EES: Evaluation system blasted as unfair and overwhelming
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Evaluation system blasted as unfair and overwhelming
Educators want to overhaul the plan that has been implemented statewide
By Nanea Kalani
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 01, 2014
Growing criticism over the state’s rollout of its high-stakes teacher evaluations came to a head last week, with the Hawaii State Teachers Association filing a class-action grievance with the Department of Education over what it calls a “flawed implementation” of an evaluation system that lacks equity and transparency.
The grievance, filed Thursday on behalf of the union’s 13,500 members, seeks to unlink “adverse personnel actions” from evaluation ratings, which are based in part on student surveys, test scores and classroom observations. The move was prompted by a contract deal recently awarded to principals that the HSTA says removed high-stakes evaluations for school leaders.
Under teachers’ 2013-2017 labor contract, the state and teachers union agreed to annual performance-based evaluations, which starting next school year will tie ratings to pay raises, tenure and termination.
Separate from the grievance, HSTA’s board of directors has requested to reopen the contract, which stipulates that only teachers rated as effective or highly effective will be eligible for pay increases in the year after the evaluation. An unsatisfactory rating will be cause for termination.
Teachers have decried implementation of the so-called Educator Effectiveness System, or EES, since it was rolled out statewide in the fall, saying they don’t understand its complex design and are overwhelmed with the work required to prepare for the six areas measured by the evaluations.
HSTA officials emphasize teachers are still committed to a fair evaluation system that will help improve teaching in Hawaii’s public school classrooms.
“When HSTA negotiated the EES, our understanding was that there would be a fair and equitable system of support and accountability, encompassing all DOE educators, from the state superintendent on down to school-level administrators and teachers,” HSTA President Wil Okabe said. “We agreed to it on the premise that it was going to be from the top down, but now it’s only the teachers being held to this standard.”
Okabe said the principals’ arbitration ruling — which covers the Hawaii Government Employees Association’s 850-member Bargaining Unit 6 — creates a “double standard between teachers and principals.”
Arbitrators awarded annual raises and other benefits to principals, who had been working without a contract since their last pact expired June 30, but did not resolve disputes between the HGEA and the state over performance contracts for principals.
The principals union and the state are still negotiating terms of a permanent performance evaluation system for school leadership that factors in student achievement — a decade after lawmakers first mandated performance contracts for school principals.
The agreement with HGEA does establish a “rewards and recognition program” but a committee will need to determine how to best reward and recognize principals based on performance ratings.
“Administrators are not subject to the ‘pay for performance’ compensation element that teachers agreed to as part of a shared commitment to support the DOE’s strategic plan to transform public education in Hawaii,” Okabe said.
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.
“We’re not objecting to being evaluated,” Okabe said. “We’re all-in in trying to make this evaluation piece work, but it has to be fair and equitable.”
Asked if the union would be open to personnel consequences in the future should the current evaluation system be revamped to HSTA’s liking, Okabe said, “Anything is negotiable.”
DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi called the timing of the grievance unfortunate.
She noted that work is progressing under the joint committee of HSTA and DOE officials called for in HSTA’s contract to review the design, validity, reliability and supports for the evaluations and recommend changes to improve its design and implementation.
In a statement to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Matayoshi said the committee “is in the process of proposing modifications to the Educator Effectiveness System intended to simplify and streamline it to reduce burden. The DOE is considering all feedback — including from teachers, principals, the unions, and technical experts — and expects to make modifications in the next few weeks for implementation in the 2014-2015 school year.”
She added, “This first year was negotiated as part of the collective bargaining agreement to have no consequences for tenured teachers specifically so that we could learn from and improve the EES for next year.”
Under rules laid out in the HSTA contract, grievances are to be worked out between the union and the state within certain timeframes. If a settlement can’t be reached, the union can request arbitration as a last resort, in which case the arbitrator would make a final, binding decision.
