BPS Evaluation FAQ#2
Q: General overview: How will evaluation work for different types of educators?
Which rubric will I use?
Classroom Teachers will be evaluated through a 5-step cycle using the Effective Teaching Practice Rubric. Ultimately they will receive a rating on each standard and on the progress they’ve made toward meeting their student learning and professional practice goals.
Guidance counselors, and other non-teaching licensed staff will complete the same 5-step evaluation cycle that teachers complete, using the Specialized Non-Instructional Support Personnel rubric (also called the “Caseload Educator” rubric) designed specifically for their roles, and also receive a rating on the four standards and two goals.
Principals and headmasters will be evaluated using the School-Level Administrator Rubric. They will complete the same 5-step evaluation cycle that teachers complete and also receive a rating on the four standards and two goals.
Who will be my evaluator?
COSESSs are co-supervised by supervisors for schools out of the special education office and principals. Related service providers are supervised and evaluated by special education assistant directors and supervisors of related services.
School psychologists and pupil adjustment counselors are supervised by the assistant director of behavioral health services from the Office of Special Education.
Nurses are supervised by principals.
Central office administrators will be evaluated using the Superintendent or administrator Rubric. They will complete the same 5-step evaluation cycle that teachers complete and also receive a rating on the four standards and two goals.
Non-licensed staff such as paraprofessionals, custodians, lunch monitors, and FCOCs and CFCs, are not affected by the most recent state regulations. The BPS Office of Educator Effectiveness is working with these groups to examine the current evaluation practices and how they might be improved.
Examples and online resources
Q: Where can I find examples of a complete evaluation as well as the individual components of the 5-step cycle?
A: Examples will be posted to the BPS Supporting Effective Teaching website:
Q: Where can I find best evaluation practices from the Turnaround principals?
A: As evaluation materials and suggestions are collected from Turnaround schools, resources will be posted to the BPS Supporting Effective Teaching website:
Q: Where can I find electronic versions of the slides and handouts from June and August evaluator training?
A: These can be found in the “Training” section of the BPS Supporting Effective Teaching website:
Q: How do I get an answer to questions related to the design of the evaluation system or the technical aspects of the process?
A: Email: email@example.com, or call the Office of Educator Effectiveness, 617-635-6030.
Q: How does a principal get access to the Performance Management Team for more specific, targeted help on evaluations?
A: Contact Ross Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How will the new evaluation system be phased in?
A: The entire 5-step performance management cycle will be implemented for all BPS schools during 2012-2013. MA state regulations on evaluation stipulate that the following components will be phased in during subsequent school years:
- Rating for Impact on Student Learning, 2013-2014
- Student Feedback, 2013-2014
Educators in turnaround schools were evaluated under the new system during 2011-2012 as required by state regulation.
Q: What are all the deadlines we need to know?
A: Educators should have completed self-assessment and proposed goals by October 1st. There is no official deadline for goal approval, but ideally they would be finalized by October 15th so that educators have adequate time to work on their plans.
Q: When does an educator’s Plan actually start?
A: An educator’s plan begins when the goals are approved (or set by the evaluator, in the case of educators on an Improvement Plan). It is from this date that the number of days of the plan is calculated.
Training and Support for Principals & Headmasters
Q: I need help understanding how to use this tool. When will we get the training?
A: All evaluators – principals and other administrators who evaluate teachers – will be trained in the new educator evaluation system. For those evaluators who were did not attend training during the summer of 2012, additional training will be offered in the fall of 2012. To find information about any trainings currently offered, please see our website, http://evaluatoreffectiveness.weebly.com.
Q: How do I carve out time to use this with my teachers?
A: Administrators in schools that have implemented the new system found ways to encourage teachers to use some of their common planning time to develop shared goals.
Q: Will principals who are single administrators in their building get extra support?
A: We have designed a system of calculating support for administrators based on a number of factors, including the ratio of evaluators to teachers, the level of student performance, the number of teachers on improvement or directed growth plans, etc. To determine the types of support offered for you and your teachers, please visit the website, https://connect.mybps.org/groups/effectiveteaching/.
Q: What kind of professional development will be offered for school-based administrators during the school year so that we can continue to learn how to effectively implement this system?
A: The Office of Educator Effectiveness is in the process of developing various ways to support administrators in completing evaluations, including PD sessions. We are considering ways that we will engage with this work in Superintendents’ learning sessions, Academic Superintendents’ sessions, etc.
Training and Support for Teachers
Q: When will teachers get training on the new evaluation system?
A: Teachers in about 2/3 of the schools received the 2-3 hour overview session during the winter-spring of 2012. Teachers in schools where the training was not offered have a few options: sessions have been run throughout the summer, and the Office of Educator Effectiveness is offering webinars during the first weeks of school as well as regional and school based trainings throughout the fall. Please see the website for details.
Q: What if I want more training that goes more deeply into components of the evaluation system?
