Measuring Growth for Non-Tested Subjects and Grades

An important measure of a teacher’s effectiveness is how much his or her students learn and improve during the school year. About 45 percent of Tennessee’s educators have an individual

teacher effect score from TVAAS to be used as their growth measure; however, teachers in grades or subjects not tested through TCAP or an End of Course exam do not have individual TVAAS data. The First to the Top Act requires that a “comparable measure” be developed for those
teachers who do not have a TVAAS teacher effect score.

In order to meet this requirement, most teachers in non-tested subjects and grade levels will use a school-level growth score for the 2011-2012 school year. Over the course of the 2011-12 school year however, the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) will continue to work closely with Tennessee educators and technical experts to identify, develop, and approve comparable, alternative growth measures in non-tested subjects and grades
What work is being done by the Tennessee Department of Education around new growth measures for educators in non-tested subjects and grades? As part of Tennessee’s First to the Top work, TDOE is working with educators to identify growth measures in untested subjects and grades that appropriately measure student growth and provide educators with meaningful information to inform development. Early Engagement: In October of 2010, TDOE reached out to national and state experts for assistance in identifying instruments for determining student growth in non-tested subjects and grades. The TDOE and the Tennessee Education Association invited teacher leaders in untested subjects and grades to attend an overview workshop with a national expert on assessment. Educators from across the state were convened to represent the various untested grades, subjects and area.. Educator Development Teams: After the October session, 12 teams of educators from untested areas were convened to continue the conversations around identifying options for establishing measures of student growth. Each development team was charged with understanding the existing assessment landscape in their field, evaluating existing assessments on specific criteria, and ultimately recommending, with supporting documentation, new and existing assessments

to measure growth in the Tennessee model. These recommendations were submitted to the Technical Advisory Group for review and many will be piloted for use. The extent of ongoing development team involvement varies from group to group, but these teams will continue to be instrumental in informing the piloting process and communicating with educators state-wide about this work. Technical Advisory Group: To ensure consistency and quality of assessments, the TDOE convened a Teacher Evaluation Technical Advisory Group (TETAG) to vet the recommendations submitted by the development teams. The TETAG is comprised of persons who are experts in the fields of measurement and assessment. TETAG members provide feedback on all recommendations made by the development teams using a standard set of criteria and advise the TDOE on development, selection, and use of instruments and growth measures for teachers in non-tested subjects and grades. TDOE Evaluation Work Team: TDOE staff members have been working alongside these educators and national experts to identify and/or develop high-quality growth measures for non-tested educators. The TDOE work team reviewed all of the development team recommendations and the TETAG feedback, ultimately determining a plan for non-tested educators in the coming years. Additional information is available here. TDOE will continue to communicate with educators about the measures in use for the 2011-12 school year and the process for piloting additional growth measure options for possible use in the future. What growth measure will be included in my evaluation if I am a teacher in a non-tested subject or grade? Most teachers in non-tested subjects and grade levels will use a school-level growth score for the 2011-2012 school year. Please see the summary document for a list of these measures. Though pilots are being conducted for most educator groups, alternate growth measures under pilot will not be available for inclusion in the evaluation model until the 2012-13 school year, pending their approval. While most educators are using some kind of school-level data, careful attention has been paid to provide subject-level options that more closely align the measure to an educator’s instructional impact. For example, English Language Learner Specialists will use a school-level literacy composite, as detailed in the non-tested subjects summary.

What will be used for school-level data for Pre-K-2 schools and alternative schools? Most school buildings have TVAAS school-wide scores, but Pre-K-2 and alternative schools do not have this type of TVAAS information. For this coming year, the school-level value-added composites for Pre-K to 2 schools will come from the feeder schools; alternative schools will use district-wide value-added in lieu of school-level data. What school-level data will be used for teachers who serve multiple schools? Itinerant teachers will either use a simple average of value-added scores across the schools they serve or a district-wide score. The determination of which is most appropriate is a district decision, but simple averages of scores may be most appropriate when the teacher serves only two or three schools. If the teacher works across the district, district-wide data is likely most appropriate. What measures are being piloted during the 2011-2012 school year? For a list of general piloting by educator group, see the summary document.