The Teacher/Principal Evaluation Pilots were created by E2SSB 6696, a broad education reform bill passed by the Washington State Legislature in the 2010 session to strengthen the state’s position for winning one of the federal Race to the Top grants.
Part II: Evaluations
Sec. 201. RCW 28A.150.230 and 2006 c 263 s 201 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) It is the intent and purpose of this section to guarantee that each common school district board of directors, whether or not acting through its respective administrative staff, be held accountable for the proper operation of their district to the local community and its electorate. In accordance with the provisions of Title 28A RCW, as now or hereafter amended, each common school district board of directors shall be vested with the final responsibility for the setting of policies ensuring quality in the content and extent of its educational program and that such program provide students with the opportunity to achieve those skills which are generally recognized as requisite to learning.
(2) In conformance with the provisions of Title 28A RCW, as now or hereafter amended, it shall be the responsibility of each common school district board of directors to adopt policies to:
(a) Establish performance criteria and an evaluation process for its superintendent, classified staff, certificated personnel, including administrative staff, and for all programs constituting a part of such district’s curriculum. Each district shall report annually to the superintendent of public instruction the following for each employee group listed in this subsection (2)(a): (i) Evaluation criteria and rubrics; (ii) a description of each rating; and (iii) the number of staff in each rating;
(b) Determine the final assignment of staff, certificated or classified, according to board enumerated classroom and program needs and data, based upon a plan to ensure that the assignment policy: (i) Supports the learning needs of all the students in the district; and (ii) gives specific attention to high-need schools and classrooms;
(c) Provide information to the local community and its electorate describing the school district’s policies concerning hiring, assigning, terminating, and evaluating staff, including the criteria for evaluating teachers and principals;
(d) Determine the amount of instructional hours necessary for any student to acquire a quality education in such district, in not less than an amount otherwise required in RCW 28A.150.220, or rules of the state board of education;
(((d))) (e) Determine the allocation of staff time, whether certificated or classified;
(((e))) (f) Establish final curriculum standards consistent with law and rules of the superintendent of public instruction, relevant to the particular needs of district students or the unusual characteristics of the district, and ensuring a quality education for each student in the district; and
(((f))) (g) Evaluate teaching materials, including text books, teaching aids, handouts, or other printed material, in public hearing upon complaint by parents, guardians or custodians of students who consider dissemination of such material to students objectionable.
Sec. 202. RCW 28A.405.100 and 1997 c 278 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1)(a) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the superintendent of public instruction shall establish and may amend from time to time minimum criteria for the evaluation of the professional performance capabilities and development of certificated classroom teachers and certificated support personnel. For classroom teachers the criteria shall be developed in the following categories: Instructional skill; classroom management, professional preparation and scholarship; effort toward improvement when needed; the handling of student discipline and attendant problems; and interest in teaching pupils and knowledge of subject matter.
(b) Every board of directors shall, in accordance with procedure provided in RCW 41.59.010 through 41.59.170, 41.59.910 and 41.59.920, establish evaluative criteria and procedures for all certificated classroom teachers and certificated support personnel. The evaluative criteria must contain as a minimum the criteria established by the superintendent of public instruction pursuant to this section and must be prepared within six months following adoption of the superintendent of public instruction’s minimum criteria. The district must certify to the superintendent of public instruction that evaluative criteria have been so prepared by the district.
(2)(a) Pursuant to the implementation schedule established in subsection (7)(b) of this section, every board of directors shall, in accordance with procedures provided in RCW 41.59.010 through 41.59.170, 41.59.910, and 41.59.920, establish revised evaluative criteria and a four-level rating system for all certificated classroom teachers.
(b) The minimum criteria shall include: (i) Centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement; (ii) demonstrating effective teaching practices; (iii) recognizing individual student learning needs and developing strategies to address those needs; (iv) providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum; (v) fostering and managing a safe, positive learning environment; (vi) using multiple student data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning; (vii) communicating and collaborating with parents and school community; and (viii) exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instructional practice and student learning.
(c) The four-level rating system used to evaluate the certificated classroom teacher must describe performance along a continuum that indicates the extent to which the criteria have been met or exceeded. When student growth data, if available and relevant to the teacher and subject matter, is referenced in the evaluation process it must be based on multiple measures that can include classroom-based, school-based, district-based, and state-based tools. As used in this subsection, “student growth” means the change in student achievement between two points in time.