A: The Office of Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness is offering courses on self-assessment, goal-setting and using the on-line system. Please visit our website or MyLearningPlan to learn about different options.
Q: Is it the responsibility of the school leader or the district to walk teachers through the evaluation process?
A: State regulations require that teachers are oriented to the new system. They may get this orientation by attending a training given by the Office of Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness – this training may be a webinar by the Office of Educator Effectiveness, school-based training, regional training or captivate module.
Questions about district-wide and school-wide priorities for evaluation
Q: How do the district’s academic priorities (increasing academic rigor; using data to differentiate instruction; engaging families, community and partners; professional growth and evaluation) align with the Acceleration Agenda and the evaluation rubrics?
A: These academic priorities incorporate the strategies that the district has identified as providing the most leverage in school-based efforts to achieve the goals of the Acceleration Agenda. Each of these indicators supports the district-wide strategies “Strengthen teaching and school leadership” and “Deepen partnerships with parents, students and the community” and align with specific elements on the rubric in the following manner:
- Increasing academic rigor à Well-structured lessons (element I-A-4)
- Using data to differentiate instruction à Adjustments to practice (I-B-2), Access to knowledge (II-D-3)
- Professional growth and evaluation à Goal setting (IV-A-2)
- Engaging families, community and partners à Parent/family engagement (III-A-1) and Two-way communication (III-C-1)
Q: Can schools focus on priority elements that are related to, but not exactly lined up with, the district’s priority areas?
A: Yes. The district’s priority areas should inform, but not dictate, prioritization at the school level.
Q: How should our school’s goals connect to our WSIP goals?
A: Our website has some examples of how a school can focus around a school-wide student learning goal and then identify high-leverage professional practices around which teachers set their goals. These goals can be directly connected to a school’s WSIP goals.
Q: Which parts of the self-assessment process does the educator have to share with their evaluator?
A: The online system requires an educator to submit a summary of their self-assessment, which is based on an analysis of their student learning needs and their own professional practice needs. Any analysis an educator does before entering information online does not need to be shared with the evaluator.
Q: Where can I find templates to use for goal setting?
A: These can be found in the Evaluation binders, as well as on the BPS Supporting Effective Teaching website: http://evaluatoreffectiveness.weebly.com .
Q: How many goals will a teacher have if s/he is on a directed growth plan or an improvement plan?
A: A teacher on a directed growth plan or an improvement plan will likely have goals specified by their evaluator that are specific to their prescriptions. Therefore, if the teacher is part of a team and already has two team goals, the evaluator may specify an additional two goals for a total of four goals. The ultimate number of goals for teachers on these two plans is determined by the evaluator.
Using the rubric at different points in the cycle
Q: What does it really mean to be exemplary? The rubric, in places, doesn’t distinguish much between proficient and exemplary.
A: An educator who is exemplary in an element of the rubric is able to model that element for other educators and support colleagues in developing the related competencies.
Q: When the rubric says “most students,” what does that mean? 51%? 95%?
A: While this is a question for school teams to consider, “most students” should be as close to 100% as possible.
Q: What about specialized rubrics for other personnel and specialists?
A: In addition to the Rubric for Effective Teaching and the Rubric for Administrative Leadership, we also have access to a Rubric for Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) Rubric. This rubric describes practice that is common across educators in professional support roles such as school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, and others. It is intended to be used throughout the 5 step evaluation cycle for educators who provide direct services such as education, therapy, counseling, assessment, and diagnosis to a caseload of students, as well as educators who may provide indirect support to students through consultation to and collaboration with teachers, administrators, and other colleagues. This rubric is found on our website.
Teachers without Professional Teachers Status:
Q: For transition to new system, if a teacher is a third-year provisional, does he have only this one year to become proficient in all four standards?
A: Yes. The third-year provisional teacher must be proficient in all four standards by the time of his summative assessment at the end of the year in order to be granted Professional Teaching Status.
Q: How is this form of evidence collection different from CEIJ?
A: Many evaluators have been trained in the CEIJ method of collecting evidence through observation, and CEIJ (Claims, Evidence, Interpretation, Judgments) is an acceptable approach for doing so under the new system as well. The shift in the new evaluation system is that evidence collected for a variety of Indicators must be assessed in order to give a single rating for each of four Standards.
Q: How does the evidence uploading compare with a portfolio-building process?
A: It is very similar, though in this system you must tag evidence within each artifact to standards and indicators in the online system EVEN IF you keep paper copies of documents in a binder. You can upload any type of file, video or jpegs. Ultimately what the educator has online is a collection of evidence that could be viewed as a type of portfolio.
Q: What if I can’t physically upload a piece of evidence but want to use it for my evaluation?
A: Even if there isn’t a file to upload, enter the type of evidence into the online system and tag it to standards and indicators so there is a record of it. You can keep a paper file that includes these pieces of evidence that you haven’t uploaded.
