NJDOE proposes regulatory changes on evaluation
Over the last few months, the N.J. Department of Education has proposed several key changes to the teacher evaluation regulations. NJEA expects the State Board to adopt these amendments soon. Proposals expected to impact members the most are outlined below.
Changes to evaluation formulas
As the result of an ongoing push by NJEA, State Education Commissioner David Hespe has announced changes in the formula to be used to calculate teachers’ summative reviews in the 2014-15 school year. Shown below, the new formula significantly diminishes the impact of standardized testing. The formula for tachers of tested subjects (4th-8th grade language arts and math) will be 70% Teacher Practice Instrument, 10% Student Growth Percentile (SGP) and 20% Student Growth Objectives (SGOs). For teachers of all other subject areas, the new formula will be 80% Teacher Practice and 20% SGOs. In 2015-16, the formula for teachers of tested subjects will be based on up to 20% SGP, depending on the findings of the governor’s study commission, 20% SGOs, and the remainder based on Teacher Practice.
SGP scores will not be calculated for eighth-grade math teachers in 2014-15
All eighth-grade math teachers in New Jersey will not receive a student growth percentile score for the 2014-15 school year. Since these educators will not have an SGP, they must set two student growth objectives (SGOs) as part of the AchieveNJ evaluation process. The need for this temporary measure arose from the transition to the PARCC assessments. Because some districts require students to take eighth-grade Algebra I and others do not, districts will also differ in the PARCC assessment administered to their students.
Publication of evaluation policies and procedures
The chief school administrator is required to annually notify all teaching staff members of the adopted evaluation policies and procedures no later than Oct. 1. The proposed regulations add some items that must be included in that notification, including rubrics for all teaching staff members, the process for calculating the summative ratings and each component, and the process for student attribution to teachers, principals, assistant principals, and vice principals for calculating the median and schoolwide student growth percentile.
In addition, there is a new requirement that the annual summary conference must be with the “designated supervisor” (a teacher’s direct supervisor) and shall occur on or before June 30 each year.
In order to attain a summative rating score, a teacher must have at least two measures of student growth (SGP and SGO or two SGOs) and a practice score based on three observations. If a teacher is present for less than 40% of the total student school days in an academic year, he or she must have at least two observations to earn a teacher practice score.
Student Growth Objectives (SGOs)
SGOs are to be determined by Oct. 31 of each school year. If a teacher begins work after ct. 1 then the SGO should be determined within 20 work days of the teacher’s start date.
A change is proposed in the language on adjustments to SGOs. The regulation has stated that adjust-ments to SGOs may be made by the teacher or his or her supervisor only when approved by the chief school administrator and shall be recorded in the teacher’s personnel file on or before Feb. 15. The proposed change states that adjustments may be made by the teacher in consultation with his or her supervisor. Approval by the chief school administrator continues to be required. This change indicates that only the teacher can initiate an adjustment in the SGO before the Feb. 15 deadline.
SGO Appeals Process
For the 2013-14 school year, if a teacher received a summative rating less than effective because of the SGO score, the teacher can appeal that score to the chief school administrator by Feb. 1 or within 15 days after receiving his/her summative score, whichever is later. If the CSA agrees with the appeal, then the SGO shall count for 1% of the summative rating (it needs to be at least 1% because the law requires multiple measures of student learning). If the CSA does not agree, the teacher has 15 days after receiving the notice of this decision to appeal directly to the Commissioner of Education, who will then review whether the annual summative rating was directly caused by the SGO.
The proposed regulations state that, when required, pre-conferences for short observations of tenured teachers who are not on a corrective action plan may be conducted via written communication, including electronic, when agreed to by the teacher.
The proposed regulations also clarify that a preconference occurs at least one but not more than seven teaching staff member working days prior to the observation.