Time to replace top DOE leaders and give more power to schools
By Eileen Clarke, Gary Griffiths and Betty Mow
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 01, 2014
The Star-Advertiser recently alerted the public to discontent among public school principals, via coverage of a critical survey that found 88 percent of 160 principals saying central administration is not providing sufficient support to the schools, and 65 percent fearing retaliation for disagreeing with or questioning systemwide initiatives (“Principals feel they’re hamstrung, survey finds,” May 15).
A follow-up commentary by four former principals called the current system “dysfunctional” and pressed for school empowerment (”Public school leaders must be empowered to achieve success,” Island Voices, May 20); and an editorial called on state Department of Education leadership, school board members and the governor to heed the calls (“Address principals’ concerns,” Our View, May 21).
The recent survey of principals was not intended as a referendum to call for a change in leadership. But when you read the comments carefully, it is clear that the principals have lost faith in the system’s state-wide leadership.
Now, we are calling for a change in DOE leadership because the system has failed to listen to its professionals, failed to be transparent and failed to focus on the actual needs of the children.
More fundamentally, we are calling for change because it is in the best interests of the students.
Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi’s contract expires on June 30. We propose that her contract not be renewed and that the Board of Education begin the search for a successor who will turn the governance system right-side up.
A school system that does not embrace what principals and teachers say, and is run on fear of top-down retribution, is sick and in obvious need of major change.
The public should be asking, “Exactly what needs to be changed, and who is best situated to make those changes?”
We believe the answer is school empowerment, which starts with decentralization of the system management.
School empowerment can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but the bottom line is that central administrators relinquish power and control over resources and serve the schools, rather than the other way around.
Empowered schools get a much larger portion of each education dollar for students. And there is much greater transparency. The current system is opaque at best.
With school empowerment, 90 cents of every dollar must be spent at the school level, and parents wanting to know how it affects their child’s school have easy access to that information online.
The BOE and a streamlined central administration would continue to set systemwide policies and provide oversight to empow- ered schools, but each school community would have a reasonable degree of freedom to innovate.
Central administration’s primary responsibility would be to support the principals and teachers who are responsible for learning in the schools.
The nature of that support would be determined by the professionals at each school and be based on the specific needs of those students.
Turning the system right-side up—making central administration work for the schools rather than the other way around—would not require new laws. But it will take a superintendent who wants it to happen, who is determined to make it happen. Under current leadership there has been no movement toward school empowerment; rather, it’s moving in the opposite direction.
Press releases from the DOE have routinely portrayed happy principals, happy teachers, happy students and improving test scores. That cannot be squared with the results of the recent principals’ survey.
The DOE has used excellence at Waipahu High to “prove” the value of the Race to the Top initiative, despite the fact that Waipahu had not received any “Race” funds nor implemented any “Race” programs. The DOE also has touted a bump in test scores without making clear that students now take tests up to three times rather than once.
Disingenuous leadership has no place in an education system. Transparency and integrity are essential, as is a culture of high expectations and innovation.
No one likes to see others lose their jobs, but the current situation is untenable. The superintendent and her senior deputy have had their run; it is time for a change.
Principals feel they’re hamstrung, survey finds
They cite the DOE’s “top-down” handling of schools and low morale due to reforms
By Nanea Kalani
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 15, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 03:30 a.m. HST, May 15, 2014
Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL
An overwhelming majority of public school principals who responded to an independent survey about their working conditions say they lack the needed support and autonomy to act in the best interests of their schools, but hesitate to speak out for fear of retaliation.
MOOD IN SCHOOLS
An independent survey of Hawaii public school principals was administered April 18-28. It consisted of 13 questions and was conducted via personal email addresses.
Number of Hawaii public school principals
Number of principals who responded (113 elementary and 47 secondary)
Percentage of principals who responded
The school leaders say their ability to make decisions at the school level has been stymied by “top-down” management by the Department of Education, and that sweeping academic reforms the state pledged for its federal Race to the Top grant have dragged down morale at their schools.
The anonymous survey was conducted last month by longtime DOE principals Darrel Galera and John Sosa, who both retired in December.
