Maine DOE approves Marshall Teacher Evaluation Rubrics

As part of its commitment to ensuring great teachers and leaders in all Maine schools, the Maine DOE endorsed, in 2012, professional practice standards that set the benchmarks for teacher and principal effectiveness and pre-approved certain professional practice models for use in Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PE/PG) systems.

In an ongoing effort to maintain statewide common standards of educator effectiveness while affording school administrative units (SAUs) flexibility in choosing a practice model that best suits local needs, the Department supports districts in seeking approval of additional professional practice models. At the request of Maine educational associations, the Department provides review, guidance and technical assistance as those groups work to demonstrate alignment of their chosen models with the benchmark standards. As an example, in January, on behalf of its members, the Maine Principals’ Association developed the Principal Evaluation Model and then sought and obtained Department approval of the standards in the model, which were shown to be aligned with the ISLLC standards, the benchmark in Maine for principal effectiveness.

The newest addition to our menu of approved professional practice models is the set of teacher evaluation rubrics developed by Kim Marshall, a former principal, current consultant and author of “Rethinking Teacher Supervision and Evaluation.” In order to demonstrate alignment of the Marshall Rubrics with InTASC, as required by the Department, administrators in York and Cumberland County have worked in collaboration with Great Schools Partnership over the past three months to develop the Marshall-InTASC Alignment Crosswalk, on which the Department based its approval of the Marshall Teacher Evaluation Rubrics.

The Marshall-InTASC Alignment Crosswalk is evidence of the commitment that Maine SAUs have demonstrated in recent months to ensuring great teachers and leaders in our schools. The Department wishes to recognize the many educators across the state who are deeply engaged in the work of developing and implementing meaningful evaluation and growth systems. Despite legislative battles over rule language, our SAUs are moving forward, confronting problems, working with the Department and one another to ensure that their teachers and principals are supported and given every opportunity to maximize their effectiveness.

As we have upon introducing other newly approved models, the Department provides, in the section that follows, general guidelines related to the approval of the Marshall rubrics. Additionally, the York-Cumberland work group has included an introduction to the crosswalk that provides important perspective and information regarding the use of the rubrics.

Maine DOE Guidelines on the Marshall Teacher Evaluation Rubrics

What is Approved? As many in the field have come to understand, an approved professional practice model must include three parts: standards, indicators and rubrics for each standard. Though the Department’s approval in this case is of a three-part model – including the InTASC standards, the InTASC Performances and the Marshall Teacher Evaluation Rubrics, the parts of the Marshall-InTASC Model function differently than in the other approved models in that the Marshall Rubrics do not directly measure the InTASC standards.

The rubrics are instead a composite of all three required parts and are intended to be used as such. In other words, the Department has not approved rubrics for the InTASC standards; rather we have approved the use of the Marshall Teacher Evaluation Rubrics as a tool to inform, support and evaluate teacher practice based on their alignment with the InTASC Standards. In addition, while in his introduction to the rubrics, Kim Marshall provides “Suggestions for Implementation,” and sample score sheets, the Department’s approval extends only to the rubrics themselves, just as we do not include in our approval of other models the developers’ suggestions for implementation. We remind all SAUs to develop the professional practice elements of their PE/PG systems according to Rule Chapter 180 and in collaboration with local stakeholders.

Ensuring Common Understanding: The InTASC document, along with the alignment crosswalk, should be used to determine the intent and significance of rubric criteria, especially when questions arise. As with any professional practice model, the Department urges districts to carefully attune evaluators and teachers to the rubrics and develop common understanding of their criteria, and to regularly monitor the system to evaluate its success.

Marshall Methodology and Marshall Rubrics: Kim Marshall is associated with an approach to educator evaluations that differs significantly from traditional approaches. Because we anticipate that the approval of the Marshall rubrics will generate a second wave of interest in the Marshall approach even among those SAUs who have already chosen a professional practice model, we want to ensure SAUs that nothing in the law or rules prohibits an SAU from adopting aspects of the Marshall approach to the supervision and evaluation of teachers in conjunction with a professional practice model by a different developer. By the same token, nothing prevents a district from using the Marshall rubrics with a more traditional approach to supervision and evaluation.

For more information or technical assistance, contact Maine DOE Educator Effectiveness Coordinator Mary Paine at mary.paine@maine.gov or 207-624-6748.