What’s happening with WA’s Teacher and Principal Evals?

October 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

As the school years gets off to a fresh start, Washington has begun implementing nine pilot teacher and principal evaluation systems in 16 school districts across the state. 

These pilots were developed over the course of the past year based on criteria set forth by the legislature in SB 6696. In order to create a new professional evaluation system for our schools, SB 6696 requires the implementation of 4-tiered systems statewide in the 2013-14 school year. It also states that these systems must be based on new criteria set forth in the bill, evaluate multiple measures, and have new evaluation forms and rubrics. Final recommendations on the pros and cons of various components of the pilots will be made by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in July 2012.

A report released in July, 2011 summarized the development of the pilots and highlighted some characteristics of the new systems:

  • All are including observation, self-assessment, student data and student artifacts, but what exactly that means for student learning is unclear at this time.
  • Only two, Anacortes and the ESD 101 Consortium are including parent/student surveys
  • Three different instructional frameworks are being piloted (Danielson, Marzano, and 5-D CEL)

In the report, Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn made the recommendation that” Districts should be encouraged to select from a limited number of state approved teacher and principal evaluation models.” This would mean that districts could choose from multiple approved models which share key components.

He also cautioned that: “If the system is to be functioning at a high level during the 2013-14 state-wide implementation year, serious consideration will need to be given to providing targeted resources to prepare all the districts in an intentional way for the new teacher and principal evaluation system.”

What’s next?

Two big items are in the works in terms of next steps for implementing and analyzing the pilot evaluation systems.

First, the 2011-13 state budget allocated $6.476 million over the biennium for the pilots – including funds to expand to new districts in 2012-13. This money will be provided in the form of grants called Regional Implementation Grants. These $100,000 grants will be run through the Educational Service Districts (ESD) and 5-10 school districts in each ESD will receive a portion of that funding if the districts commit to piloting the new evaluation systems in their district in 2012-13, a year before statewide implementation. The funding will be used to provide professional development, evaluator training and other resources needed to successfully implement a pilot system. The final applications for these grants are in and we will soon be learning which districts will receive grants.

Second, the TPEP steering committee is convening experts and practitioners to research and make recommendations on three key decisions for the adoption of new evaluation systems:

  • Whether and how to include student growth data in evaluations
  • How to address evaluator training and reliability
  • Whether and how to include parent and student surveys in evaluations

Over the coming months, Stand for Children will be discussing the pilots, the key issues in finalizing the statewide model(s) and how to prepare for implementation. Stay tuned for opportunities to learn more about the process and progress.

Dave Powell
Policy Director, Stand for Children – Washington

Learn More

TPEP’s website has a host of information about each district involved in the pilots as well as the full version of the July 2011 report.


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