News Coverage:  EES Changes

HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER

State Department of Education tweaks teacher evaluation system

By Nanea Kalani

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 13, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 02:11 a.m. HST, Jun 13, 2014


Calling its teacher evaluation system too complicated and “too one-size-fits-all,” the state Department of Education on Thursday announced more than a dozen changes to essentially cut in half the workload required to prepare for and perform the annual reviews, which teachers and principals have bemoaned since the rollout last fall.

“We’re looking at a pretty significant reduction in the amount of time that is required to complete teacher evaluations,“schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said at a news conference Thursday. “We have basically three themes to the modifications: simplify, streamline and differentiate (the approach for teachers based on need).”

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 such personnel consequences as tenure, raises and termination.

Only teachers rated as effective or highly effective will be eligible for pay increases in the year after the evaluation. Marginal teachers will be given an opportunity to improve, while an unsatisfactory rating will be cause for termination.

Half of a teacher’s annual rating will still be based on student learning and growth, measured in part by standardized test scores, and the other half on teaching practices, rated in part through classroom observations.

For the school year that ended last month, the department said 81.8 percent of the 13,181 teachers evaluated under the EES were rated as effective, while 15.8 percent were rated highly effective. Less than 5 percent of teachers were marked marginal or unsatisfactory.

Under the revisions, student surveys—one of the most controversial parts of the Educator EffectivenessSystem, or EES—will no longer count as a percentage of a teacher’s evaluation rating, and highly rated teachers will be able to skip a year of being reviewed.

Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe said the department used formal and informal feedback from teachers, principals and other experts to make improvements.

“We were really able to look at how could we focus in on the quality aspects of the Educator EffectivenessSystem and then reduce burdens to make sure that people have the time and space to really take the data and use it to improve,” Nozoe said.

He added that the changes still “maintain the integrity of what we’re trying to do, which is create systems to help teachers be the best they can be.”

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 union agreed to the annual high-stakes evaluations, but the deal 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 their design and implementation.

The joint committee made its recommendations to Matayoshi last week, resulting in some of the changes, which include:

» Reducing the number of required classroom observations from twice annually to zero for highly effective teachers and to one for effective teachers. Marginal, unsatisfactory and beginning teachers will still receive two or more annual observations. The department said overall this means about 9,000 fewer classroom observations, reducing the observation workload by almost 50 percent.

» Making the student survey annual instead of semiannual and eliminating the survey in second grade, first grade and kindergarten. Overall this means about 11,700 fewer survey administrations, or a 63 percent reduction.

» Requiring classroom teachers to set only one formal goal, or Student Learning Objective, at the start of the year to measure student progress, down from two. This translates to about 12,400 fewer required learning objectives, a task that makes up 25 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.

HSTAPresident Wil Okabe called the changes a starting point to helping make the evaluations fair and equitable.

“It does cut down the workload, and I believe the superintendent through the joint committee really listened to the voices of the teachers. But there are still a lot of things that need to be worked out,“Okabe said. “The department has said this is a work in progress, and the teachers are at the table, so we are still going to work on improving this.”

Several educators expressed some optimism about the changes, while others are still critical of using high-stakes evaluations.

Linell Dilwith, principal of Stevenson Middle School, said the changes “will make the work at the school level more manageable and ensure that we are focused on quality, not quantity.”

Justin Hughey, a special-education teacher at King Kamehameha III Elementary on Maui, called the changes “a nice start"but added, “I wonder how many public school teachers this state lost due to the flawed rollout.”

The modifications seem too superficial to some educators, like Campbell High School teacher Corey Rosenlee, who has led a charge to try to improve working conditions for teachers.

“The question is, Why are we doing evaluations? When surveyed, 70 percent of teachers said that EES did not improve their teaching,” Rosenlee said. “None of the components of EES have changed. So instead of a bad system that wastes a lot of time, we have a bad system that wastes less time.”

He added, “If we want to improve teaching, evaluations need to be collaborative, not evaluative. The goal needs to be to help teachers improve, not impose judgment. Otherwise teachers will be afraid to make mistakes. Instead they’re trying to show off to get high scores so they can get their pay increase.”


