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

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.


October 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Act Now: Opportunity for King County Teachers!

October 1st deadline: $500,000 in funding for King County Public School Teachers!

Thanks to support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, over 1,000 project requests from King County teachers will be funded on DonorsChoose.org this fall. This means over $500,000 worth of supplies and resources will be delivered to classrooms in your area. All public school teachers in King County who submit requests by October 1st are eligible to be considered for this funding.

Starting the week of October 5th hundreds of DonorsChoose.org gift cards will be distributed through Starbucks locations in King County*. Anyone who receives a card will be able to visit DonorsChoose.org and apply $10 to a local classroom project.  When they do, we want to make sure there are enough projects posted by King County teachers for them to support.

Get Started Now:

  1. Log into your DonorsChoose.org account (or create one at  www.donorschoose.org/teacher).
  2. Submit up to three requests (for $400 in materials each)by October 1st!
  3.  Once your projects are approved, they’ll be available to King County residents with gift cards, and to other donors looking to help.

*Gift cards are limited to one per donor and a maximum of 50 codes can be applied to projects from each teacher. Gift codes are not transferable.

September 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

Changing the odds, changing lives with Marian Wright Edelman

On October 20th, Stand for Children – Washington is hosting a luncheon with civil rights activist and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman.

A life-long advocate for children, Edelman is coming to Washington state to discuss how our communities can come together to improve our public education system to ensure that all kids have the opportunity to succeed. 

To learn more, visit our event page on the Stand for Children website

Thanks to the Washington Technology Industry Association for spreading the word!

To learn more about Stand for Children please visit www.stand.org/about .

September 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Tacoma must come together. Do what’s best for students.

Though the context for negotiations has changed, the reality for students in Tacoma Public Schools has not.  The negotiating parties (Tacoma Public Schools and Tacoma Education Association) need to keep in mind that under the status quo:

  • Only 44% of TPS grads meet graduations requirements for admission to a four-year university.
  • Only 38% will go on to enter a two- or four-year college or university, with even fewer graduating (Source: 2009 BERC Report).
  • We have a stagnant achievement gap in some areas, and a widening achievement gap in math (2009 TPS Achievement Gap Report to the Community).

Given these sobering statistics, we should all commit to ensuring that something positive for students comes out of the negotiations. We urge Tacoma Public Schools and Tacoma Education Association to bargain in good faith and seize the opportunity to create a staffing decision policy that uses multiple measures, including evaluation, to get our best teachers where our students need them. Now is the time to create something that is good for students and fair for teachers. The negotiating parties should seize the opportunity to be at the forefront of transforming education and making Tacoma Public Schools a model for the nation.

Monique LeTourneau
Stand for Children  – Tacoma

September 15, 2011 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Did you know Washington’s opportunity gap is growing?

At first glance, it seems Washington’s students perform well overall. And, compared to other states, on average Washington students do perform well on a number of measures. We should celebrate these achievements with pride.

However, this is only part of the story. These averages mask the fact that student outcomes are vastly different depending on where they live, their family’s income, and their background. This is because the quality of education Washington students receive is often determined by the zip code students live in, rather than their ability to learn. An African American or Latino child in our state has only about a 1 in 2 chance of graduating high school.

Washington is one of only a handful of states where the achievement or opportunity gap— between rich and poor, and white and non-white students—is growing. If our state’s dismal progress continues, researchers predict it will take 105 years to close the gap between white and African-American students in fourth grade reading. In contrast, Louisiana is on pace to close its achievement gap in fourth grade reading in just 12.5 years.

The challenges of ending this opportunity gap are compounded by the fiscal challenges facing our state. Washington continues to fail in its constitutional paramount duty to fund basic education for all students. In fact, after last session the percentage of state funding going to schools is less than 40%, down from a traditional level of about 50%.

While Stand for Children believes the state should increase the percentage of state revenue going to education, these fiscal times call for tough decisions on how the state spends its scarce resources.