A total of 160 principals responded, representing 63 percent of the principals leading the state’s 255 public schools. The survey found in part:
» 64.4 percent feel less empowered to implement decisions to help their schools.
» 87.7 percent say they don’t have a “system of support” as required by their collective bargaining agreement.
» 75.5 percent feel the implementation of Race to the Top reforms, especially the new performance-based evaluation system for teachers, has negatively impacted their schools.
» 94 percent feel the teacher evaluations have negatively affected morale.
The idea for the survey came about through volunteer consultant work Galera’s been doing with schools and leadership groups since retiring, most recently as acting principal at Castle High School.
“People were informing me of issues and concerns and there were suggestions to collect information because some of the things being said were pretty serious,” said Galera, 55. “We identified some key areas and sent out a survey and it didn’t take very long. Principals seemed very interested in responding and being heard.”
The survey was done informally and anonymously using principals’ personal email addresses, but Galera said, “I stand behind it 1 million percent.”
He and Sosa say the results highlight the need for empowering schools by empowering principals.
“I think principals are crying out,” said Sosa, 71, who retired from Kaiser High School at year-end after 44 years with the DOE. “Study after study after study says empowering schools is really where the change occurs.”
The state Legislature aimed to do just that a decade ago when in 2004 it passed the education-reform law known as Act 51, which in part gave principals more control over school-level spending.
“Today, 10 years later, things are almost in the total opposite direction. The school system is more centralized, principals are less empowered and that definitely has an impact on student learning,” Galera said. “Things won’t change until we change the system so that it’s not top-down with everyone having to fit into a one-size-fits-all approach. Every community is unique and very diverse.”
DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe, a former principal himself, said feedback from the DOE’s most recent survey of principals and vice principals, which is administered annually to all principals, “shows that principals believe that the department is improving and that our strategic direction is the right approach.”
Regarding the complaints that the DOE is too centralized, Nozoe said, “There needs to be clear definitions of success and targets, which is set by the department. However, how a school achieves this is up to the school leaders.”
Galera acknowledged the academic reforms may be well-intended, but “if the changes become more important than the people in the system, it’s going to be counterproductive. In leadership we talk about establishing a positive culture where people feel creative and inspired to work. That’s what I think we need.”
Both principals said they had hoped to put in more years before retiring. In Galera’s case, he left Moanalua High after 13 years to help lead a new principals academy to train new leaders.
“I gave up my school to help the system. It obviously didn’t work. I didn’t have to retire. I’m 55. I loved my job,” he said. “But the concerns in this survey had an impact on my decision to retire, I’ll be honest. Leading a school when things are going well, it’s extremely challenging. When you have to go up against other barriers, it’s demoralizing. And I’m obviously not alone.”
THE SURVEY SAYS
Public school principals who anonymously responded to an independent survey about their working conditions say they lack the needed supports and autonomy to act in the best interests of their schools but fear speaking out. Some of the survey results show:
» 64.4 percent of principals feel less empowered to implement decisions that they feel would be in the best interest of their school
» 75.5 percent of principals feel that the implementation of the Race to the Top and the Educator Effectiveness System (the Department of Education’s new performance-based evaluation system for teachers) has negatively impacted their schools
» 94 percent feel that the Educator Effectiveness Survey has negatively impacted faculty and staff morale
» 65.5 percent of principals state that they are not able to express their concerns for fear of reprisal or retaliation
» 87.7 percent of principals disagree that they have a “system of support” as required by principals’ collective bargaining agreement
Source: “The Voice of Hawaii School Principals” survey To view the survey results and comments click here -> http://bit.ly/1hMRtqv
Survey critical of new teacher evaluations
Posted: May 14, 2014 5:53 PM HST
Updated: May 15, 2014 10:33 AM HST
By Jim Mendoza
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An independently done survey of Hawaii’s public school principals criticizes the Department of Education’s new teacher evaluations. Seventy-five percent of the 160 principals who filled out the survey said the Educator Effectiveness System has had a negative impact on their schools.