(3)(a) Except as provided in subsection (((5))) (10) of this section, it shall be the responsibility of a principal or his or her designee to evaluate all certificated personnel in his or her school. During each school year all classroom teachers and certificated support personnel((, hereinafter referred to as “employees” in this section,)) shall be observed for the purposes of evaluation at least twice in the performance of their assigned duties. Total observation time for each employee for each school year shall be not less than sixty minutes. An employee in the third year of provisional status as defined in RCW 28A.405.220 shall be observed at least three times in the performance of his or her duties and the total observation time for the school year shall not be less than ninety minutes. Following each observation, or series of observations, the principal or other evaluator shall promptly document the results of the observation in writing, and shall provide the employee with a copy thereof within three days after such report is prepared. New employees shall be observed at least once for a total observation time of thirty minutes during the first ninety calendar days of their employment period.
(b) As used in this subsection and subsection (4) of this section, “employees” means classroom teachers and certificated support personnel.
(4)(a) At any time after October 15th, an employee whose work is not judged ((unsatisfactory)) satisfactory based on district evaluation criteria shall be notified in writing of the specific areas of deficiencies along with a reasonable program for improvement. During the period of probation, the employee may not be transferred from the supervision of the original evaluator. Improvement of performance or probable cause for nonrenewal must occur and be documented by the original evaluator before any consideration of a request for transfer or reassignment as contemplated by either the individual or the school district. A probationary period of sixty school days shall be established. The establishment of a probationary period does not adversely affect the contract status of an employee within the meaning of RCW 28A.405.300. The purpose of the probationary period is to give the employee opportunity to demonstrate improvements in his or her areas of deficiency. The establishment of the probationary period and the giving of the notice to the employee of deficiency shall be by the school district superintendent and need not be submitted to the board of directors for approval. During the probationary period the evaluator shall meet with the employee at least twice monthly to supervise and make a written evaluation of the progress, if any, made by the employee. The evaluator may authorize one additional certificated employee to evaluate the probationer and to aid the employee in improving his or her areas of deficiency; such additional certificated employee shall be immune from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed with regard to the good faith performance of such evaluation. The probationer may be removed from probation if he or she has demonstrated improvement to the satisfaction of the principal in those areas specifically detailed in his or her initial notice of deficiency and subsequently detailed in his or her improvement program. Lack of necessary improvement during the established probationary period, as specifically documented in writing with notification to the probationer and shall constitute grounds for a finding of probable cause under RCW 28A.405.300 or 28A.405.210.
(b) Immediately following the completion of a probationary period that does not produce performance changes detailed in the initial notice of deficiencies and improvement program, the employee may be removed from his or her assignment and placed into an alternative assignment for the remainder of the school year. This reassignment may not displace another employee nor may it adversely affect the probationary employee’s compensation or benefits for the remainder of the employee’s contract year. If such reassignment is not possible, the district may, at its option, place the employee on paid leave for the balance of the contract term.
(((2))) (5) Every board of directors shall establish evaluative criteria and procedures for all superintendents, principals, and other administrators. It shall be the responsibility of the district superintendent or his or her designee to evaluate all administrators. Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, such evaluation shall be based on the administrative position job description. Such criteria, when applicable, shall include at least the following categories: Knowledge of, experience in, and training in recognizing good professional performance, capabilities and development; school administration and management; school finance; professional preparation and scholarship; effort toward improvement when needed; interest in pupils, employees, patrons and subjects taught in school; leadership; and ability and performance of evaluation of school personnel.
(((3))) (6)(a) Pursuant to the implementation schedule established by subsection (7)(b) of this section, every board of directors shall establish revised evaluative criteria and a four-level rating system for principals.
(b) The minimum criteria shall include: (i) Creating a school culture that promotes the ongoing improvement of learning and teaching for students and staff; (ii) demonstrating commitment to closing the achievement gap; (iii) providing for school safety; (iv) leading the development, implementation, and evaluation of a data-driven plan for increasing student achievement, including the use of multiple student data elements; (v) assisting instructional staff with alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment with state and local district learning goals; (vi) monitoring, assisting, and evaluating effective instruction and assessment practices; (vii) managing both staff and fiscal resources to support student achievement and legal responsibilities; and (viii) partnering with the school community to promote student learning.
