Effective Instruction Committee Information: SGMs

The Effective Instruction (EI) Committee met on January 28, 2016 to review the progress of the SGM pilot and discuss the implications of possible regulatory changes related to the December 2015 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Questions regarding the following information may be directed to the facilitator of the EI Committee, Dr. Christine Ermold, or any member of the committee.  Principals have been asked to share the following information with their faculty and organize questions at their site into a single document to help direct the flow of communication through the site administrator.

  • Background: Pending the outcome of the March 2016 State Board of Education & Early Development meeting, 4 AAC 19.010(k) Purpose and Scope of Evaluations may be repealed.  This would remove the state requirement for all educators to pilot a measure of student learning data as part of the evaluation system. As stated in the 1.25.16 State Board packet Agenda Item 3A memo, “It will be necessary for the State Board of Education & Early Development to determine whether or not to maintain the use of student achievement data as part of the educator evaluation process, as well as to maintain or revise other elements of the evaluation process currently required by regulation.  The department recommends a full discussion of possible regulatory revisions as part of … a future board meeting.”
  • Issue: Should the KPBSD continue the pilot of SGM for the 2015-16 school year if the regulatory requirement to do so is repealed?
  • Discussion: Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching and her related research is the foundation upon which the KPBSD Effective Instruction System was built.  The consideration of evidence of student learning is woven throughout the Framework, and the basis for the current Student Growth Map (SGM) can be explicitly found in Components 1F: Designing Student Assessments and   3D: Using Assessment in Instruction.  Evidence of a teacher’s impact on student growth and learning is one piece of the broader picture of teacher effectiveness that the KPBSD values.  The KPBSD Board of Education is required to review and approve any changes to the certified employee evaluation system.  The current evaluation system was presented and approved by the Board on 7/6/15.  Additionally:
    • The original regulation required the use of the state’s approved test as one of multiple measures considered in a teacher’s evaluation.  The future of the state’s assessment, the Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) is uncertain.  It was anticipated that eventually, educators would build one of the two to four SGMs off of AMP data.
    • The current format of SGMs has resulted in additional record keeping that has been beneficial for some teachers, redundant for some teachers, and unsuccessful for some teachers.
    • Conversations around the data presented in the SGM has proven to result in a positive change in practice for many principals and teachers.
    • In circumstances that the SGMs were reported to be too difficult or too cumbersome, it appears likely that educators’ developing skill levels with SGMs, and the challenge of determining what amount of growth is appropriate for various students with various measures were the source of the challenges.
    • Additional information is needed from KPBSD teachers after completing the current pilot to determine how best to proceed with including evidence of student learning in the KPBSD’s E.I. Evaluation System.
  • Decision: The E.I. Committee recognizes that KPBSD’s current SGM process has both benefits and drawbacks, and in an effort to continually refine and improve the KPBSD’s E.I. Evaluation System, the SGM pilot will continue this school year regardless of the State Board of Education & Early Development’s decision in March 2016.
    • In an effort to ease the burden of additional meetings and paperwork preparation, and to promote authentic conversations around student data with colleagues, all educators piloting an SGM who are being evaluated on the Standard Evaluation Plan in 15-16 may conduct their mid and end-of-SGM reviews within their collaborative teams.  The completed SGM form does not get submitted to district office; it should be kept onsite by the principal.
    • Only educators piloting an SGM under the Alternate Protocol for Tenured Teachers in 15-16 will continue to review their SGM data with their administrators and submit their final form to district office.
      • Please note that it was the intent of the committee that the reviews of SGM progress should occur during already existing meetings.  Therefore, the reviews with tenured teachers on the Alternate Protocol should occur during regularly occurring calibration meetings or informal observation discussions whenever possible.
  • Future Action: The E.I. Committee will meet again this winter to refine the E.I. Survey that is sent to all certified teachers each spring.  Data from the survey will be used along with any regulatory changes and guidance to make changes to the E.I. Evaluation System for the 16-17 school year and beyond.

Elementary Standards Referenced Reporting Committee

The SRR Committee met on 1/14/16 and saw that while there is still a need to support the growth of our teachers in their ability to understand and use SRR to the fullest benefit of our students, overall, the results show dramatic changes in teacher knowledge and practices.  As has been typical, approximately 33% of elementary teachers responded to the survey.  Among other celebrations, committee members noted that for the first time in our district, almost 95% of responding teachers indicated they “know how to help students use standards-referenced rubrics and scores to advance their learning.”  This reflects huge growth over the last three years, and the committee sincerely appreciates the time and effort everyone has dedicated to learning how to use this approach successfully.  This information, along with a copy of each site’s survey results, were sent to principals in late January, 2016.

Additional important points the Committee wanted to convey to all teachers include:

  • The Standards Referenced Reporting Committee carefully reviewed the survey results from the December 2015 survey, and extends their appreciation to everyone who took the time to respond.
  • With a response rate of 33%, the committee noted that while a quarter of teachers supported adding the science standards to the report card, 20% or less supported adding social studies, health, or fine arts standards.
  • Comments from survey respondents indicated there is still a need for strengthening understanding and use of standards based grading practices across elementary schools in the district, but that overall, teachers indicated they are both confident and skilled in the use of standards and standards referenced reporting.
  • In light of the input provided through the survey, the limited professional development resources likely available with declining budgets, and the other topics demanding the attention of teachers and parents, the committee decided not to add any other standards to the elementary report card or make further modifications to the report card.  We are working on adding the NGSS standards into PowerTeacher so that teachers can attach them to assignments if they wish (but they will not show up on the report card.)  We are also working on adding a summary of science units by grade that teachers could attach as a quarterly comment to the report card, if they wish.
  • The committee did want to make sure that all elementary teachers were aware that a change in the language on the report card (and on all tools in the ‘S’ drive) was implemented near the start of this school year in response to teacher feedback.  Specifically, the language of the 0-4 scale was edited to indicate the score applies to the “expected” or “taught” parts of the standard, rather than “all” of the standard to resolve concerns of teachers that use of the word “all” caused confusion.

The district is also currently developing summary statements of each elementary science unit that will be loaded into PowerTeacher as an option for teachers to use when adding comments on the report card.  Also, as a result of requests from high school science teachers, the Next Generation Science Standards will also be loaded into PowerTeacher so teachers can link standards to assignments or record observations of the standards, if they wish.  It is important that elementary teachers note that the NGSS standards will not show up on the report card, though.  Questions regarding this information may be directed to a site principal, an Effective Instruction coach, or Christine Ermold, Ed.D., Director of Elementary Education and Professional Development.