“We’re hearing things like it takes three hours at the minimum to do an evaluation for one teacher. If you have a hundred teachers at your high school, that’s a lot of hours,” retired Kaiser High School principal John Sosa said.
Sosa and retired Moanalua High School principal Darrel Galera created the survey
It shows 94 percent of responding principals believe that implementing the teacher evaluation system has hurt faculty and staff morale, while 78 percent said it’s taken time away from preparing students for the new national test.
Galera said it’s a step back, not a step ahead.
“I’m going to use the word embarrassing in terms of not keeping up with what the leading districts across the country are doing,” he said.
But DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe said the new teacher evaluations will be adjusted over time, and the survey doesn’t reflect that.
“The way things have been characterized, it really doesn’t validate the hard work that people have done to do the work so we can look at the data and make the improvements,” he said.
Over 65 percent of the principals who responded also said they fear the DOE will retaliate if they complain.
“There’s been threats. There’s been compliance. There’s been, ‘You have to meet these deadlines or else,’” Galera said.
“That starts creating this atmosphere—one where people say, ‘We better not say much or we better not question, because if we do then bad things can happen,’” Sosa said.
Nozoe said that’s not true.
“We’ve built our system different from other places where they’re trying to fire people and get rid of them,” he said. “We want to build our capacity.”
The survey was conducted over a ten-day period last month. The results are being sent to the Board of Education and state School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
To view the survey results and comments click here -> http://bit.ly/1hMRtqv
DOE-HSTA JOINT SURVEY
The DOE recently wrote that the EES is a work in progress.
HSTA, the DOE, and the BOE have agreed to a process in reviewing the implementation of EES and make recommendations for adjustments by the end of the year. The agreed-upon process is that we will make necessary changes based on input from stakeholders like you, the practitioners and experts in the classroom.
Part of this process is giving teachers a chance to have direct input through an advisory committee and a joint committee where teachers sit at the table with the DOE.
We are encouraged by their work throughout the year and I want to thank not only the teachers on these committees, but you for responding to the monthly polls, the recent joint survey, and all you are doing inside and outside the classroom.
Please see the HSTA-DOE news release below regarding the results of the recent joint EES survey. It reflects input from teachers, the agreed-upon EES process, and steps forward to make changes and improvements that support an evaluation system that is designed to improve the practice of teaching that results in improved student learning.
As teachers, we, want a system that works in the best interests of teachers and the students they teach, but it needs to be done right.
For Immediate Release: April 7, 2014
Hawaii State Department of Education and Hawaii State Teachers Association
Release Teacher Survey Results Regarding Educator Effectiveness System
HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) recently conducted a joint survey regarding the Educator Effectiveness System (EES), which was implemented statewide at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. The purpose of the joint survey was to gather teacher feedback on their experiences and opinions regarding the EES to help better understand its strengths and identify areas for improvement.
Funded by the Castle Foundation and conducted by Ward Research Inc., the online survey was sent to the HSTA’s 13,500 teacher members, 4,280 (30%) of which completed the survey between the Feb. 25 and March 11 survey period. Respondents represented all districts and types of teachers. This level of response provides a maximum sampling error of only +/- 1.3 percent.
Results from the survey indicate varying degrees in understanding the EES and provide a good starting point in better identifying areas for improvement. Key survey findings include:
•One in five respondents indicated high levels of understanding of the EES (18% rating ‘top three’ box or 8-10 where 10 = completely understand) while a comparable proportion indicated low levels of understanding of the EES (20% rating ‘bottom three’ box or 1-3 where 1 = do not understand at all)
•Classroom Observations reflected the highest levels of reported understanding (36%) and the Hawaii Student Growth Model the lowest (12%)
•One in five respondents indicated strong agreement (‘top three’ box or 8-10 rating where 10 = strongly agree) that they have applied the EES information towards improving their professional practice (18%), their instructional practice (18%), and toward improving student growth and learning (18%)
•An emerging theme identified in the survey was providing teachers more time to prepare for the various requirements within the components, more guidance and clarity, and providing examples of successful stories by distinguished teachers
“The Department of Education is actively engaged in an ongoing data review process that involves working with teachers, principals and other groups,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The EES is intended to provide timely, actionable and professional feedback, and support to improve teacher practice and student outcomes. We’re grateful to the teachers and various groups who are ensuring that the system fairly assesses the effectiveness of educators. This survey will be used as part of a collective process to help better understand strengths and identify areas for improvement.”
