DOE to Develop New Teacher Evaluation Program

January 24, 2012, 4:11 PM HST · Updated January 24, 4:16 PM
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Ronn Nozoe Deputy Superintendent Hawaii State Department of Education. Image courtesy Hawaii DOE.

By Wendy Osher

Administrators with the Hawaii State Department of Education announced plans today to develop and implement a new teacher evaluation system as efforts are made to meet Race To The Top aspirations.

The new evaluation system will utilize a variety of research-based tools, in combination with a system of teacher supports, according to education officials.  The system, administrators say, will also provide teachers with innovative ways of receiving information about academic needs of their students.

The outlook was a positive one for deputy superintendent Ronn Nozoe, who explained, “We truly believe that this system, if implemented properly, will help all of our teachers to improve and grow.”

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Meantime, Stephen Schatz, assistant superintendent for the Office of Strategic Reform acknowledged that the reform idea will not be an easy one.  “It requires many of us to rethink our fundamental assumptions about the purpose of a teacher evaluation system,” he said.

The department is already piloting an evaluation system at 18 schools this school year that include includes:

  • a model measuring student academic growth on the Hawaii State Assessment relative to their peers with similar academic history (this measure is not the federal requirement of proficiency, but rather measuring where a student began at the start of the year, and the growth they demonstrated over the course of the year);
  • a student survey to predict teacher effectiveness;
  • and a new classroom observation model designed to provide immediate feedback to teachers, including specific strategies to focus and improve their instruction.

The department plans to expand the pilot program already in place to 61 schools next year; and to all schools statewide in school year 2013-14.

The Hawaii State Department of Education, made the announcement today saying in a press release that, “The department shares Governor Neil Abercrombie’s vision of crossing the Race to the Top finish line, side-by-side, with the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), as it moves forward with its plans to ensure that every child graduates college- and career-ready.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a failed contract ratification vote for public school teachers in Hawaii.  The contract that was under consideration included a performance-based compensation system.

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