MD District Adopts System For Educator Evaluations

Under Maryland’s new Teacher and Principal Evaluation (TPE) system, educators will be evaluated using multiple measures of professional practice as well as student growth. To manage and act upon the volume of data from these measures — including High School Assessments (HSA), Student Learning Objectives (SLO), other local assessments — Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) has partnered with Performance Matters™ to implement a comprehensive, web-based solution for assessment, data management, and educator effectiveness.

More than 50 percent of all Maryland districts currently use Performance Matters’ assessment and data management system, and several have adopted FASTe (Formative Action System for Teacher Effectiveness), a turnkey system for evaluating educator effectiveness. In addition, a growing number of districts are adding the newly released SLO Module to assist in the creation, management, and monitoring of SLOs. AACPS will begin rolling out the Performance Matters assessment and data management system, SLO Module, and FASTe this school year to provide an integrated solution for data-driven decision making, from the district level to the individual student level.

“We were looking for a system that would meet two needs. First, we wanted to store our assessments and student data in a central location, with improved display capabilities and daily updates, to provide our teachers with easier access to the real-time data they need to make timely instructional decisions. Second, we needed a tool to manage the new TPE process in Maryland, which includes SLOs and a multi-measure evaluation system,” said Kathryn L. Kubic, Ph.D., executive director of the Instructional Data Division for AACPS. “We selected Performance Matters since in addition to all the functionality it provides, the staff loved the technology interface and they thought the solutions were user-friendly.”

Maryland’s educator evaluation system currently specifies that student growth measures account for 50 percent of a teacher’s or principal’s evaluation. Part of the system requires the use of SLOs to gauge student growth. Using the SLO Module, educators can access the target score and results from pre- and post-assessments for each student under each SLO. With the tool’s automatic calculations, they can see whether each student met the SLO, as well as the overall percentage of students achieving the SLO by class or by course. In addition, the SLO Module ensures accurate mathematical calculations, which principals can use to group teachers into the appropriate ratings category — highly effective, effective, or ineffective — on the SLO portion of their evaluations.

“We are currently recording SLO data only on paper. The SLO Module will provide a place where SLOs can be entered, tracked, and applied to the TPE,” said Kubic. “In addition to the recording of SLOs, another issue is that the new TPE multi-measure system requires many more calculations. The SLO Module and FASTe will make the calculation, display, and analysis of that data easier and clearer.”