“The HSTA’s goal is to make sure that every child in Hawaii has access to the best teachers in our public school system,” said Wil Okabe, HSTA president. “When we started this process, we agreed that the Joint Committee of DOE and HSTA representatives would gather data and feedback from our members in order to implement collaborative adjustments and improvements to the EES.”
“The joint survey reflected what we have been hearing from teachers. That the EES is a work in progress, and teachers feel that more needs to be done so that the EES can help improve the practice of teaching. Our teachers clearly expressed the need for more time to implement the EES, more guidance, and more clarity of the expectations and process,” said Okabe.
“We are committed to the EES and will continue to collaborate with the DOE to improve this system and develop a fair and effective resource that should be designed to, ultimately, improve our educational system for Hawaii’s students,” added Okabe.
The committee has met four times over the last nine months and provided areas of potential recommendations to Superintendent Matayoshi, including:
•Improving support for implementation (e.g. training structure, educator engagement strategy),
•Solutions for new teachers (e.g. personnel consequences for SY 13-14 first-year teachers, differentiating evaluation criteria for first and second year teachers),
•Supporting structures for teachers based on EES feedback and results (e.g. searchable database for teachers to find quality professional development opportunities based on area of need),
•Transitioning between student assessments (impact on student growth as the state shifts from the Hawaii State Assessments, to the bridge assessments, and Smarter Balanced Assessments),
•Differentiating frequency of evaluation components within the annual evaluation cycle, based on the needs of teachers,
•Reviewing scoring methodology for the Tripod student perception survey, and
•Monitoring the use of multiple measures.
The Joint Committee is one of several feedback groups the DOE relies upon for structured input about EES. Other groups include the Teacher Leader Workgroup and Technical Advisory Group and a newly established Principal Workgroup.
“The survey results reinforce priority issues that are being discussed by the Joint Committee and raise some additional concerns for further discussion,” noted Matayoshi. “Teachers, administrators and the HSTA are all involved in this process, and this is just the beginning.”
The DOE and HSTA are committed to working together to improve the EES and teacher feedback is an important part of the improvement process. Following the first full year of implementation, the DOE will make any design improvements necessary based on reviews of data and consideration of feedback from the field.
# # #
About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth-largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 33 charter schools, and serves more than 185,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.
About the Hawaii State Teachers Association
The Hawaii State Teachers Association is the exclusive representative of more than 13,500 public school teachers statewide. As the state affiliate of the more than 3-million-member National Education Association, HSTA represents and supports teachers in collective bargaining, as well as with legislative and professional development issues.
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Phone: (808) 586-3232
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Phone: (808) 523-8802
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Evaluation system unclear to isle teachers, survey finds
By Nanea Kalani
Fewer than 1 in 6 Hawaii public school teachers say they fully understand how their performance rating is calculated under the state’s controversial new evaluation system for teachers — which starting next school year will tie ratings to pay raises, tenure and termination — according to survey results released Monday.
A joint survey of teachers by the state Department of Education and Hawaii State Teachers Association also found 20 percent of respondents do not understand the evaluation system overall.
The head of the teachers union says the results are consistent with concerns teachers have been raising since the evaluations were implemented statewide last fall, including a lack of clarity about the system’s design and the need for more time to prepare for the six areas measured by the evaluations.
“Eighteen percent (of teachers) felt they truly understand this evaluation system — only 18 percent of the whole membership,” HSTA President Wil Okabe said in an interview. “Twenty percent said they don’t know anything about it. Everyone else is somewhere in the middle. There needs to be a way to create understanding for everybody in order for these evaluations to be equitable and fair.”