(c) The four-level rating system used to evaluate the principal must describe performance along a continuum that indicates the extent to which the criteria have been met or exceeded. When available, student growth data that is referenced in the evaluation process must be based on multiple measures that can include classroom-based, school-based, district-based, and state-based tools. As used in this subsection, “student growth” means the change in student achievement between two points in time.
(7)(a) The superintendent of public instruction, in collaboration with state associations representing teachers, principals, administrators, and parents, shall create models for implementing the evaluation system criteria, student growth tools, professional development programs, and evaluator training for certificated classroom teachers and principals. Human resources specialists, professional development experts, and assessment experts must also be consulted. Due to the diversity of teaching assignments and the many developmental levels of students, classroom teachers and principals must be prominently represented in this work. The models must be available for use in the 2011-12 school year.
(b) A new certificated classroom teacher evaluation system that implements the provisions of subsection (2) of this section and a new principal evaluation system that implements the provisions of subsection (6) of this section shall be phased-in beginning with the 2010-11 school year by districts identified in (c) of this subsection and implemented in all school districts beginning with the 2013-14 school year.
(c) A set of school districts shall be selected by the superintendent of public instruction to participate in a collaborative process resulting in the development and piloting of new certificated classroom teacher and principal evaluation systems during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. These school districts must be selected based on: (i) The agreement of the local associations representing classroom teachers and principals to collaborate with the district in this developmental work and (ii) the agreement to participate in the full range of development and implementation activities, including: Development of rubrics for the evaluation criteria and ratings in subsections (2) and (6) of this section; identification of or development of appropriate multiple measures of student growth in subsections (2) and (6) of this section; development of appropriate evaluation system forms; participation in professional development for principals and classroom teachers regarding the content of the new evaluation system; participation in evaluator training; and participation in activities to evaluate the effectiveness of the new systems and support programs. The school districts must submit to the office of the superintendent of public instruction data that is used in evaluations and all district-collected student achievement, aptitude, and growth data regardless of whether the data is used in evaluations. If the data is not available electronically, the district may submit it in nonelectronic form. The superintendent of public instruction must analyze the districts’ use of student data in evaluations, including examining the extent that student data is not used or is underutilized. The superintendent of public instruction must also consult with participating districts and stakeholders, recommend appropriate changes, and address statewide implementation issues. The superintendent of public instruction shall report evaluation system implementation status, evaluation data, and recommendations to appropriate committees of the legislature and governor by July 1, 2011, and at the conclusion of the development phase by July 1, 2012. In the July 1, 2011 report, the superintendent shall include recommendations for whether a single statewide evaluation model should be adopted, whether modified versions developed by school districts should be subject to state approval, and what the criteria would be for determining if a school district’s evaluation model meets or exceeds a statewide model. The report shall also identify challenges posed by requiring a state approval process.
(8) Each certificated ((employee)) classroom teacher and certificated support personnel shall have the opportunity for confidential conferences with his or her immediate supervisor on no less than two occasions in each school year. Such confidential conference shall have as its sole purpose the aiding of the administrator in his or her assessment of the employee’s professional performance.
(((4))) (9) The failure of any evaluator to evaluate or supervise or cause the evaluation or supervision of certificated ((employees)) classroom teachers and certificated support personnel or administrators in accordance with this section, as now or hereafter amended, when it is his or her specific assigned or delegated responsibility to do so, shall be sufficient cause for the nonrenewal of any such evaluator’s contract under RCW 28A.405.210, or the discharge of such evaluator under RCW 28A.405.300.
(((5))) (10) After ((an employee)) a certificated classroom teacher or certificated support personnel has four years of satisfactory evaluations under subsection (1) of this section or has received one of the two top ratings for four years under subsection (2) of this section, a school district may use a short form of evaluation, a locally bargained evaluation emphasizing professional growth, an evaluation under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, or any combination thereof. The short form of evaluation shall include either a thirty minute observation during the school year with a written summary or a final annual written evaluation based on the criteria in subsection (1) or (2) of this section and based on at least two observation periods during the school year totaling at least sixty minutes without a written summary of such observations being prepared. A locally bargained short-form evaluation emphasizing professional growth must provide that the professional growth activity conducted by the certificated classroom teacher be specifically linked to one or more of the certificated classroom teacher evaluation criteria. However, the evaluation process set forth in subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall be followed at least once every three years unless this time is extended by a local school district under the bargaining process set forth in chapter 41.59 RCW. The employee or evaluator may require that the evaluation process set forth in subsection (1) or (2) of this section be conducted in any given school year. No evaluation other than the evaluation authorized under subsection (1) or (2) of this section may be used as a basis for determining that an employee’s work is ((unsatisfactory)) not satisfactory under subsection (1) or (2) of this section or as probable cause for the nonrenewal of an employee’s contract under RCW 28A.405.210 unless an evaluation process developed under chapter 41.59 RCW determines otherwise.
