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Teacher evaluation reform spreading across the nation

Oklahoma is not the first state to adopt a teacher evaluation system based in part on student test results, but is part of a growing trend across states and schools to move to the growth or value added evaluation models.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND Published: December 25, 2011

State schools Superintendent Janet Barresi said the Commission on Teacher and Leader Effectiveness will continue to evaluate value-added systems and how the state will implement one by the 2014-15 school year.

“It is so complex that it takes more time,” Barresi said. “We need to look at these and make sure that we are looking strictly at the teacher's influence on student learning and we've taken into consideration such issues as poverty.”

Alicia Currin-Moore is the executive director of teacher and leader effectiveness, a new office created to oversee Oklahoma's new evaluation system.

“This is an amazing exciting time for education in general and especially for Oklahoma to be on the forefront of creating an evaluation system that I think will accurately reflect all of the amazing teachers we have in our state,” Currin-Moore said.

High stakes

Some across the nation are urging caution however, particularly as state's tie teacher performance to test results with increasingly high stakes.

The new high stakes in Oklahoma requires tenured teachers to be dismissed who: score ineffective for two consecutive years, score needs improvement for three consecutive years, or fail to average at least a rating of effective over a five-year period.

Nontenured teachers will be fired if they: score ineffective for two consecutive years or fails to reach tenured status after four years.

The law also changed how teachers can earn tenure, known in Oklahoma as Career Teacher status, starting July 1.

The coveted status, which in theory makes it more difficult to be removed from your position, will be obtained only if a teacher scores superior for at least two of three consecutive years, or has averaged a rating of at least effective over a period of four consecutive years.


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