Missouri is long overdue for a new teacher evaluation model. The Missouri educational system is in the midst of an overhaul on the district and college level. The students who will be student teaching in spring 2013 will be evaluated using the new DESE model.
This new evaluation model was mandated in the NCLB waiver that Missouri received earlier this fall. The overall purpose of these changes is to make sure all Missouri students will be college and career ready and prepared for global citizenship.
For the last few years, educators have worked to create a new model educator evaluation tool. DESE created model evaluations of educators, principals and superintendents. Under the new model:
- Voters evaluate School Board Members.
- The School Board will evaluate Superintendents.
- Superintendents will evaluate principals.
- In most cases principals will evaluate teachers, but there may be cases where a supervisor, special services coordinator or a department head will evaluate educators/teachers.
For this school year, districts can choose to participate in the DESE-created model evaluation pilot project.
Participation in the pilot program is a local school district decision. When a district signs up to be a pilot, it can sign up to have any or all of the district participate. The district may require only principals to participate and be evaluated using the new system, or a district could use the new system to evaluate only teachers in a specific building or a grade level or subject. Even if a district is in the pilot, not every teacher must be involved in the pilot. You can see the districts that signed up for the pilot project here.
If your district is participating, you should ask the following questions of your administrators:
- Is my building participating in the pilot model evaluation?
- If my building is a pilot building will I be given the option to participate? Will I have to have two evaluations? [You have the right to have a discussion with your principal now about what the district participating in the new model evaluation program means for you. We hope that no one has to have two evaluations.]
- What was the deciding factor for our district to participate in the pilot program? Who made the decision?
The value of participation is you have the opportunity to make a difference and make the model evaluation better. Providing input and feedback to DESE will make the model evaluation system a better, more valid and more reliable tool. There are no punitive consequences associated with this pilot. This model is not to be used for high stakes evaluations. The pilot model is not to be used for hiring and firing of educators.
If your district chooses not to participate, district administrators may use the evaluation system they created, the old DESE tool or a third party evaluation system, such as one created by a regional professional development center.
There are two years to perfect the model before every district must participate. MSTA is still learning about the system and the effect that it will have on our members. We will continue to keep you posted on this important issue.
There are meetings throughout the state to review the new system and the current methods of evaluations that districts are using. You are encouraged to attend these meetings. For a complete list of locations and dates, click here.