Teacher Effectiveness: A short update for North Carolina

Just a couple of weeks ago I received an Educator Effectiveness Update memo provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). Beginning this year, NCDPI will make available Measures of Student Learning (MSL) for many of the State’s non-tested grades and subjects. North Carolina school districts and charter schools participating in Race to the Top (RttT) must administer these common exams to gather data on the impact of teachers on student learning. Data gathered through the administration of the MSL will inform the new sixth standard (student growth – not overall effectiveness) rating for teachers in those grades and subjects. The memo included a timeline for implementation in the Arts and from what I can tell, we will spend this school year developing rubrics and other processes for measuring growth. The first year that NCDPI will require growth information for Arts teachers is 2013-2014.

I would encourage you to join NAfME Music Program Leaders as we plow through many of the important issues currently facing us. Through my involvement with this group, I felt confident in asking NCDPI for additional details regarding educator effectiveness policies. I questioned whether or not NC would use school-wide data (e.g. reading and math scores) to determine teacher effectiveness in the Arts. Based on an answer from our state RttT Coordinator, I learned that the NC effectiveness model requires a teacher to have three years of his or her specific content data before an overall status of effective, highly effective, or in need of improvement is assigned. That means for NC Arts teachers, 2013-2014 is the first of a three-year look at data used to determine status and no teacher would receive an overall effectiveness statue until 2015-2016 at the earliest.

I’m sure many of you are experiencing similar issues and concerns across the nation. NAfME Music Program Leaders are here to help. Feel free to share your comments and let us know what is happening in your state.

Mark Propst, Chair
National Council of Music Program Leaders