New Evals Link Teacher, Student Performance - New Haven Independent

New Haven schools to link teacher, student performance - New Haven Register


For Immediate Release                                          FOR MORE INFORMATION:
April 26, 2010                               Jessica Mayorga, Director of Communications
                                                                                       203-946-7660, 203-627-4224 (cell)
                                                                       Michelle Wade, NHPS Director of Communications

New Haven public schools announces new teacher & principal evaluation systems
NEW HAVEN- As part of the new teachers' contract adopted last fall in New Haven, New Haven Public Schools and the New Haven Federation of Teachers committed to redesigning the district's teacher evaluation and development system. The goal of the redesign was to more accurately reflect each teacher's contribution to student learning and give teachers meaningful feedback to help them do their jobs better. Through careful work of joint committees which included teachers, administrators and central office staff, that redesign has been completed.
Today, the New Haven Board of Education took up the redesign recommendations of the District’s reform committees. These collaborations produced a teacher evaluation and development system that focuses on:
(1) Student performance outcomes measured by growth in student learning and attainment of academic goals (typically, this will account for at least 50 percent of a teacher’s overall rating, making it a significant factor in evaluation especially when the results are persistent over time and assessments);
(2) Teacher instructional practice in the domains of planning and preparation, classroom practice, and reflection; and
(3) Teacher professional values addressing a set of characteristics including professionalism, collegiality, and high expectations for student learning.
As a factor of the evaluation tool, all teachers will be assigned a rating that indicates their level of performance on a five-point scale: 1) Needs Improvement; 2) Developing; 3) Effective; 4) Strong and 5) Exemplary. Only teachers who achieve an “exemplary” or “strong” rating will be eligible for teacher leadership positions and other opportunities.
If a teacher is identified as trending toward a “needs improvement” designation by November 1, then they must either improve by the end of year, or they may be designated “incompetent”.  Teachers rated “developing” cannot remain “developing” for more than two years.  Teachers with consistently poor student performance will not be designated “effective,” unless a detailed review confirms exemplary instructional practice.
In addition to using growth measures on standardized test scores, each teacher will set academic goals for students in collaboration with their instructional manager.
All teachers will benefit from at least two evaluation and development conferences over the course of the year, as well as a goal-setting conference in the beginning of the year.  To ensure consistency in this process, each teacher will have a single instructional manager who is accountable for his/her evaluation and development. 
“Our enhanced evaluation tools will allow us to identify the successes and the needs of teachers so that we can work with them to best serve our students. This is not accomplished in a vacuum. Our success requires the execution of the full package of our School Change Initiative where we've tiered/graded schools, redesigned three of our lowest performing schools and begun preparing our students for the next level of academic achievement,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr.  “Our collaboration with the New Haven Federation of Teachers, parents, the business community and our administrators has created a rich environment for exponential growth not only for our students but also for our educators.”
As with teachers, administrators will be evaluated and developed through a continuum of student learning, leadership practice and professional values.  This will include an assessment on the quality of their evaluation and development work with teachers, so that administrators who are good at evaluating and developing teachers are celebrated and administrators who are poorly rated are directed to opportunities to improve, and receiving negative consequences if sufficient improvement does not occur. 
“The teacher and principal evaluation system is an important extension of our contract agreement, a distinctive example of success in creating a rigorous evaluation and development system with the AFT, and a foundation for much stronger talent management in the district,” said Dr. Reginald Mayo, Superintendent. “The strides that we're making in New Haven, when packaged as our School Change Initiative amount to groundbreaking work in urban school reform.”