On September 15, the state will announce its next revenue forecast—and it is likely to be ugly—to the tune of $1 to $2 billion dollars in additional cuts needed. The governor has already asked agencies to identify another 10% cut in funding in case its necessary ($1.7 billion total) and prepared legislators for a possible special session.  

We hope the state does not make further cuts to education, but no matter what they must prioritize maintaining supports that are targeted at improving under‐performing schools and closing the achievement gap. For example, over the last few years the state has begun funding full-day kindergarten in schools serving 21% of the state’s poorest students. This program and others like it must continue if we are going to close the opportunity gap in our state.

Obviously, this issue is big and can’t be covered in just a few paragraphs. It is a fundamental flaw in our current system and it underpins all efforts in public education to improve outcomes for kids. At Stand, it is the primary driver for all the work that we do on behalf of students.

Dave Powell
Policy Director, Stand for Children – Washington

To learn more, join us for a policy webinar on Thursday, September 15 at 2 pm or 6 pm. Contact wainfo@stand.org for more information.

Learn More

The state’s Achievement Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee has published numerous reports on the state’s achievement gaps with recommendations for how to narrow the gaps: http://www.k12.wa.us/AchievementGap/Studies.aspx

The Education Trust is nationally recognized for their focus on closing the achievement gap: See their Gauging the Gaps report for a national summary and this profile of Washington State with statistics on our gaps.

September 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

Bellevue Leads Announces Results of Education Issue Poll

Bellevue Leads conducts poll based on Community Values Statement focused on continuing improvement of Bellevue public schools.

On August 11th Bellevue Leads announced the results of a poll conducted to explore public opinion of how Bellevue public schools are addressing the needs of students in our community.

 “We are proud of Bellevue schools and our outstanding reputation for the quality of our public education system.  We feel that it is essential for Bellevue public schools to build on our success and continue to change and evolve in a positive way to ensure that we are focused on continuous improvement, maintaining our leadership position in education in Washington and, most importantly, that all children in Bellevue receive a high quality education.“  states the Bellevue Leads Community Values Statement.

The purpose of the poll was to measure the depth of interest in the community values statement developed over the course of 2011 by the community members involved in the Bellevue Leads Coalition.

“As community members and parents, we believe that we are collectively responsible for the growth of all of our children through education.  We believe the continuing teachers’ contract negotiation provides an excellent opportunity for Bellevue public schools to build on our successes and make great strides for all our students,” said Cathy Habib, one of the PTSA representatives to Bellevue Leads. “For this reason we conducted this poll to gauge public support for these values.”

Check out the full press release and the story from Sunday’s Bellevue Reporter.

Jess Haskin, East King County Organizer
Washington Stand for Children

August 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

Stand Commends LEV and WEA Efforts on School Funding

On Monday, July 25, the League of Education Voters and the Washington Education Association announced their involvement – along with a number of state legislative leaders and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Utter – in filing a lawsuit in King County Superior Court on behalf of Washington students, parents, educators and community organizations to challenge the constitutionality of a supermajority requirement to raise revenues through the closure of unjustified tax loopholes or taxation.

These leaders are challenging Initiative 1053 in an effort to remove roadblocks to providing better funding for education programs in Washington state.

Washington Stand for Children commends these community leaders for their outspoken support of students in our state.

As stated in our Guiding Principles for the 2011-13 Biennium Budget, Washington Stand for Children strongly supports the tenant that fully funding basic education is the paramount duty of the state. In addition, we believe the legislature must strategically allocate funding toward programs that provide proven outcomes for students, focus on closing the achievement gap in our state, prioritize turning around low-performing schools and deliver meaningful supports for educators so that all our schools can be excellent schools where students and teachers thrive.

Washington Stand for Children will be closely following the lawsuit and keeping our supporters and leaders up to date as it progresses. In addition, Stand will develop an amicus brief to file with the courts in support of efforts to provide improved funding allocation for education programs for ALL our students here in Washington state.

To learn more about our efforts on behalf of students in Washington, please visit our website or check us out on Facebook.

July 26, 2011 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

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