The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is announcing several major changes to the Educator Effectiveness System (EES) to take effect in the upcoming school year.
The changes reflect the DOE’s commitment to reduce burden on teachers and administrators, and are designed to simplify the EES, streamline its components and differentiate the approach for teachers based on need.
Last Fall, an EES Joint Committee was developed specifically to review the EES. The Committee includes the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), teachers, principals, administrators, technical experts and Complex Area and state staff, who met regularly throughout the past school year. The Joint Committee met with DOE leaders this week and the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Government Association (HGEA) to review proposed changes to the EES, which were sent to Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi on Friday, June 6.
“The Department will continue to collaborate with educators to further improve the EES, these changes are just the beginning to refining this system and ultimately, elevating student achievement,” stated Superintendent Matayoshi. “We appreciate the work of the Joint Committee, and all of the feedback from our principals and teachers to guide us on what best practices work in our schools. We will continue to convene feedback groups and plan a formal review and feedback process for the following school year.”
“The HSTA is pleased that the DOE has committed to improve the EES,” said HSTA President Wil Okabe. “The EES Joint Committee of HSTA and DOE members has collaboratively worked together throughout this process to assess the system and provide the Superintendent with recommendations that reflect input and concerns from all stakeholders. Our goal is to make sure that every child in Hawaii has access to great public schools and teachers. We look forward to continuing to work with the DOE to improve an evaluation system that improves the practice of teaching and student learning to produce real results.”
Based on lessons learned and feedback gathered from schools, the Department is implementing a series of 18 changes for school year 2014-15, including:
- Differentiating the number of required classroom observations based on need from twice annually to 0 for highly effective teachers; 1 or more for effective teachers, and 2 or more for marginal, unsatisfactory, or beginning teachers. Overall this means approximately 9,000 fewer classroom observations, reducing the observation workload by almost 50 percent.
- Providing the approximately 1,800 teachers rated highly effective in SY13-14 the option to carryover their rating in lieu of repeating the evaluation.
- Reducing the administration of the Tripod Student Survey from twice to once annually, eliminating the survey for grades K-2, and eliminating the demographic questions from the survey. Overall this means approximately 11,700 fewer survey administrations, or a 63 percent reduction in administered surveys.
- Reducing, for most teachers, the number of required Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) from two to one annually. Overall, this means approximately 12,400 fewer required SLOs.
- Removing the student survey as an independent component with a stand-alone rating and embedding it as subcomponent under Core Professionalism.
- Providing flexibility within Working Portfolio and SLOs, particularly for non-classroom teachers, to reflect job duties.
- Improving Student Growth Percentile (SGP) to replace a percentile ranking of teachers with anchors in criterion and building in a margin of error.
Principal Linell Dilwith of Stevenson Middle said, “These EES changes will make the work at the school level more manageable and ensure that we are focused on quality, not quantity. I am glad the Superintendent listened to the voices in the field.”
HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira stated, “We are encouraged by the changes proposed by the EES Joint Committee and the opportunity for the HGEA Unit 6 Board to submit recommendations to the Superintendent. We look forward to continuing to work with the department to implement changes that will ensure the workload of principals and vice principals is manageable. Addressing the educational officers’ need for adequate systemic supports with their increasing responsibilities has been and continues to be an important issue for the HGEA.”
Some areas of future improvement include a possible cycling of evaluations; reducing the weight of the SGP and improvements to the methods and technology used to collect, store, and report information. The Department is also exploring improvements to simplify, streamline, and differentiate the implementation of the other 6 Priority Strategies.
The EES began in the school year 2011-12 as a pilot in 18 schools, and then expanded to 81 schools in the 2012-13 school year. As the EES was implemented in schools, the Department solicited feedback from a variety of sources developed specifically for EES feedback, including a Teacher Leader Workgroup, Joint Committee, Technical Advisory Group and Principal Workgroup.
To learn more about the EES, please visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.