KHON CHANNEL 2 NEWS

DOE to change its Educator Effectiveness System

By Web Staff
Published: June 12, 2014, 6:03 pmUpdated: June 12, 2014, 8:55 pm

The Dept. of Education will be making changes to its Educator Effectiveness System in response the work done by a joint committee. The committee included 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 department says there will be a series of 18 changes, including:

Reducing the number of required classroom observations.
Allowing teachers who are rated highly effective in SY13-14 to carry over their rating.
Reducing the number of required Student Learning Objectives.
Removing the student survey as an independent component with a stand-alone rating.
“We believe this will really help with the work load issues that have been cited. That was something that was very consistent,” said schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We have spent a lot of time thoughtfully looking at what would maintain the integrity of the evaluation system while making really meaningful changes that would help teachers and principals.”

The EES is designed to help students learn in the classroom by evaluating teachers and their effectiveness with their students. It 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.

KITV CHANNEL 4 NEWS

Teacher evaluation changes to reduce workload
Compromise comes with teacher, principal input

UPDATED 8:52 PM HADT Jun 12, 2014


Department of Education reviews teacher evaluation process

HONOLULU —The public school teachers evaluations tie performance to their salaries.


Teachers were wary because it included evaluation scores from students as young as kindergarten.

“They are too young. They won’t be able to digest the questions. And that was one of the concerns from the elementary school teachers,” said Wil Okabe of the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

That was one of the red flags the teachers’ union raised.

Another was making sure that the evaluations were being rolled out fairly across the board by school administrators.

School principals balked because of the workload.

Evaluations twice a year were just too much, some said.

Others noted that would have meant evaluating staff every day of the school year.

“I understand that there was a lot of work and change was hard. We did put people through a lot. There is no question about that and it has been hard,” said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe.

After much input by all sides Hawaii school superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi announced the workload will be reduced.

Teachers found to be highly effective or effective will be evaluated less often.

That should reduce the workload by about 50 percent which should make principals and teachers happier so that they can focus on students in the classroom.

“We are looking at a pretty significant reduction in the amount of time to complete the evaluation,” Matayoshi said.

“It will cut down on their workload and that is a very, very important part of this recommendation,” Okabe said.

Student input will not be given so much weight.

K-grade 2 will not be included and general student surveys will not be directly tied to pay.

“It is now more of information and feedback versus a direct score,”  said Matayoshi.

Much was made about the teacher evaluations and lack of a contract when it was tied to Race to the Top funds and the threat of a federal takeover.

The Department Of Education said it has advised federal officials of the changes but it has not received feedback so far.

So were the fears about the big federal hammer coming down hard—overblown??

“I’m sure that was fear, but there should be a feeling of comfort knowing that this years’ implementation will be different than last years’ and folks will be able to focus on improvement,” Nozoe said.

The compromise comes just two weeks before classes start at multi-track schools.

So officials were under the gun to roll something out.

The evaluations cover about 13,000 teachers state wide.

The DOE said last year’s evaluations will not affect most teachers—with the exception of new teachers who received unsatisfactory ratings.

There were two of those this year.

Read more: http://www.kitv.com/news/teacher-evaluation-changes-to-reduce-workload/26471944#ixzz34XN1ZNn0


KITV VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

of educators in our public schools, amidst growing fears over the loss of federal funds. Even princiapls weren’t happy with a plan some called unrealistic and impractical. But new tonight—a compromise among those at the top. KITV4’s Catherine Cruz has the latest. 10 33 54 The evaluations are designed to tie performance to pay. That’s troubling to teachers because it includes scores from students as young as “kindergarten” - Wil Okabe 4:25- 4 :31 “They are too young they wont be able to digest the questions. and that was one of the concerns from the elementary school teachers” The teachers union raised other red flags .. Like making sure the evaluations were being rolled out fairly acorss the board by school administrartors . And school principals balked because of the workload. Evaluations twice a year were just too much. Some say that would have mean them evaluating staff every day of the school year. - Ron Nozoe 20:08- 20: 15 “I understand that there was alot of work and change was hard. We did put people through alot there is no question about that and it has been hard,” After much input by all sides—the school superintendent says the workload will be reduced. Teachers found to be highly effective or efrective will be evaluated less often. That should reduce the workload by about 50 % Kathy Matayoshi 10 34-10: 42 - “We are looking at a pretty significant reduction in the amount of time to complete the evaluation,” - Will Okabe 5:39 5:45 -“It will cut down on their workload and that is a very, very important part of this reccommendation,” That means more time to focus on learning ... AND student input will NOT be given so much weight. K-grade 2 will not be included and general student surveys wil not be directly tied to pay. - Kathy 11:30 - 11:35 - “It is now more of information and feedback versus a direct score,” DOE says it has advised federal Race to the Top officials of the changes but no feedback so far. So were the fears about the big federal hammer coming down hard—overblown?? - Ron Nozoe 20: 34-49 -“I’m sure that was fear but here should be a felling of comfort knowing that this years implementation will be different than last years and folks will be able to focus on improvement.” The compromise comes just two weeks before classes start at multi track schools. So officials were under the gun to roll something out. The evalutaitons cover about 13,000 teachers state wide. They say last years evaluations will not affect most teachers—with the exception of new teachers who received unsatisfactory ratings. There were two of those this year.Back to you,

