Upcoming Changes to Educator Evaluations

Becky Martin

By Becky Martin, Educator Effectiveness Coordinator

Idaho's Educator Evaluation Capacity Task Force, made up of approximately 30 education stakeholders from varying credentials and backgrounds, met to analyze Idaho's evaluation requirements and practices after the repeal of the Students Come First laws and how they should be realigned to meet the requirements set forth in Idaho's ESEA Flexibility Waiver. The Task Force surveyed more than 1,000 teachers and administrators asking for input on issues regarding educator evaluation. The Task Force made recommendations to the State Board of Education and the Idaho Legislature on necessary revisions to improve teacher and principal evaluation in Idaho. These recommendations were recently approved by the Idaho State Board of Education at its August 2013 meeting and are detailed below. The Idaho Legislature must consider these changes in January 2014 before they can become final.

Recommendations for Educator Evaluation

All teachers and pupil personnel certificate holders will be evaluated once annually, no later than May 1st.

One evaluation must include a minimum of two documented observations with at least one documented observation taking place prior to January 1st.

All certificated instructional staff, principals and superintendent evaluations will be based on 33% of objective measures of growth in student achievement as determined by the board of trustees and based upon research. A percentage of that 33% will be based on growth in student achievement as measured by the Idaho statewide student achievement test.

  • Districts may choose to use both the current and past year's data in calculating the 33% of student achievement.
  • Growth in student achievement may be considered as an optional measure for all other school based and district based staff, as determined by the local board of trustees.
  • Principals and/or districts may work with new teachers to develop student growth goals or student learning.

Professional practice will comprise the remaining 67% of an educator's evaluation. The professional practice portion of evaluation for teachers must be aligned to the Danielson Framework. A minimum of one of the following measures must be included: parent/guardian input, student input or portfolios.

Professional practice for principals should align to the 2013-2014 piloted Idaho Standards for Effective Principals and must include a minimum of one of the following: parent/guardian input, student input, teacher input or portfolios.

Idaho approved a minimum of three performance levels that shall be used to differentiate performance of teachers, pupil personnel certificate holders and principals. Those performance levels are: Unsatisfactory, Basic and Proficient. Districts may choose to add an additional performance level at the discretion of the local board of trustees.

All certificated administrators must demonstrate proof of proficiency by passing a proficiency assessment approved by the State Department of Education as a one-time recertification requirement prior to September 1, 2018.

In addition to proof of proficiency, districts must provide ongoing training and professional development on an annual basis to evaluators in the district's evaluation standards, tool and process.

Idaho Standards for Effective Principals have been adopted and will be piloted in 2013-2014 with full implementation in 2014-2015.

Idaho Standards for Effective Principals

The Evaluation Capacity Task Force chose to adopt the principal evaluation standards that were originally recommended to the State Board of Education by the previously formed Administrator Evaluation Task Force in 2012. Those standards are based on the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards.

After examining the research and many examples of frameworks in practice, both in Idaho and across other states and districts, the Task Force defined 14 characteristics of a highly effective administrator. These make up the components of the framework and are organized under three domains: School Climate, Collaborative Leadership and Instructional Leadership.

The Idaho Effective Principal Standards were created to reflect the Danielson Framework for Teaching in its purpose and format. Task Force participants and national leaders in administrator evaluation have created tools to support the Idaho Standards for Effective Principals.

The standards and the supporting research are available on the Idaho State Department of Education's Educator Evaluation webpage: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacherEval/principals.htm.

If you have any questions about the teacher or administrator evaluations, please contact Educator Effectiveness Coordinator Becky Martin at (208) 332-6855 or bmartin@sde.idaho.gov.