A joint committee made up of state DOE and HSTA officials conducted the survey, which was done by Ward Research and funded by the Castle Foundation. About 32 percent of HSTA’s 13,500 members, or 4,280 teachers, completed the online survey, which has a margin of error of 1.3 percentage points.
The joint committee is called for in teachers’ 2013-17 labor contract to review the design, validity, reliability and supports for the performance evaluations — known as the Educator Effectiveness System, or EES — and recommend changes to improve its design and implementation. The committee has met four times in the past nine months.
“The DOE has made very clear that this is a work in progress,” Okabe said. “What’s clear from this survey and polls that HSTA has been doing is that the current system is taking a lot of time. We don’t want to have a system that’s taking away from student learning.”
An executive summary prepared by Ward Research said that “when asked for suggestions or comments as to what else can be done to improve their performance or understanding of the (Educator Effectiveness System), respondents, overall, asked for more time” to prep for evaluation as well as more constructive feedback and guidelines.
Overhauling teacher evaluations was a key pledge in the state’s application for its $75 million federal Race to the Top grant.
Under the EES, half of a teacher’s annual evaluation is based on student learning and growth, measured in part by academic growth on student test scores. The other half is based on teaching practices and is rated through classroom observations and student surveys.
Overall, there are six parts comprising an evaluation: classroom observations, student surveys, core professionalism, student learning objectives, working portfolio, and academic growth on test scores.
The joint survey found varying degrees of understanding among teachers of the six pieces. For example, more respondents said they understand the classroom observation (36 percent) and student survey (25 percent) pieces, while fewer said they understand how test scores are counted (12 percent).
Only teachers rated as effective or highly effective will be eligible for pay increases in the year after an evaluation. Teachers rated as marginal will be given an opportunity to improve and appeal the rating.
An unsatisfactory rating will be cause for termination.
The joint survey found only 16 percent of teachers fully understand how their final performance rating is calculated for their evaluation.
“We are hopeful that the results will be looked at with an objective eye and that refinements will be made to the current system so that the ultimate goal of an effective and caring teacher in every classroom is achieved,” said Deanne Yoshioka, coordinator of Aina Haina Elementary School’s International Baccalaureate program.
Yoshioka and 36 other Aina Haina Elementary teachers signed a letter earlier this year that aimed to highlight challenges teachers are facing with the evaluation system and offer suggestions to improve it. The letter was sent to state lawmakers, DOE and HSTA officials, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Hawaii teachers rate new evaluation system
Posted: Apr 07, 2014 2:20 PM HST
Updated: Apr 07, 2014 6:55 PM HST
By Lisa Kubota
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
More than a year after Hawaii’s teachers agreed to their new contract, some still don’t understand the student evaluation system that will factor into their salaries. The Hawaii State Department of Education and the Hawaii State Teachers Association just released results of a teacher survey on the Educator Effectiveness System (EES). The online survey was sent to the HSTA’s 13,500 teacher members. 30% of them completed the survey between Feb. 25 to March 11.
Key findings include:
20% of respondents indicated low levels of understanding of the EES by marking the “bottom three” box or 1-3 where 1 = do not understand at all. 18% indicated high levels of understanding of the EES by marking the “top three” box or 8-10 where 10 = completely understand.
Based on top-three box ratings, more respondents understand Classroom Observations (36%), while fewer understand the Hawaii Growth Model (12%).
Teachers are now evaluated by students in grades K-12 as part of the EES. The student survey, which is administered twice during the school year, is designed to provide classroom feedback to improve teaching and learning.
Kaimuki High School teacher M.J. Matsushita took the EES survey. She believes the state has not done a good job rolling out the evaluation system statewide.
“We’d have some professional development training and we’d frankly come out more confused or upset than when we went into it in the first place,” said Matsushita.
According to the survey, a common complaint was that teachers need more guidance and time to prepare for the requirements.