Q: Is there a timeline for non-observed evidence to be uploaded into the online system? I know that evidence from an observation has to be uploaded by the evaluator within five days of the observation, but what is appropriate for uploading of evidence by the evaluator and the teacher?
A: There is no official timeline to enter evidence. In some cases, it may be best to wait until the evaluator or the educator has a pool of collected evidence to choose the best pieces to upload. The evidence must be collected during the current cycle, though, and cannot be used once the summative evaluation has been completed and a new cycle begun.
Q: What if, for example, I teach art to 400 students and their growth is all very individualized? Should I have evidence for all of them?
A: No. The evidence an educator collects should be representative of the students s/he teaches. There is no expectation – nor is it ideal – that an educator upload samples of artifacts for each student. Evidence and artifacts should represent trends that are tied to elements on the rubric and should show growth over the year.
Q: Where can I find suggestions for artifacts to use as evidence for each standard and indicator?
A: These can be found on the BPS Supporting Effective Teaching website:
Q: Will the online system allow educators to scan and upload documents? Will schools be provided with scanners?
A: The simplest way to submit artifacts will be to upload electronic documents or pictures, and if a teacher does have access to a scanner, that is also acceptable. Options for scanning documents are currently being explored.
Q: As an evaluator do I have to notify teachers of the data and time of a formal observation?
A: No, this is not a contractual obligation.
Q: What feedback is an evaluator required to provide after an observation? By when?
A: The online system will require evaluators to enter feedback within five calendar days of an observation. While this is not a contractual obligation, the system is designed this way to ensure that teachers receive timely feedback. Evaluators are also encouraged to provide face-to-face feedback, either formally or informally.
Q: Should the majority of feedback be related to our schools’ priority elements and the teacher’s goals? What if it turned out that the feedback that seems necessary is not related to one of those?
A: Any feedback that seems necessary is important. While goals and priority areas should focus the implementation of the educator’s plan, evaluation will also include ratings on each of the four standards, so evidence and feedback will encompass a wider range of elements.
Q: Will the online system have a “publish” or “submit” feature so that initial observation notes can be saved but not shared until they are cleaned up?
A: This component of the online system is currently under development.
Educators who have not yet earned PTS, or Educators new to the building (with or without PTS): While there is no contractual obligation to do so, evaluators are encouraged to follow the best practice of completing a formal observation and a formative assessment of these educators by November 15.
Transition to Plans
Q: When will teachers find out what type of plan they are on and the length of their plan?
A: We will communicate this in writing and through webinars at the beginning of the school year.
Q: What do you do when there are concerns mid-cycle? Specifically, during this transition year I anticipate that I will have a teacher who has been transitioned to a Growth Plan who has been rated proficient, but I know that there are areas for improvement.
A: If you have concerns about a teacher’s performance, you should complete a formative assessment as soon as you have collected evidence about your concern. When you have adequate evidence, you change the teacher’s rating and change the type of plan that a teacher is on.
Formative / Summative Assessment
Q: After a teacher receives a formative or summative rating, can the teacher respond?
A: The teacher has five days to comment and comments are held by the system as a record.
Q: What happens when a teacher’s view of their performance conflicts with an evaluator’s view of their performance?
A: Although negotiations are on-going, teachers will still have the option to grieve their evaluation.
Q: Will online observation notes & evaluations/assessments be available during arbitration?
Q: Will teachers who are rated unsatisfactory or needs improvement have to start over if they change schools even due to school/program closings because they have new goals at the new location? For example, at the former school, the goals may have been in special education, but at the new school the goal may be in content knowledge. How will this be managed?
A: When a teacher transfers schools, their plan transfers with them. The plan type will remain the same. In order to change the type of plan, the administrator must issue a formative assessment to do so. At that point, on a new plan, the administrator can change the teacher’s goals.
Q: What are a teacher’s responsibilities under this new system?
A: A teacher is responsible for:
- Checking his or her BPS email account for notifications from the online system
- Submitting a self-assessment based on the rubric and available student data by October 1
- Working with colleagues and evaluators to write student learning and professional practice goals
- Creating an action plan for achieving these goals
- Implementing the plan
- Collecting evidence to show proficiency in each of the four standards and progress toward goals
- Submitting this evidence through the online system
- Meeting with an evaluator to discuss formative assessments or evaluations mid-way through the evaluation cycle
- Meeting with an evaluator to discuss summative evaluations at the end of the evaluation cycle
Q: Who has access to my online evaluation data?
A: Your primary evaluator and your principal and their supervisors (an academic superintendent and the superintendent), the Office of Human Resources, and the Office of Educator Effectiveness.
Q: How will we get a chance to practice with the online system?
A: There are practice opportunities and directions on our website, http://evaluatoreffectiveness.weebly.com The actual system will be live sometime in late- August when all of the school rosters have been verified.