Step 3: Group available assessments according to teacher type
In the previous step, it is recommended that districts conduct an assessment inventory to identify which assessments are available and used to evaluate student learning across grades and content areas. In Step 3, districts may choose to classify teacher types according to the types of assessments available and appropriate to each identified group. Information from the assessment inventory can be used by districts to identify the types of assessments available to teachers instructing in different content areas and grades. This approach to classifying educators according to available assessments is used to inform district policy for requiring certain types of assessments for specific educator types and determining which measures should be attributed individually or collectively. This categorization can also help make expectations clear to all teachers about how different types of assessments will be applied in their evaluations.
Figure 1 presents one example of how teacher types can be defined according to the types of assessment results available for types of teachers. Note that results from any of the measures summarized below may be applied either individually OR collectively depending on district policy and values.
Figure 1: Teacher types based on types of assessments available for each group
* When available and appropriately connected to the subject, grade, or course.
** Teachers in subjects or grades without state or district assessments available may contribute to the content being measured by state or district assessments and have the results included in their evaluations when appropriate.
In the above example, for Type 1 teachers a district may elect to include available CMAS results as well as results from the district assessments and teacher-developed assessments for evaluating what students are expected to know and be able to do.
Other approaches districts may consider for classifying teacher types may include grouping by: grade level, content area, or by elementary/middle/high schools. When configuring these groupings, clarity should be established with teachers regarding policy on whether the results from each measure will be attributed to them individually or collectively.
When considering at what level (e.g., individual or collective) to attribute results from measures identified in Figure 1, districts may decide to use selected results (e.g., results from just math and reading) for collective attribution across all teacher types. For collective attribution, schools are encouraged to use the interim measures that align with targets set in their school’s Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) since staff should already be familiar with the UIP targets and should be working together toward meeting those targets.
Design considerations for collective attribution
There are additional design considerations for collective attribution, including:
- Identify which measures could be used to encourage partnerships or teams where teachers have an opportunity to impact student learning. For example, a district may want to develop a team goal to encourage a group of teachers instructing in the same grade to emphasize the same set of learning goals in a specific content area and align those to targets and/or interim measures in the school’s Unified Improvement Plan.
- Identify which assessments could be used to help foster and support a district’s focus on a specific priority area. For example, a district with a growing population of English Language Learners (ELLs) may want to use the growth results from the WIDA ACCESS assessment in the evaluation of all teachers. Using WIDA ACCESS as a “collective attribution” measure may incentivize all teachers to work collaboratively to support the growth of all English Language Learners.
- When available, identify appropriate results included in the School Performance Framework (SPF) for use as collective attribution in the evaluation. The SPF consists of additional results besides growth, including academic achievement and post-secondary and workforce readiness information for high schools. CDE has developed a resource to provide districts with sample approaches and considerations on the Use of School and District Performance Frameworks in Educator Evaluations.
- When assigning weights to measures, note that an excessively high weight on collective measures may decrease the school’s or district’s ability to recognize high-performing teachers (who may be held back by the average) and/or to identify struggling teachers (who may be “propped up” by the average). Therefore, it is important for districts to find the right balance between weighting measures that reflect individually- and collectively-attributed results.
- Be aware that “double-dipping” of measures, for example counting CMAS math as a collective grade level measure and then counting it again as an individually-attributed measure, means that those measures may have a disproportionate influence on the overall performance rating.
- Identify minimum N sizes (number of data points for consideration) for individually and collectively attributing results from any measure used in educator evaluation. The Department recommends that results from the Colorado Growth Model only be used when there are at least 20 individual student growth percentiles in the data set and that districts also explore policy and technical considerations such as inclusion rules and N size. For example, districts may investigate different approaches for increasing the N size such as pooling multiple years of data. NCIEA and CADRE have provided two resources for districts considering using CGM results in educator evaluations: Executive Summary/Technical Report
(See also the State Council for Educator Effectiveness’ Student Growth Work Group report, found within the full report and recommendations.)