EES to see changes in 2014-15 based on teacher and principal feedback
Mahalo to the teachers who served on the Advisory and Joint Committees.
Thank you for informing changes to the EES.
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Educator Effectiveness System to see changes in school year 2014-15 based on teacher and principal feedback
HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is announcing several major changes to the Educator Effectiveness System (EES) to take effect in the upcoming school year. The changes reflect the DOE’s commitment to reduce burden on teachers and administrators, and are designed to simplify the EES, streamline its components and differentiate the approach for teachers based on need.
Last Fall, an EES Joint Committee was developed specifically to review the EES. The Committee includes the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), teachers, principals, administrators, technical experts and Complex Area and state staff, who met regularly throughout the past school year. The Joint Committee met with DOE leaders this week and the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Government Association (HGEA) to review proposed changes to the EES, which were sent to School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi on Friday, June 6.
“The Department will continue to collaborate with educators to further improve the EES, these changes are just the beginning to refining this system and ultimately, elevating student achievement,” stated Superintendent Matayoshi. “We appreciate the work of the Joint Committee, and all of the feedback from our principals and teachers to guide us on what best practices work in our schools. We will continue to convene feedback groups and plan a formal review and feedback process for the following school year.”
“The HSTA is pleased that the DOE has committed to improve the EES,” said HSTA president Wil Okabe. “The EES Joint Committee of HSTA and DOE members has collaboratively worked together throughout this process to assess the system and provide the Superintendent with recommendations that reflect input and concerns from all stakeholders. Our goal is to make sure that every child in Hawaii has access to great public schools and teachers. We look forward to continuing to work with the DOE to improve an evaluation system that improves the practice of teaching and student learning to produce real results.”
Based on lessons learned and feedback gathered from schools, the Department is implementing a series of 18 changes for school year 2014-15, including:
• Differentiating the number of required classroom observations based on need from twice annually to 0 for highly effective teachers; 1 or more for effective teachers, and 2 or more for marginal, unsatisfactory, or beginning teachers. Overall this means approximately 9,000 fewer classroom observations, reducing the observation workload by almost 50 percent.
• Providing the approximately 1,800 teachers rated highly effective in SY13-14 the option to carryover their rating in lieu of repeating the evaluation.
• Reducing the administration of the Tripod Student Survey from twice to once annually, eliminating the survey for grades K-2, and eliminating the demographic questions from the survey. Overall this means approximately 11,700 fewer survey administrations, or a 63 percent reduction in administered surveys.
• Reducing, for most teachers, the number of required Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) from two to one annually. Overall, this means approximately 12,400 fewer required SLOs.
•Removing the student survey as an independent component with a stand-alone rating and embedding it as subcomponent under Core Professionalism.
• Providing flexibility within Working Portfolio and SLOs, particularly for non-classroom teachers, to reflect job duties.
• Improving Student Growth Percentile (SGP) to replace a percentile ranking of teachers with anchors in criterion and building in a margin of error.
Principal Linell Dilwith of Stevenson Middle said, “These EES changes will make the work at the school level more manageable and ensure that we are focused on quality, not quantity. I am glad the Superintendent listened to the voices in the field.”
HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira stated, “We are encouraged by the changes proposed by the EES Joint Committee and the opportunity for the HGEA Unit 6 Board to submit recommendations to the Superintendent. We look forward to continuing to work with the department to implement changes that will ensure the workload of principals and vice principals is manageable. Addressing the educational officers’ need for adequate systemic supports with their increasing responsibilities has been and continues to be an important issue for the HGEA.”
Some areas of future improvement include a possible cycling of evaluations; reducing the weight of the SGP and improvements to the methods and technology used to collect, store, and report information. The Department is also exploring improvements to simplify, streamline, and differentiate the implementation of the other 6 Priority Strategies.
The EES began in the school year 2011-12 as a pilot in 18 schools, and then expanded to 81 schools in the 2012-13 school year. Prior to that, more than 80 educators formed the first Great Teachers Great Leaders Task Force, made up of representatives from the business, philanthropy, labor and education sectors. The Task Force met weekly in 2009 and 2010 to draft the evaluation system. As the EES was implemented in schools, the Department solicited feedback from a variety of sources developed specifically for EES feedback, including a Teacher Leader Workgroup, Joint Committee, Technical Advisory Group and Principal Workgroup.
In School Year (SY) 2013-14, the EES was implemented statewide following a two-year pilot with 81 schools. A review and improvement process was built into the first year of statewide implementation to inform design for SY 2014-15, with feedback from teachers, principals, admins, and Complex Area and state staff.
Based on feedback and lessons learned, the Department is implementing 18 changes for SY2014-15. These changes are designed to SIMPLIFY the system to make it clearer and easier to understand, STREAMLINE its components to eliminate redundancies, and DIFFERENTIATE the approach for teachers based on performance and need to ensure administrators can spend more time with teachers who need and want it most. These changes will serve to improve the quality of the feedback and coaching teachers receive and reduce burden on teachers and administrators.
Hawaii DOE tweaks teacher evaluations amid concerns
By Nanea Kalani
POSTED: 03:31 p.m. HST, Jun 12, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 03:42 p.m. HST, Jun 12, 2014
The state Department of Education on Thursday announced more than a dozen changes being made to its controversial teacher evaluation system amid growing angst from teachers and principals about the workload required to prepare for and perform the reviews.
