Maine DOE overviews updated educator effectiveness expectations

Maine’s educator evaluation expectations have changed as a result of legislative action initiated by the Department to ensure the state could maintain flexibility from burdensome federal requirements.

In order for Maine to maintain its ESEA waiver and move forward later this month in submitting an application for a three-year renewal, the U.S. Department of Education required the state to make several changes to how it supports effective instruction and school leadership. Losing the waiver would have resulted in every Maine school being labeled as failing and greatly restrict how Title I funding could be used by districts.

While much of the public attention has been on the U.S. DOE’s requirement that student progress on state assessments be used in the evaluation of teachers and principals, the U.S. DOE also cited several other issues Maine needed to address that necessitated changes to Maine Revised Statute Title 20-A, Chapter 508, Educator Effectiveness and to Rule Chapter 180, which were advanced in a Governor’s bill approved by the Maine Legislature and signed into law by Governor Paul R. LePage on Tuesday.

As part of its waiver renewal application, the Department will additionally propose an adjusted timeline that will allow for a more comprehensive pilot of locally developed Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems in 2015-16 than the current timeline allows. The Department’s interest in the extended timeline is shared by many stakeholders and is conveyed in LD 38, An Act To Allow Sufficient Time for Implementation of the Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth System for Educators. LD 38 received unanimous support from the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and is currently awaiting expected approval from the full legislature.

A summary of changes to Title 20-A and Rule Chapter 180 as a result of the enactment of LD 692 and the expected enactment of LD 38, is as follows:

Student Learning and Growth Measures

  1. The Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy statewide assessment results must be used as one measure of student learning and growth for teachers in the corresponding grades and subjects (for PEPG, teachers of grades 4-8).
  2. In the submittal of a PEPG plan, the school administrative unit (SAU) will be asked to explain how they have made the student learning and growth element of a PEPG system a significant factor in an educator’s summative effectiveness rating.
  3. SAUs must use a student learning objective framework or comparable structure to develop and record student learning and growth measures, and the school administrative unit must establish in its PEPG system handbook criteria for:
    1. The identification of content standards;
    2. The selection of assessments;
    3. Setting growth targets, if applicable;
    4. The size of an instructional cohort; and
    5. The length of the instructional interval of time.
  4. SAUs must implement a system for the selection, development, review and approval of individual educators’ student learning and growth measures.
  5. At the teacher’s discretion, large scale assessments (such as the State assessment) may be used solely in satisfying the requirement for multiple measures of student learning and growth.
  6. An Individual Education Program (IEP) may not be used as a growth measure.

Professional Practice

  1. Recently approved professional practice models have been added to the list of Maine DOE approved models: Kim Marshall Teacher Evaluation Rubrics; MSAD 49 Teacher Evaluation Rubric, based on the Kim Marshall Teacher Evaluation Rubrics; Marzano School Leader Evaluation Model; and Kim Marshall Principal Evaluation Rubrics.

Professional Growth Plans

  1. An educator who receives a summative effectiveness rating higher than ineffective must develop a professional growth plan that is based on clearly articulated goals related to targeted areas of practice and student performance.

Frequency of Evaluations

  1. An educator whose summative rating is ineffective will receive an annual summative evaluation and rating until the rating improves.

Monitoring

  1. Maine DOE is authorized to conduct ongoing monitoring of the implementation of any and all elements of PEPG plans.

Implementation Timeline: In anticipation of LD 38’s passage and the U.S. DOE’s renewal of the ESEA Waiver as proposed by the Maine DOE:

  1. SAUs will submit to the Maine DOE an intent to pilot by July 15, 2015.
  2. SAUs will submit their PEPG plans for Maine DOE approval at the end of the 2015-16 pilot year.

Pilot

  1. School board approval of a PEPG system may occur prior to, simultaneously with, or after submittal of the plan to the Maine DOE for approval, but Maine DOE final approval is contingent upon school board approval.
  2. Evidence and data collected during the pilot year may be used to inform professional growth plans and differentiated evaluation cycles beginning during the first year of implementation, but performance ratings assigned during the pilot year may not be used in any action related to employment or compensation of an educator.
  3. The pilot project must include student growth measures based on state assessments in English language arts and literacy and mathematics and a portion of the district-defined growth measures intended for use in content areas other than English language arts and literacy and mathematics.

Clarifications

These items do not constitute changes to current requirements or provisions. Instead they clarify sections of the rule that have caused confusion or raised questions.

  1. Language is added to the definition of “principal” to provide that “principal” means a person who supervises teachers in delivering the instructional program of a school.
  2. The definition of school administrative unit is amended to include public charter schools.
  3. The requirement for descriptors of performance levels as part of a PEPG system is clarified as pertaining to summative effectiveness rating categories (as opposed to rating categories for professional practice).
  4. Language describing permissible measures for teacher of record is refined.
  5. The distinction between collective measures and multiple teachers of record is made clearer.
  6. SAUs are permitted to collaborate in establishing and monitoring the list of students for whom the teacher will be the teacher of record.

For more information about educator effectiveness or technical assistance, visit www.maine.gov/doe/effectiveness or contact Maine DOE Educator Effectiveness Coordinator Mary Paine at mary.paine@maine.gov or 624-6748.