An important message from the Secretary
As the school year nears its end, let us first thank you for the incredible work you've done in the past year. We are in a time of exciting change for the benefit of our students –that change does not happen without some nervousness and some challenges, and we are incredibly grateful for your continuing commitment.
We write now to provide you with information regarding how Component V (Student Growth) will be measured during this current development year. We want to provide two reminders in this regard:
- Component V is being measured during this development year using only DCAS results, and only for teachers in DCAS grades and subjects. No other teachers will receive a Component V calculation this year.
- Even for teachers in DCAS grades and subjects, the Component V measure will not impact the summative rating, unless it is used to qualify him/her for a “Highly Effective” rating.
This document (http://www.doe.k12.de.us/csa/dpasii/files/Component5Memo.pdf) provides more details regarding this year’s DCAS Component V calculations. We thank you for your patience as we have been putting the details behind this policy. Our work has been guided by four principles. The method we developed had to be:
- Easy to understand
- Respectful of the profession, providing a foundation for our teachers and administrators to work together around a central focus of student academic growth.
Our work also was guided by critical feedback from all of you. We heard your concerns, and together with the principles above, designed the current system. We would like to briefly share with you a few of the concerns we heard from you and that we worked hard to address in our Component V DCAS calculation:
- Teachers should be evaluated based on the performance of the students they teach in the subject they teach. Therefore, as was announced in January, Component V will not include a school-wide measure of student achievement, nor will it assign DCAS performance to non-DCAS teachers. This Component V policy holds true this year and going forward.
- Teachers should be evaluated based on the work that they do to advance student academic growth – not based on proficiency levels that do not fully take into account academic growth. Every child should enter school with the expectation of learning and growing academically. Our teachers work toward this goal. Therefore, Component V ratings will be based on the academic growth our students achieve. Using a proficiency-based approach to evaluate teachers rather than a growth-based approach does not value the work teachers do every day to meet the needs of all of their students, whether the students are currently performing at high levels or low levels. It creates an unfair rating system because of the variations of performance levels in our classrooms, and it creates a disincentive for teachers to teach our students who struggle the most.
- Our Component V measure should not create disincentives for teachers to teach students will additional challenges. We know that students show different levels of growth on the DCAS depending on the level of proficiency at which they start the school year, and we also know that students with disabilities and students who are English language learners often grow at different rates than non-SWD/ELL students. Given that, we refined our method to set differentiated growth targets for students, depending on their fall DCAS scores and their SWD/ELL status.
Validating and honoring the work our teachers do every day to advance student achievement matters, and we believe it is our collective role to advance this work through an evaluation system. Thank you again for your patience and assistance in this work. We know we share the same goal: providing a strong education to all of our students and ensuring each child graduates our system college and career ready. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact public information officer Alison Kepner at email@example.com.
Lillian M. Lowery
Secretary of Education
Incoming Secretary of Education