In Massachusetts there is no single teacher evaluation tool. The evaluation tool for each school district has to be accepted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The teacher’s union in each district has to approve the use of the evaluation tool.
The Evaluation tool is built on student assessments that measure student growth over time. Teachers in Massachusetts submit their “smart goals” to their administrators. These goals are discipline specific and connected to the standards. However, many school districts are asking teachers to identify areas of alignment with the ELA common core literacy strand – but this is not a requirement in establishing their goals. Several districts are using an ipad app called “Teach Point” for evaluators to use in observations. The school system pays a site license fee and the tool can be adapted for that particular school district.
This document is from the Massachusetts DESE site that addresses teacher evaluation and includes the relationship of student assessment – growth over time.
In the area of student assessment, Massachusetts teachers have joined with Connecticut in the development of student assessment tasks. Twelve of our teachers went to CT for the first of 3 working sessions in the development of these tasks. There are additional Massachusetts teachers who were not able to go to CT but who will voluntarily pilot the music tasks already piloted in CT. This common assessment will be voluntarily used in Massachusetts – in addition to the multiple assessments each school district will use.
Sample evaluations can be found here.
From a teacher in Massachusetts:
We are starting a new system that is actually quite beneficial. It involves a software program called Teachpoint. The educator creates students goals and professional goals which are approved by an evaluator. Teachpoint keeps track of all data and all communication between the evaluator and the teacher. When both parties have accepted the goals, both parties sign off electronically. This method has brought more professional collaboration and communication surrounding evaluation than I have experienced in my 15 years of teaching music.