Educator Effectiveness Reports
Good News for Pittsburgh
As the teaching profession continues to evolve nationally, PPS chose to lead and shape its own path forward, collaboratively designing a teacher growth and evaluation system that truly reflects teaching in Pittsburgh. It is a system that recently recognized 23% of PPS teachers for their distinguished performance (see more information about 2013-14 results below).
On July 28, 2014, the District received a three-year approval for its locally developed system from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This approval is very important as we now focus on moving forward in using the system as it was intended: to help teachers improve and to ensure our students consistently experience the power of great teaching. Click here
to see the media release announcing the approval.
Pittsburgh Public Schools Teachers Are Using Information and Supports to Help Students Succeed
In June 2014, more than 1,700 Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers received their first end-of-year ratings based on a comprehensive view of their performance through Annual Rating Forms and Educator Effectiveness Reports. Each report provides teachers information about their practice, as well as their impact on student learning. These reports are part of an evaluation system built over the past five years by teachers, school leaders, the District, and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, and align to the requirements of new state law. Last August, we were the only District in Pennsylvania to provide teachers with a preview of their performance with no stakes attached.
This past school year, along with their preview reports, teachers had access to more than 15 types of professional learning and support opportunities available in the District. These resources included opportunities for formal training, courses and workshops, team-based learning, one-to-one coaching and support, and independent learning. Principals also received access to the preview reports for the teachers in their building for the first time, allowing for more individualized support.
This milestone marks a turning point in teacher evaluation in Pittsburgh Public Schools. In July 2012, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted Act 82, a comprehensive education reform bill that, among other changes, required that school districts evaluate teachers based 50 percent on observation and 50 percent on student performance beginning in the 2013-14 school year. Prior to 2013-14, teacher evaluations relied almost exclusively on principal observation.
Results Show Positive Change in 2013-14
The results from this year showed growth in teacher performance from the preview reports teachers received in August 2013. Under Act 82, teacher performance is identified as either Distinguished, Proficient, Needs Improvement or Failing each year. More teachers performed at the highest levels, and fewer performed at the lowest levels than last year:
- 22.5% of teachers performed at the Distinguished level (up from 15.3% last year)
- 74.4% of teachers performed at the Proficient level (up from 70.1% last year)
- 1.5% of teachers performed at the Needs Improvement level (down from 5.3% last year)
- 1.6% of teachers performed at the Failing level (down from 9.3% last year)
A positive shift in performance was not unexpected given that teachers and principals received a full preview of this information to inform professional learning and better understand the evaluation process, and that this is the first year that true evaluative stakes are attached.
Teachers whose performance is Distinguished, Proficient and Needs Improvement will be classified as satisfactory, and those who performed at the Failing level will be classified as unsatisfactory. In accordance with state law, teachers who performed at the Failing or Needs Improvement levels will be placed on a “performance improvement plan” to aid in improvement. Tenured teachers with two consecutive years of unsatisfactory ratings will be subject to dismissal.