KITV VIDEO REPORT:  http://www.kitv.com/news/Department-of-Education-reviews-teacher-evaluation-process/26472324
(Note, links may be changed or moved by KITV.)

HAWAII NEWS NOW - KGMB AND KHNL

State DOE makes changes to teacher evaluation system

Posted: Jun 13, 2014 4:39 AM HST
Updated: Jun 13, 2014 4:41 AM HST


HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii’s Department of Education is making changes to teacher evaluations that have generated criticism from educators.

Changes announced Thursday include allowing teachers rated “highly effective” to not have to repeat the evaluation.

Teacher evaluations were implemented after a contract dispute between the state and the Hawaii State Teachers Association over the issue. Hawaii has been praised for being one of only a few states with a teacher evaluation system to teachers’ compensation to their performance.

But some educators complain the new system requires an overwhelming amount of work and that there hasn’t been adequate training in implementing the evaluations.

The department says the changes are based on feedback from principals, teachers and union leaders.

Stevenson Middle School Principal Linell Dilwith says the changes will make the work more manageable.


CIVIL BEAT BLOG
http://www.civilbeat.com/2014/06/doe-announces-big-changes-to-teacher-evaluation-system/

EDUCATION

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 teaching quality by focusing on the instructors most in need of a boost.

The controversial evaluations, which were implemented statewide this past year and will start affecting pay next school year, have been criticized by teachers and principals who 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 student surveys for teachers who work with kids in grades kindergarten through second.

The department will simplify the system, streamline its components and vary the approach for teachers at different proficiency levels, according to DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, who signed off on the changes Thursday. The department employs 12,500 teachers.


The system will now contain four components, down from five. That fifth component — comprised of the contentious student surveys — is now being incorporated into an existing metric called “Core Professionalism,” which counts for a fifth of teachers’ ratings and looks at their contributions outside the classroom.

“These changes are just the beginning to refining this system and ultimately, elevating student achievement,” Matayoshi said in a statement Thursday. The system was first piloted in schools in 2011.

The updated system is the product of a year’s worth of deliberations by an eight-member joint committee. That committee, convened by the DOE and the Hawaii State Teachers Association, includes a union representative, a teacher, a principal, a complex-area superintendent and several administrators.

The committee shared its proposed changes with the superintendent last Friday before providing them to the Hawaii Government Employees Association Unit 6 Board of Directors for a review earlier this week.

The HGEA represents principals, who’ve also expressed dissatisfaction with the evaluation system over the past year. A recent survey showed that 94 percent of the state’s principals felt that the evaluations have damaged faculty and staff morale.

The joint committee is one of four groups formed to gather and provide feedback on the evaluation system.

Ronn Nozoe, the DOE’s deputy superintendent, emphasized on Thursday that redesigning the evaluation system has been a difficult task.

“The parts all need to fit together,” he said. Changing the system “takes thought and time.”

The New System

In its final recommendations, 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.”

The evaluation system assesses teachers on an array of rigorous metrics aimed at gauging their instructional quality and impact on student performance. Teachers 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 dissatisfaction among teachers with the new evaluations, with one out of five saying they had little to no understanding of the system and nearly two-thirds of them expressing concern over the student surveys component. Those surveys until now counted for 10 percent of teachers’ ratings.

Now that the student surveys are no longer a stand-alone component, they will serve only to provide teachers with feedback rather than directly affect their score, Matayoshi said Thursday.

Among the changes:

The number of required classroom observations will vary 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, customized goals set by teachers for each class, will be required once annually instead of twice. The DOE is also reducing the number of steps teachers need to take as part of the goal-setting process.
Performance on each of the four 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.

The results of the system used this past year won’t have any negative consequences for teachers, according to Matayoshi, although they will go on the records of the two new teachers on probation who received an “unsatisfactory” rating.

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.

According to DOE data, about 16 percent of the state’s teachers were rated “highly effective” this past year, while 82 percent were rated “effective.” Just 2 percent of teachers were rated “marginal.”