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The Hawaii State Department of Education and Hawaii State Teachers Association have been working together to update the Educator Effectiveness System (EES). As a result of the feedback provided through surveys along with many of your comments, changes to the system are being proposed to ensure teachers are being evaluated based on their current level of teaching practice, minimizing the workload on the newer teachers in the field with gradual progression over time.
Teachers can expect differentiated focus based on their years and experience in teaching, which takes into account various levels of work on teacher practice and/or student growth.
"Under EES, 98 percent of our teachers are rated effective or highly effective, with proof that teaches exactly what we already know: that we take our teaching seriously and that we're professionals. The process of evaluations, although required by law, basically should be a way to improve practice. Principals should be seen as coaches, not judges—someone there to give us a new set of eyes in our classroom and to bounce ideas off of so that we can improve our practice. And for the two percent of teachers that need differentiation, they should be able to get their help. Overall, the entire process should be how can we improve as teachers and most importantly, how can we help our students learn?"
"The Hawaii DOE team is dedicated to its public school mission of equity, excellence and innovation. We deliver on our mission every day through our committed staff. This is why today, I’m excited to be able to share an update regarding our Educator Effectiveness System. Teacher quality is best supported within an organizational culture that embraces ongoing feedback. Representatives from your union and the department have been working diligently to update EES based on feedback that many of you have provided.
"The foundation for the latest change is reflection. We want to ensure that we maintain a standard of professional practice and provide opportunities for discussions around what this looks like for you, our teachers. In order to deliver on the promise and power of public education, we need a strong team of well-prepared professionals, because we want the best teaching our haumana. In very rare cases, there are those who join the profession that do not share your passion for education, and we need a system in place that will ensure that we are recruiting and retaining the top talent needed to make Hawaii’s education system the best in the nation.
"We are focused on being an education system of first choice for our families. It’s not an easy task to create a fair and balanced evaluation system that also provides the necessary resources and feedback that will help teachers grow. Therefore, I want to thank the joint committee for their efforts and great conversation. Mahalo for your continued commitment and for being a part of the department’s mission and work to provide equity and excellence to quality education."
One of the changes being proposed is the cycle of comprehensive evaluations for tenured teachers. A five-year evaluation cycle will start in school year 2019-2020 with tenured teachers, rated effective or better in the past, whose social security numbers end with two or four. Followed by school year 2020-2021 with tenured teachers, rated effective or better in the past, whose social security numbers end with six or eight. Non-tenured teachers will continue to receive an annual comprehensive evaluation.
Supporting the specific needs of each teacher to help improve teacher practice leads to higher student achievement. On behalf of the EES joint committee, we appreciate your continued patience. Please stay tuned for more updates about the Educator Effectiveness System in March 2019.