'Taking the Lead' Educator Evaluation Initiative

The UEA is committed to helping educators be successful in their career. That includes providing resources to navigate new evaluations that will eventually be tied to district salary schedules. The UEA is offering its member educators an Evaluation Toolkit, training sessions and other resources to help successfully master the new evaluations. For more information about the resources available in your school district, contact your local UniServ office.

About the New Evaluations

Significant changes to educator evaluations are currently underway in Utah. Both Utah State Board of Education (USBE) rule and Utah State code have been modified to address educator evaluation with the goal of improving educator effectiveness and instructional quality.

The Public Education Employment Reform Act of 2012, known as Senate Bill 64, requires a “valid and reliable” evaluation tool in each school district no later than 2014-15. The Utah State Office of Education (USOE) is working with several pilot school districts to develop a model evaluation system that meets requirements established in both USBE rule and state code. Districts can choose to adopt that system, adapt it with minor changes or develop their own system, so long as it meets the minimum requirements… read more

Evaluation Components

School districts must include the following minimum components in their educator evaluation system, although they can also choose to include other indicators beyond those listed:

  • Observations of instructional and leadership quality
  • Evidence of student growth; and
  • Parent and student input.

The weight given to each of these components is still to be determined by USOE and will be based on the results of the pilot.

Student Growth

In tested subjects and grades, student growth will be calculated using state-developed standardized tests (such as CRTs or computer-adaptive tests) and then applying a measure called a student growth percentile (SGP).

SGP calculates the academic progress of students by conditioning current achievement on prior achievement and then describing performance relative to other students with identical prior achievement histories. In other words, like a pediatric growth chart that indicates the probability of growth in height based on age, SGPs can be used to indicate the probability of an academic outcome (test score) based on a student’s prior scores.

Student growth for non-tested subjects and grades will be assessed using school, classroom-based assessments and/or common district assessments and then applying a measure called a student learning objective (SLO).

SLOs are content, grade or course-specific measurable learning objectives that are used to document learning over a defined period. Goals can be for individual students, groups of students, by class, by subject or from the school improvement plan. After determining baseline performance for students, progress is monitored and ultimately the degree to which students achieved the goal is measured.

Ratings

According to the 2012 law, the evaluation system will categorize educators into one of four levels of performance. If an educator’s evaluation identifies performance that is in need of improvement they must be given a written document clearly identifying “specific, measurable and actionable deficiencies” and “the available resources that will be provided for improvement,” along with “a recommended course of action that will improve the educator’s performance.”

Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, an educator that receives the lowest level (“not effective”) on an evaluation may not advance on the salary schedule. An educator that receives the second-lowest level on an evaluation (“minimally/emerging effective”) may not advance on the salary schedule, unless that educator is provisional or in the first year of a new subject, grade level or school assignment.

No “Bell Curve”

Educators will receive a performance rating based on data from multiple evaluation components. There is no requirement, either in state code or USBE rule, that there be a certain number of educators rated in each category of performance ratings. In other words, there is no requirement for a “bell curve” distribution.

UEA Represents Educators

The UEA will continue to represent educators with the legislature, on USOE committees, and with the USBE. Count on local association leaders to also represent teachers at the district level.

If you have questions about the evaluation system in your school district, contact your local UniServ office.

Evaluation Resources