97.7% of public school teachers with "highly effective," "effective" ratings

Published On: Aug 19 2014 10:58:52 AM HST   Updated On: Aug 19 2014 11:14:03 PM HST

An overwhelming majority of the state’s more than 11,000 teachers are "effective" and "highly effective" educators, according to Educator Effectiveness System (EES) results from school year 2013-14 released Tuesday by the Hawaii State Department of Education.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's report.

Teachers received their results during conferences with their administrators earlier this year.  The 2013-14 school year represented the first year of statewide implementation with no negative consequences for tenured teachers.

"We always knew that we had really good teachers in the Department of Education, really hardworking folks. The shake out of the number really confirms our beliefs that we have good people that are always trying to improve and do better," said Ronn Nozoe, DOE Deputy Superintendent.

The results indicate nearly a vast majority of teachers are performing at the highest levels when it comes to the EES, which gives equal weight to two major categories – Student Growth and Learning Measures, and Teacher Practice Measures:

• 16.0 percent of teachers are rated highly effective, meaning they demonstrate excellence in teacher practice and positive student outcomes.

• 81.7 percent of teachers are rated effective, which means they demonstrate effective teacher practice and positive student outcomes.

• 2.1 percent of teachers were rated marginal, meaning improvements are needed to demonstrate effective teacher practice and positive student outcomes.

• 0.2 percent of teachers were rated unsatisfactory, which means teachers do not show evidence of effective teacher practice, positive student outcomes.

Historically student scores drop when switching tests, but the DOE says that won't affect teacher evaluations.

"It allows us to look at student progress over time, even if you change the assessment," said Nozoe.

Within the EES Student Growth and Learning Measures and the Teacher Practice Measures, educators are evaluated on several areas including classroom observations, student survey, core professionalism, student learning objectives, and the Hawaii Growth Model. A working portfolio is used to evaluate non-classroom teachers.

Other highlights of the results include the following:

• More than 91 percent of educators were in the top two categories for the Tripod Student Survey
• Nearly 97 percent were in the top two categories for Core Professionalism

"Overall the results reflect more or less what we what we expected: most teachers are effective, with very few teachers rated as marginal, and even fewer rated as unsatisfactory," Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe stated.  "More importantly, EES is designed to help teachers and their administrators have high-quality conversations throughout the year about how to improve teaching and learning."

In keeping with the DOE's commitment to reduce burden on teachers and administrators, several significant changes were announced in June designed to simplify the EES, streamline its components and differentiate the approach for teachers based on need.  These changes will take effect during this school year, 2014-15.  The changes were based on feedback generated from a variety of groups that included educators.

Some of the more notable changes to take effect this school year include differentiating the number of required classroom observations based on need from twice annually to 0 for highly effective teachers; 1 or more for effective teachers, and 2 or more for marginal, unsatisfactory or beginning teachers. Based on these results, approximately 1,800 teachers rated highly effective last school year will carry over their rating.

Other areas of the EES will see changes as well, more notably, reduction in the administration of the Tripod Student Survey from twice to once annually, and eliminating the survey for grades K-2.   In school year 2014-15, the Tripod Student Survey is being included as a subcomponent under Core Professionalism, and will no longer be an independent component with a standalone rating.

"We look forward to continuing the conversation with educators about how to improve the EES to make it the best tool we can for supporting teachers," Nozoe added.

Lawmakers expect some skeptics will question all the high scores.

"If there are naysayers out there the question to them is how can we better support our schools and our students so that they can better learn in our schools," said Sen. Jill Tokuda, Education Committee Chair.

Teachers and their principals have access to more detailed reports with individual teachers’ data.  Additional EES results and information can be found here on the DOE website.

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