Oklahoma State Board of Education approves changes to teacher evaluation system

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Board of Education on Thursday (December 17) approved four quantitative options that will give public school districts additional tools to measure student growth when evaluating teacher performance.

The first of the measures, which would factor into the quantitative evaluation teachers receive on Teacher Leader Effectiveness (TLE) performance analysis, allows districts to use benchmark assessments to evaluate progress between pre-tests and post-tests given within the same school year. Districts will have the authority to decide which assessments to use.

The second one calls for the use of diagnostic tools. Districts will be able to choose from a list of assessment tools approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) or propose other tools for approval.

The third measure utilizes teacher portfolios showcasing student achievement evidence throughout the year.

The fourth option includes student surveys as a tool if elected by a district.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said the strength in the recommendations is in allowing districts greater latitude to choose the tools that work best for their students.

“The focus of TLE needs to be shifted to continuous improvement and professional growth in a state with so many new teachers who could benefit from valuable feedback,” Hofmeister said.

Dr. Robyn Miller, OSDE deputy superintendent for educator effectiveness and policy research, said many schools would be well-equipped to adopt the changes.

“Many of our districts are already using assessment tools to measure student growth,” she said. “By giving schools a choice, administrators can utilize assessment tools they are already familiar with that have been proven to effectively measure progress in their districts,” Miller said.

Senate Bill 706, signed in June, called for revisions to the TLE evaluation system, which will be implemented in the 2016-17 school year.