Step 4: Select measures and assign weights to measures for use in educator evaluations.
After taking an inventory of available assessments and determining which assessments apply to different teacher types, the next step entails narrowing down the selection of assessments in order to select those that meet quality criteria. The Assessment Review Tool may be valuable in assisting educators with this process. Any MSL used in educator evaluations should be closely related to the standards being taught, curriculum, scope and sequence, and expected outcomes for a given class/course. Districts are also encouraged to consider the use of district assessments that are identified as interim measures and are aligned with targets in the Unified Improvement Plans (UIP) as progress monitoring tools during the school year. A district decision to use interim measures specified in the UIP should be based on a close examination of whether those assessments are tightly aligned with course expectations and whether a good rationale can be established to use results from those assessments individually or collectively.
For example, results from a district math test may not serve as an appropriate measure for individual attribution for a social studies teacher since the test content may not have a clear relationship to the course expectations taught by the social studies teacher. To continue with this example, the results from the same math test may be considered for use as a collective attribution measure for the same social studies teacher if a clear argument can be made by the district that all teachers are required to incorporate some level of math practices across content areas and those practices are captured by the math test being considered. Districts are advised to select assessments that are aligned with school and district goals, generate results educators use to inform their instruction, and most importantly, are aligned with the student learning expectations specified in Step 1.
Assigning weights to measures
By assigning weights to each measure in educators’ evaluations, districts are signaling which measures in the system are deemed to have more value than others, are better aligned with expectations for learning, or are more appropriate for measuring educator impact.
As districts identify measures of student learning they may want to consider assigning more weight to:
- Results from measures deemed to be of higher technical quality;
- Results reflecting collective efforts from a team of teachers (note that the statute and rules do not specify a minimum weight for either individual or collective attribution measures but do suggest that each must have a “measurable influence”); or,
- Results from measures deemed by district stakeholders to have higher value for teachers.
Districts will also want to find the right balance between weighting individual and collective measures to ensure that individual performance is not masked.
Example: MSL weights
Table 2 provides an illustration of how districts may consider distributing the weights assigned to each MSL.
Table 2: MSL weighting example as shown in COPMS (refer to Tables 3 and 4 for example success criteria)
Note that the individual MSLs add up to a total weight of 100% of the MSL side of an educator’s evaluation, but only 50% of an educator’s entire evaluation (once combined with the professional practice side).
Table 2 illustrates that the district has decided to attribute Colorado Growth Model results from ELA and math to all teachers in the school. The district has decided the set of combined Colorado Growth Model results should also be weighted equally (15% each). Further, all teachers will have two additional measures of student learning based on their specific content/subject area. In this example, the district has decided that each of the results from their content/subject area measure should be weighted equally (35% each) with one measure being attributed collectively (across the grade) and the other attributed individually. (The combination of scores from the weighted measures is discussed in Step 6).