“It’s taking the teachers so much time to do this, which is a snapshot of the evaluation piece of what they do,” said HSTA president Wil Okabe.
“It gives us a lot of information that we can act on. It gives us points of validation and also points of challenge where we need to improve. I think it’s premature to be issuing a grade, so to speak, on it,” said DOE deputy superintendent Ronn Nozoe.
As part of the controversial system, children grade the teachers in seven areas. The student surveys will count for 10% of the instructor’s evaluation. For most teachers, next year’s results will be used to determine whether they receive a pay raise.
“This is a huge transformational shift for our entire Department of Education, and I would argue, for the state of Hawaii,” said Nozoe. “So to expect that there are going be bumps along the way, there are going to be disagreements, there’s gonna be questions and apprehension, of course”
A joint committee of DOE and HSTA representatives will use the data to recommend improvements to the DOE superintendent.
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HI teachers evaluate Educator Effectiveness System
By Web StaffPublished: Monday, April 7, 2014, 8:03 pm
According to Hawaii teachers, more needs to be done to improve the Educator Effectiveness System which was implemented statewide at the beginning of the 2013 to 2014 school year.
The Department of Education and the Hawaii State Teachers Association recently surveyed over 13,000 teachers between Feb. 25 and Mar 11.
Of the 4,200 who responded, only 18 percent felt like they really understood the system.
“I think that our teachers clearly expressed the need for more time to implement the EES. More guidance, more clarity of the expectations of the process. And I think that’s what the data shows,” HSTA President Will Okabe said.
The EES is designed to help students learn in the classroom by evaluating teachers and their effectiveness with their students.
The next step is for the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the Department of Education to work together to come up with recommendations to present to the schools superintendent.
THE GARDEN ISLAND
‘A work in progress’
Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Lisa Ann Capozzi
LIHUE — Survey results released Monday said some state teachers are looking for a change.
The joint survey, conducted by the Hawaii State Department of Education and the Hawaii State Teachers Association, took in feedback on the Educator Effectiveness System and found some educators want the program revamped.
About 30 percent of teachers polled statewide responded. It found that one in five respondents indicated high levels of understanding the EES program while a comparable proportion indicated low levels of understanding of the EES.
One in five respondents indicated strong agreement that they have applied the EES information toward improving their professional practice, their instructional practice and toward improving student growth and learning.
“The joint survey reflected what we have been hearing from teachers,” said Wil Okabe, HSTA president. “That the EES is a work in progress, and teachers feel that more needs to be done so that the EES can help improve the practice of teaching. Our teachers clearly expressed the need for more time to implement the EES, more guidance, and more clarity of the expectations and process.”
A news release from the governor’s office said there were varying degrees in understanding the EES, but that it provided a good starting point in better identifying areas for improvement.
·An emerging theme identified in the survey was providing teachers more time to prepare for the various requirements within the components, more guidance and clarity, and providing examples of successful stories.
Kathryn Matayoshi, state schools superintendent, said the Department of Education is working with teachers, principals and other groups to review the survey results.
“The EES is intended to provide timely, actionable and professional feedback, and support to improve teacher practice and student outcomes,” she said.
The system has been controversial on Kauai, as some educators believe it places too much burden on teachers.
Kilauea School sixth-grade teacher Judy Waite said her first impression of the results and the state’s reaction means the state isn’t listening to teachers’ concerns.
“It seems that they are looking at the results through the filter of their desire and assumption that the EES works,” she said. “It doesn’t. We were lied to by the state, and were told that we would have an equal voice in changing or eliminating parts of the evaluation, and now we learn that we could get fired as early as next year for poor evaluations, on standards that we have not been trained in or learned. I feel that for the board to say that survey results show success of the EES is just one more bullying blow.”
Terry Low, Kauai High School teacher, agreed.
“The release of the findings of the joint survey provides nothing to change my views,” he said. “My fear is that the DOE will continue to try and roll out what Michael Kline has termed a train wreck, believing that it just needs tweaking. If that happens, I believe morale will be even lower next year than this year.”