Sunday, May 29, 2016

ESSA Workgroups Meet: Educator Effectiveness

This is the last of four posts regarding the ESSA workgroups meeting in Oregon to create Oregon's new system under ESSA. These are summaries released from each workgroup. Today we post the School Improvement Workgroup's recap/next steps.   Read about the other workgroups here: 

Educator Effectiveness:
Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

The Educator Effectiveness Workgroup has been charged with the task of identifying possible supports for districts to better ensure that every Oregon student is taught by a high quality, effective teacher and every Oregon school building is led by a high quality, effective educational leader. This includes discussions regarding the implications of Senate Bill 290, considerations for improving how state and local districts might better determine the effectiveness of educators, as well as how best to infuse elements of the Equitable Access to Excellent Educators Plan into
Oregon’s State Plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Work Group Progress
The Educator Effectiveness Workgroup holds a shared vision of ensuring the all students, particularly our most vulnerable students, including those with disabilities, language learners, and historically underserved, are taught by an effective teacher. The workgroup examined the current reality within educator effectiveness in Oregon, including the:

  •   *Unintended consequences of Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements and how it has impacted schools’ and districts’ ability to serve all students
  •   *Inconsistent implementation of educator evaluations across districts
  •   *Limited resources and support for educators to use and implement a meaningful
       evaluation tool

    Similarly, the Educator Effectiveness Workgroup has also identified several key aspects of an improved evaluation system under the new ESSA legislation:
  • -  Shifting from a model of compliance to a system focused on growth for all schools and districts that is rooted in asset-based language, rather than the current deficit-based approach
  • -  Considering the use of formative assessments as a value-added component that guides continuous improvement, thus better allowing differentiated support for educators and students
  • -  Strengthening the relationships between teachers and administrators through collaborative goal setting that is based on useful and timely student information

    Ongoing Discussions
    To further address the shared challenges above, the workgroup will continue to focus on the Equitable Access to Excellent Educators Plan and Senate Bill 290, including:

  • *Exploring ways to define an “excellent educator” and “excellent school leader” without the     constraints of HQT (Highly Qualified Teacher)
  • *Discussing the root causes of inequitable access to excellent educators and school leaders for traditionally marginalized student populations and the strategies identified in the plan to address them. (Human Capital Management, Ongoing Professional Learning, and Monitoring Teacher and Principal Preparation)
  • *How might state tests play a role, if at all, in Growth Goals for evaluations
  • *Benefits of the Evaluation Matrix, drawbacks of the Matrix, if not the Matrix, then what?

At our May 18
th meeting, the Educator Effectiveness Workgroup will continue to engage in discussions focusing on the following areas for both short- and long-term actions:
  • *Complete a more comprehensive analysis of SB 290, specifically focusing on evidence of    the measures for Professional Practice, Professional Responsibilities, and Student Learning and Growth.
  • *Discuss long-term modifications to OARs Further review and recommendations regarding the use of the Equitable Access to Excellent Educators plan within the ESSA plan.

    At our June 28th meeting, the Educator Effectiveness Workgroup will review the definition of “licensed educator” in Oregon and finalize considerations surrounding the Equitable Access to Education plan and Senate Bill 290.