“The changes reflect the DOE’s commitment to reduce burden on teachers and administrators, and are designed to simplify the (Educator Effectiveness System), streamline its components and differentiate the approach for teachers based on need,” the department said in a statement Thursday.
It added that the existing system “is too complicated in some areas and too one-size-fits-all in others.”
Overhauling teacher evaluations was a key pledge in the state’s application for its $75 million federal Race to the Top grant. Starting next school year a teacher’s rating will be tied to personnel consequences such as tenure, raises and termination.
Under the EES—which was rolled out statewide last fall—half of a teacher’s annual rating is based on student learning and growth, measured in part by standardized test scores. The other half is based on teaching practices and is rated in part through classroom observations and student surveys.
Only teachers rated as effective or highly effective will be eligible for pay increases in the year after the evaluation, while an unsatisfactory rating will be cause for termination.
Recent surveys have revealed widespread concerns over implementation of the EES, with principals saying the teacher evaluation system has negatively affected their schools and morale; teachers complaining they don’t understand how their performance rating is calculated; and both groups lamenting the time it requires to prepare for and perform the evaluations.
As part of teachers’ 2013-17 labor contract, the state and teachers union agreed to the annual high-stakes evaluations, but the agreement called for a joint committee of DOE and Hawaii State Teachers Association officials to review the design, validity, reliability and supports for the evaluations and recommend changes to improve its design and implementation.
The joint committee was one of five groups providing feedback on the evaluations, and the DOE says it will be implementing a series of 18 changes for the 2014-15 school year, including:
>> Differentiating the number of required classroom observations based on need from twice annually to zero for highly effective teachers; one or more for effective teachers, and two or more for marginal, unsatisfactory, or beginning teachers. The department said overall this means about 9,000 fewer classroom observations, reducing the observation workload by almost 50 percent.
>> Providing the approximately 1,800 teachers rated highly effective in school year 2013-14 the option to carryover their rating in lieu of repeating the evaluation.
>> Reducing the administration of the student survey from bi-annual to annual, eliminating the survey for grades kindergarten to second, and eliminating the demographic questions from the survey. Overall this means about 11,700 fewer survey administrations, or a 63 percent reduction in administered surveys.
DOE Announces Big Changes to Teacher Evaluation System
The changes will reduce the burden of key requirements, such as classroom observations, and alter the role of the student surveys.
June 12, 2014·By Alia Wong
The Hawaii Department of Education is making 18 major changes to the new teacher evaluation system that officials say will significantly reduce its burden on educators and improve the quality of instruction.
The controversial evaluations, which were implemented statewide this past year and will start affecting pay next school year, have caused great distress among both teachers and principals, many of whom said the system was so time-consuming, impractical and unfair that it was taking a toll on student learning.
The changes range from cutting the frequency of key requirements in half to eliminating the contentious student surveys for teachers who work with kids in grades kindergarten through second. They will simplify the system, streamline its components and differentiate the approach for different kinds of teachers, according to the DOE.
The amendments are the result of a year’s worth of deliberations by a joint committee that includes representatives of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, teachers, principals, administrators, technical experts and DOE staff. The committee first shared its proposed changes with DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi last Friday.
The committee suggested that the effort and workload required to implement the evaluations “hurt the quality of feedback and coaching and restricted educators’ ability to carry out other responsibilities.”
“These changes are just the beginning to refining this system and ultimately, elevating student achievement,” Matayoshi said in a statement.
The evaluation system, which has been under development for two or so years, assesses teachers on an array of rigorous metrics aimed at gauging their instructional quality and impact on student performance. The metrics require significant time investment from teachers who have to collect data, design and implement goals and consult with administrators outside of class.
A survey conducted by the HSTA and DOE this past spring showed great dissatisfaction among teachers with the new evaluations, with one out of five of them saying they had little to no understanding of the system and nearly two-thirds of them expressing concern over the student surveys component. In that component, which until now counted for 10 percent of a teacher’s overall rating, students graded their teachers. (The student survey category is being changed dramatically; see below.)
Principals have to devote a lot of time to the evaluations, too. A recent independently conducted survey showed that 94 percent of the state’s principals feel that the evaluations have damaged faculty and staff morale.
Among the changes:
The number of required classroom observations will be differentiated based on a teacher’s ranking. For example, highly effective teachers won’t need to do any, while marginal, unsatisfactory or beginning teachers will need two or more. The DOE says this change will reduce the observation workload by nearly 50 percent, or 9,000 fewer observations.
Teachers who were rated highly effective this past school year can carry their rating over a year in lieu of repeating the evaluation.
Student surveys will be administered just once annually instead of twice. Students in grades kindergarten through second won’t need to take the surveys. The DOE says this will translate into a 63 percent reduction in surveys administered, or 11,700 fewer surveys. Moreover, the surveys will no longer count as an independent component with a stand-alone rating and will instead be incorporated into the “Core Professionalism” metric.
Student Learning Objectives will be required once annually instead of twice.
Performance on each of the five components is tied to pay; for most teachers, next year’s evaluations will affect their salary for the 2015-16 year, and that will become standard going forward. For example, a teacher with several years of experience who gets a good rating for the 2014-15 school year will receive a roughly $1,000 raise the following year.
Teachers who earn good ratings are eligible for salary increases, while those who get poor ratings don’t get raises at all and, depending on their track records, are subject to penalties as severe as termination.