Sec. 203. RCW 28A.405.220 and 2009 c 57 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of RCW 28A.405.210, every person employed by a school district in a teaching or other nonsupervisory certificated position shall be subject to nonrenewal of employment contract as provided in this section during the first ((two)) three years of employment by such district, unless: (a) The employee has previously completed at least two years of certificated employment in another school district in the state of Washington, in which case the employee shall be subject to nonrenewal of employment contract pursuant to this section during the first year of employment with the new district; or (b) the school district superintendent may make a determination to remove an employee from provisional status if the employee has received one of the top two evaluation ratings during the second year of employment by the district. Employees as defined in this section shall hereinafter be referred to as “provisional employees((“)).“
(2) In the event the superintendent of the school district determines that the employment contract of any provisional employee should not be renewed by the district for the next ensuing term such provisional employee shall be notified thereof in writing on or before May 15th preceding the commencement of such school term, or if the omnibus appropriations act has not passed the legislature by May 15th, then notification shall be no later than June 15th, which notification shall state the reason or reasons for such determination. Such notice shall be served upon the provisional employee personally, or by certified or registered mail, or by leaving a copy of the notice at the place of his or her usual abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then resident therein. The determination of the superintendent shall be subject to the evaluation requirements of RCW 28A.405.100.
(3) Every such provisional employee so notified, at his or her request made in writing and filed with the superintendent of the district within ten days after receiving such notice, shall be given the opportunity to meet informally with the superintendent for the purpose of requesting the superintendent to reconsider his or her decision. Such meeting shall be held no later than ten days following the receipt of such request, and the provisional employee shall be given written notice of the date, time and place of meeting at least three days prior thereto. At such meeting the provisional employee shall be given the opportunity to refute any facts upon which the superintendent’s determination was based and to make any argument in support of his or her request for reconsideration.
(4) Within ten days following the meeting with the provisional employee, the superintendent shall either reinstate the provisional employee or shall submit to the school district board of directors for consideration at its next regular meeting a written report recommending that the employment contract of the provisional employee be nonrenewed and stating the reason or reasons therefor. A copy of such report shall be delivered to the provisional employee at least three days prior to the scheduled meeting of the board of directors. In taking action upon the recommendation of the superintendent, the board of directors shall consider any written communication which the provisional employee may file with the secretary of the board at any time prior to that meeting.
(5) The board of directors shall notify the provisional employee in writing of its final decision within ten days following the meeting at which the superintendent’s recommendation was considered. The decision of the board of directors to nonrenew the contract of a provisional employee shall be final and not subject to appeal.
(6) This section applies to any person employed by a school district in a teaching or other nonsupervisory certificated position after June 25, 1976. This section provides the exclusive means for nonrenewing the employment contract of a provisional employee and no other provision of law shall be applicable thereto, including, without limitation, RCW 28A.405.210 and chapter 28A.645 RCW.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 204. A new section is added to chapter 28A.405 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Representatives of the office of the superintendent of public instruction and statewide associations representing administrators, principals, human resources specialists, and certificated classroom teachers shall analyze how the evaluation systems in RCW 28A.405.100 (2) and (6) affect issues related to a change in contract status.
(2) The analysis shall be conducted during each of the phase-in years of the certificated classroom teacher and principal evaluation systems. The analysis shall include: Procedures, timelines, probationary periods, appeal procedures, and other items related to the timely exercise of employment decisions and due process provisions for certificated classroom teachers and principals.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 205. A new section is added to chapter 28A.405 RCW to read as follows:
If funds are provided for professional development activities designed specifically for first through third-year teachers, the funds shall be allocated first to districts participating in the evaluation systems in RCW 28A.405.100 (2) and (6) before the required implementation date under that section.