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OSSE Posts Teacher Evaluation Policy for Public Comment

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On Dec. 20, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became law, enacting significant changes from its predecessor, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as well as the District's ESEA Flexibility Waiver. Among the most substantial changes presented by ESSA is the way it addresses teacher effectiveness policies. ESSA does not include federal requirements related to teacher evaluation, instead leaving decisions on evaluation standards to the states. However, ESSA emphasizes the need for states to ensure equitable access to effective teachers, and requires states to measure, evaluate, and publicly report on progress related to efforts to ensure that low-income and minority children are not disproportionally served by ineffective, out of field, or inexperienced teachers. This draft policy is intended to set standards that allow for the District to meet this obligation, while doing so in a way that addresses the unique diversity of LEAs within the District.
The policy is anchored in two core principles:

  1. LEA Flexibility and Autonomy: In developing this policy, OSSE considered the importance of ensuring LEA autonomy in setting expectations for teachers and deciding how to evaluate staff. The creation of evaluation standards allows for a significant amount of flexibility and leaves key decision making to LEAs. 
  2. Equity: A large body of research indicates that teacher effectiveness is the most important in-school factor to accelerating student achievement. Therefore, in writing this policy, OSSE considered its responsibility to ensure that all LEAs demonstrate progress on ensuring that minority and low-income students have access to effective teachers. As teacher effectiveness is an essential component for school and LEA growth, this policy supports LEAs in meeting a common minimum standard. The policy ensures that effectiveness is measured and allows for some degree of comparability, so that the District can meet its collective commitment to serving all students well. 

To ensure an opportunity for the public to provide input, this policy will be posted for 30 calendar days and open for public comment within the same period. This period begins May 25, 2016 and ends June 24, 2016.
Individuals who wish to make comments, please email [email protected].

Related Content: Elementary, Secondary & Specialized Education (ESSE)