Monday, October 26, 2015

98% of Hawaii Teachers Rated Effective or Highly Effective

The news came out today that 98% of Hawaii public school teachers were rated "Effective" or "Highly Effective," and the number of "Highly Effective" teachers went up from 1,846 (16%) in school year 2013-2014 to 4,206 (35%) last school year.  In the article, members of the Board of Education shared their concern that the "methodology may not be rigorous enough and might be producing 'false returns.'"

No one should be surprised by these results. Back when SY2014-2015 began, those of us who evaluate teachers knew that we would have a much higher number of "Highly Effective" teachers, primarily because we had gone through the challenges the year before and knew what to expect and what teachers would have to do to earn the higher designation.

Really, this is no different than what happens in classrooms. We tell students what the learning targets are and what success criteria looks like. Then we give them experiences and guide them through the process so they can be successful. In the case of the Educator Effectiveness System, teachers were told exactly how they would be evaluated, and 98% were successful in meeting the target for Effective or Highly Effective. Teachers' observed lessons provided lots of evidence of student engagement and learning; their Student Learning Objective results showed that students progressed and achieved the targets the teacher initially set at the beginning of the year; and teachers were professional in their dealings with their colleagues and contributed positively to the school community.

Does this mean that all teachers are equally effective or highly effective because they earned that rating? Not necessarily. We are not grading teachers on a bell curve. Just as all students can meet or exceed proficiency based on grade level standards, 98% of Hawaii's public school teachers met or exceeded the standards that they were evaluated on.

With these kinds of results, it will be a challenge to change the evaluation system now. This year, most tenured teachers will not even have a formal observation done, and their Student Learning Objective results do not have to be submitted on the pde3 site. The only major change to EES this year is that all teachers are working on an Individualized Professional Development Plan and will be reflecting on how their IPDP helped them to improve student achievement and learning.

Whatever the changes are made next school year, I am confident that 100% of our Hale Kula teachers will be rated "Effective" or "Highly Effective." That is what they expect of themselves, and our job as administrators is to support and guide them so they can reach their goal.

Collaborating with colleagues is one way our teachers improve their teaching and learning practices. 
This year we are working together to create a writing continuum with student samples from our students. It's messy work, but the end product will be worth it, and all teachers are invested in the process. 

1 comment:

  1. Very well explained! I urge you to send this in to the newspaper!