OLR Bill Analysis

SB 380

AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXCLUSION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE RESULTS ON THE MASTERY EXAMINATION FROM TEACHER EVALUATIONS.

SUMMARY:

This bill prohibits teacher evaluations conducted for the 2016-17 school year and each subsequent year from using Connecticut student mastery exam data as part of the student academic growth indicators required in all teacher evaluations (see BACKGROUND). The bill allows standardized test results other than from the mastery exam to be used in teacher evaluation.

Furthermore, the bill requires (1) the State Board of Education (SBE), in consultation with the Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee (PEAC), to revise the teacher evaluation and support guidelines to reflect the change by August 1, 2016 and adopt the revised guidelines by August 15, 2016 and (2) local and regional boards to adopt new teacher evaluation and support programs that reflect the change by September 1, 2016 (see BACKGROUND). Under current state law and the bill, the SBE adopts evaluation guidelines and local or regional boards must then adopt teacher evaluation plans that conform to these guidelines.

When revising the guidelines, the bill also permits SBE and PEAC to reconsider how much weight to give to the student growth indicators and to incorporate any weighting changes. By law, unchanged by the bill, teacher evaluations programs apply to all certified personnel in a school district, which includes all teachers and administrators not including the superintendent.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

INDICATORS OF STUDENT GROWTH

By law, SBE's evaluation guidelines must include, among other things, multiple indicators of student academic growth and development. The guidelines call for 45% of a teacher's evaluation to be based on student growth, using the growth indicators to measure progress toward individual teacher goals. Up to half of the growth indicators (22.5% of the overall evaluation) may be based on standardized test scores including the results of the Connecticut mastery tests. The requirement to use such standardized test scores has been delayed for two years (currently it would start with the 2016-17 school year) in part because of the new Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) that was fully implemented in the 2014-15 school year.

The current SBE guidelines allow a state test to be used for the student growth indicators as long as it uses a comparison of test data over time and not a single test. Other types of standardized tests are also permitted, such as Advanced Placement, SATs, Developmental Reading Assessments, and standardized vocational exams.

Under the bill, standardized tests other than the Connecticut mastery tests would be allowed.

For the grades (e.g., first, second, ninth, and twelfth) or subjects (e.g., science in most grades and art, social studies, languages, and physical education in all grades) that do not have applicable mastery tests, the bill has no effect as existing standards call for non-standardized methods of measuring student academic growth (although they permit a standardized test to be used if one can be agreed to by the teacher and the teacher's evaluator).

BACKGROUND

Required Subjects and Grades for Mastery Exams

Table 1 shows the subjects, grades, and exams required for Connecticut public school mastery exams.

Table 1. State Law: Required Subjects and Grades for Mastery Exams

Subject

State Law (matches federal law)

Exam

Math

Grades three to eight, inclusive

SBAC

Math, reading, and writing

Grades three to eight, inclusive

SBAC

Science

Grades five, eight, and 10

CT Mastery Test for grades five and eight; CAP Test for grade 10

Math, reading, and writing

Grade 11

SAT

PEAC

The Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) was established in 2010 to help SBE develop and implement teacher evaluation program guidelines and a supporting data system. Its members are:

1. the education and higher education commissioners, or their designees;

2. representatives of the associations of boards of education, school superintendents, other school administrators, and teachers; and

3. an unspecified number of appropriate people selected by the education commissioner, who must include teachers and experts in performance evaluation processes and procedures.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

23

Nay

10

(03/18/2016)