D.C. Won't Use Student Test Scores for Teacher Evaluations Next Year

June 19, 2014

The District of Columbia district won't use its "value added" test-score-based algorithm for measuring teacher effectiveness for the 2014-15 school year, in an effort to makes sure its transition to new, common-core-aligned tests goes smoothly, the district announced today.

About 14 percent of teachers work in the grades in which such data are generated—in English/language arts from grades 4-10 and in math from grades 4-8. They count for 35 percent of those teachers' overall evaluation rating, with the bulk coming from classroom observations, nonstandardized measures of student achievement, and a gauge of their collaboration with colleagues, parental engagement, and professionalism. Under the change, the classroom observations will take the place of the value-added scores.

The pause will last for only one year as D.C. transitions to the exams created by the federally funded Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

"We want those teachers to know up front that those challenges are not going to impact their evaluations," D.C. Chancellor Kaya Henderson said in a call with reporters. "We are still committed to using value-added, which is why this is just a one-year change."

Teachers will still receive the value-added data informally, but it won't play into their ratings. The change will not affect school ratings, officials said.

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