Vernier Science Education - March2023 - Atlanta23


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Evaluation and Assessment

Teacher Evaluation

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Anne Bryant Anne Bryant 2855 Points

I have to create a SMART goal for student achievement this year. I'm stuck on the "measureable" part. My supervisor said that you can't use percentages on a non-normed assessment. If I used a pre-assessment to find out my student's prior knowledge of "ecology", and then wanted to give them the same test after the lessons, labs, etc., how could I use that data for the goal?

Andrew Hegdahl Andrew Hegdahl 945 Points

Could you choose a specific standard to measure student achievement using rubrics? This year I started to grade using standards-based assessment. Essentially what I did was picked a science standard. Then I broke the standard down into smaller steps; the things that students would need to do, know, or show to prove that they had met the standard. As we worked with the standard I would do a series of formative assessments using rubrics as a way to provide feedback. By doing this you can track each students progress towards meeting a specific standard. Let me know if this makes sense or not. I have attached a set of rubrics for all of science and examples of how the scientific method was broken down into smaller, measurable pieces. You may have to do some reformatting I didn't us MS WORD when I uploaded the documents. Andy

Rebecca Falin Rebecca Falin 71530 Points

We must do the same thing for our teacher evaluations. I use a pre-test and post-test to show learning, but use one of the state-supported Acuity tests selected by standards. The first day of the unit I give them the pre-test and then I retest them at the end of the unit. I think rubrics or a skills checklist could work the same way. Does your administrator have any recomendations for assessments that would be appropriate?

Chris Leverington Chris Leverington 4035 Points

Do you teach in AZ? We are doing SMART goals this year as well, because of Arizona's new teacher evaluation law. 33% of our teacher evaluation is based on student improvement, but really it boils down to our SMART goal. The goal I made was that 80% of my students will pass the first semester final. We did not give pretests, so we questioned the validity of how this would test student improvement, but they have 3 years to fully implement the plan. So we'll see I guess.

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

Hi Anne, I'm specifically familiar with SMART, but I also use pre and post assessments to measure student learning. Instead of using tests, I try to do different activities (so I trick the kids into learning when they think they are having fun... :-) ). Page Keeley has some fantastic formative assessments that work perfectly evaluating prior knowledge and measuring growth. You can also use a hands on activity at the beginning of the unit and repeat the same activity at the end of unit. You can evaluate your students performance using a rubric and also through student reflections in their journals. I also like the idea of standards-based grading. Although this is s fairly new grading method, I think it's a fantastic way to specific evaluate student learning and achievement. Maureen

Rebecca Falin Rebecca Falin 71530 Points

I too am impressed with the idea of standards-based grading. I attended a webinar on it and really like the idea. You are assessing students directly on mastery of the standards they are expected to understand. I've had problems trying to fit that type of grading into the grading structure and policies we have at our school however.

Sandy Gady Sandy Gady 43175 Points

We have used SMART goals for years in my district as well. The hard part is determining what the measureable goal will be. Within my classroom I use Page Keely’s “Uncovering …” series to find out what my students know from the beginning and what they know at the end and compare how they grew. Unfortunately, that is not a number which is what my administrator looks for. Unfortunately we tend to use our state assessments to determine student growth, but the numbers are totally based on the student score versus what the cut score is for the state. There is no allowance for how much a student grew over time, it’s solely based on mastery against standards. Bottom line, my 7th or 8th grade students have to meet the standards set by the state, which is what I as a taxpayer would expect. As a teacher, it breaks my heart because so many of my students come to me with no Science experience from elementary school. There is a huge debate in my district and state on how we can be held accountable for measureable student growth when a student is not at school, has not ever been exposed to the subject because it wasn’t taught, or any other number of variables. I am willing to take the responsibility to be accountable for students I have a chance to teach, but not those that I have no control over. This gets even murkier when the amount of pay is based on the success of your students.

Cris DeWolf Cris DeWolf 11965 Points

We just were at a meeting going over the new teacher evaluation rubric for our school. Currently, the student growth component is not a very large percentage of the overall teacher rating (the state would like to see it eventually be as high as 51% of your score). I am wondering how we are going to show student growth over 2 trimesters when many students enter mid-year, and many others switch teachers. I guess if it is standards based it should not matter. I do know that my colleague currently is not on pace to complete all instruction for the first trimester though. I may need to play catch up with some kids.....

Susanne Hokkanen Susanne Hokkanen 79520 Points

I am confused by the new "teacher evaluations" based upon student progress discussions. How are administrators going to assess teachers based upon student progress in classes such as art or music? Who sets the goals for student performance? Teachers, students, administrators, parents? Looking for insight....

Mary Ann Ng Mary Ann Ng 3385 Points

Hi Susanne! At our school student growth is measured based on California's standardized test. I'm not the greatest at quantitative methods, but one of my colleagues commented somewhere along the lines that it is based on a range. Unfortunately, due to that, there will always be teachers at the bottom of the range. I'm making it my next project to learn how this is calculated. The other non-tested teachers ( art. foreign languages etc) rely on school-wide test scores ( mainly ELA) for their student growth percentiles (SGP).

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