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg recently presented on the challenge of increased time it takes to evaluate every teacher every year as a part of evaluation systems similar to the new system in Colorado. While there is agreement that the amount of time administrators spent in classrooms and serving as instructional leaders increased significantly, there were also interesting and consistent outcomes.

  • Time spent on discipline decreased (in some cases 10-30 percent).
  • Time spent responding to parent concerns dropped.

Principals reported that the drop in the time spent on the above is an outcome of students seeing principals in classrooms more frequently.

Administrators documented their time and were able to show an increase in instructional leadership from roughly 20% to 50% of their overall time. One actionable strategy to off-load work is to draft a ‘first responder’ list of staff or other point people who should be contacted first for numerous issues so that principals were not constantly responding to non-essential work and could focus more time on being instructional leaders.

DPS District Example

DPS acknowledges that they have to learn about how the new evaluation requirements impact the role of the principal. DPS Leadership and the Principal Effectiveness Design Team are currently discussing this matter. The LEAP pilot will also provide insights on the principal role. One hope for the LEAP system is that it supports the identification of teacher leaders and allows educators in DPS to begin thinking about how to build a strong team and more capacity within schools to support student achievement.

Overcoming Misconceptions
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Stakeholders across Integration Districts continue to report that teachers and other stakeholders often fear the intent of the system is to ‘get rid of bad teachers.’ This creates a level of anxiety and mistrust which needs to be addressed for successful implementation of the new evaluation system.A number of Integration Districts reported that teachers and other education stakeholders are concerned that the new evaluation system is ill-intended. Specifically, there are fears that:

  • The evaluation system is focused on getting rid of ‘bad teachers’; and
  • Half of a teacher’s evaluation will be based on TCAP.

The above fears, while understandable, are far from substantiated. Further, even skeptical teachers and administrators who have initiated the evaluation process report that they believe that the evaluation process has the potential to improve their practice in the near-term and to provide them with targeted support that will help them achieve their highest potential as professionals over time.

CDE Initial Pilot Data – Principal Perception Survey

CDE focused on principal evaluation the first year of the two year pilot of SB 10-191. Principals across all 27 of the pilot districts completed pre- and post-perception surveys. The findings are striking. For example, when asked at the beginning of the pilot if their current system was intended to guide professional growth, 32% of principals agreed that it was. Compare that to the 87% of principals surveyed a year later asking them the same question of the new evaluation system. While this is indicative of substantially more principals believing that the new system has increased potential to provide professional supports, the data also point out areas for improvement. CDE continues to evaluate these types of data to improve the evaluation system.

Examples coming soon.
Ensuring Validity and Fairness of Incorporating Measures of Student Growth
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Stakeholders across Integration Districts are in varying stages of deciding and incorporating multiple measures of student growth as 50 percent of an educator’s evaluation. To date, the CDE pilot of the evaluation system has focused on rolling out the professional practices side of the evaluation system. In 2013, CDE will work with pilot districts to begin to address the requirement that 50 percent of evaluations be based on multiple measures of student growth.Resources coming soon.Examples coming soon.
Ensuring Trained Evaluators and Inter-Rater Agreement
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SB10-191 requires evaluators to be trained. CDE is currently the sole trained evaluator. Further, CDE and districts are required to ensure Inter-Rater Agreement. Ensuring principals and other administrators are trained and prepared to evaluate all teachers every year is challenging.CDE Inter-rater Agreement Work Plan (Coming Soon)

In this April 2012 post for the Impatient Optimists blog, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Senior Program Officer Mike Copeland discusses the challenges involved with making sure new observations are accurate and reliable.

Making Teacher Evaluation Matter – District Strategies for Training and Selecting Evaluators

This guide documents the process used by three Colorado school districts on how to select and train evaluators, specifically peer observers. Denver Public Schools, Eagle County School District, and Jefferson County School District use peer observers in either an evaluative or coaching role, and are sharing the lessons they have learned.

Eagle County Schools Example

Eagle has a training program for evaluators which includes passing an on-line calibration exercise intended to align evaluator scores with a ‘master rater’ score.

Ensuring Links Between Teachers and Students
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A prerequisite of incorporating individually attributed student growth to educators is the ability to accurately and reliably connect students with their teachers. Many districts are currently not able to do this. Even districts who are able to link data report a number of challenges in attributing growth to individual educators (e.g. student transition, appropriate weighting of attribution for support personnel, etc.).CDE TSDL PilotCDE is piloting a Teacher Student Data Link project, many components of which are currently required of all districts. Visit this site to learn more. Examples coming soon.
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