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Report: How California Local Education Agencies evaluate teachers and principals

Report » How California Local Education Agencies evaluate teachers and principals

Categories

Research: State

Authors

White, M.E., Makkonen, R., Vince, S., Bailey, J.

Published

2012

Publisher

Regional Educational Laboratory, WestEd

Abstract

In the context of an emerging national focus on evaluating school personnel, the 2009 federal
State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) program requires that states collect data from all local
education agencies about their practices for evaluating teachers and principals. In response,
the California Department of Education designed and administered the California Teacher
and Principal Evaluation Survey, the state’s irst comprehensive data collection efort focused
on teacher and principal evaluation. More than 99 percent (1,482) of the state’s 1,490 local
education agencies1 returned the survey during the summer of 2010.
Because the SFSF program did not require states to produce a summary report of the ind-
ings of their data collection, the California Department of Education has not aggregated the
survey responses, instead posting them only by individual local education agency (California
Department of Education 2011). Both the California Department of Education and the Inte-
grated Leadership Development Initiative, a California cross-agency collaboration focused
on improving school and district leadership, requested an analysis and summary report of the
survey results not only to inform their work but also to help other California decisionmakers
interested in reform of teacher and principal evaluation. In addition, they wanted to know
whether the educator evaluations of districts and direct-funded charter schools difer in their
consideration of student achievement outcomes or student growth data and in how evalua-
tion results are used.
Four research questions guided this analysis of the California survey data:
• How did local education agencies describe their teacher and principal evaluation
systems?
• To what extent did local education agencies report that student achievement out-
comes or student growth data were used in evaluating the performance of teachers
and principals? How did the responses of districts difer from those of direct-funded
charter schools?
• To what extent did local education agencies report using evaluation results to inform
personnel decisions for teachers and principals? How did the responses of districts
difer from those of direct-funded charter schools?
• To what extent did local education agencies report using evaluation results to distin-
guish teachers and principals across multiple rating categories?
he key indings indicate that:
• Sixty-one percent of the 1,482 responding local education agencies indicated that
their teacher evaluation systems are based on the California Standards for the Teach-
ing Profession.
• Forty-one percent reported that their local school board approves their teacher evalu-
ation system; 64 percent reported that their local school board approves their princi-
pal evaluation system.
• For teacher evaluation, 57 percent reported using student achievement outcomes
or growth data as partial or primary evidence; for principal evaluation, 79 percent
reported using these data.
Compared with responding districts, direct-funded charter schools reported greater
use of student achievement or growth results as partial or primary evidence for edu-
cator evaluation. he diferences were more pronounced in teacher evaluation: 82
percent of responding charter schools reported such use of student achievement or
growth results, compared with 45 percent of districts. For principal evaluation, the
igure was 85 percent of charter schools and 76 percent of districts.
• Local education agencies reported using evaluation results in a variety of ways. hey
reported using results more oten for high-stakes decisions about removal and reten-
tion and less oten for decisions about compensation and promotion, particularly for
teachers. Teacher evaluation results were reportedly used as partial or primary evi-
dence for removal decisions in 96 percent of local education agencies, for retention
decisions in 93 percent, for promotion decisions in 54 percent, and for compensation
decisions in 20 percent. Principal evaluation results were used as partial or primary
evidence for removal decisions in 96 percent of local education agencies, for retention
decisions in 94 percent, for promotion decisions in 67 percent, and for compensation
decisions in 37 percent.
• A larger percentage of direct-funded charter schools (27 percent) than of districts (18
percent) reported using teacher evaluation results as the primary basis for decisions
about professional development, promotion (17 percent versus 6 percent), and com-
pensation (10 percent versus 1 percent). Both had a similar percentage report using
evaluations in decisions on retention (41 percent in both) and removal (41 percent in
both).
• Diferences between the two local education agency types in the use of principal
evaluations were less uniform. A larger percentage of direct-funded charter schools
(9 percent) than of districts (3 percent) reported using principal evaluation results
as the primary basis for compensation decisions. However, a smaller percentage of
direct-funded charter schools than of districts reported using principal evalua-
tion results as the primary basis for decisions related to removal (36 percent versus
43 p ercent), retention (35 percent versus 40 percent), and professional development
(19 percent versus 24 percent). Both direct-funded charter schools and districts had
a similar percentage report using evaluations in promotion decisions for principals
(13 percent and 14 percent).
• More than two-thirds of local education agencies reported having two or three per-
formance rating levels for their teachers (37 percent had two levels, and 35 percent
had three) and principals (40 percent had two levels, and 30 percent had three). Local
education agencies with two rating levels reported that 98 percent of their teachers
and 83 percent of their principals were rated in the highest category; agencies with
three rating levels reported that 91 percent of their teachers and 98 percent of their
principals were rated in the highest category.

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