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Programs > Teacher and Principal Evaluation > FAQ
FAQs - Calculating Effectiveness


Calculating Effectiveness FAQs


Will MSDE provide example scoring models for both the principal and teacher evaluations?

Will scores be collected by the state?

How will MSDE address the timing of MSA scores? Will MSA data from the prior year be used to evaluate teachers this year?

What student data system has MSDE selected and how will that selection impact the district data systems?

How will student learning objectives (SLOs) affect the overall evaluation of teachers and principals?

With Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), what data sources may be used to gather baseline data on students for which teachers are responsible?

Regarding Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), what is an appropriate growth target?

How would a teacher know if a Student Learning Objective (SLO) growth target is rigorous enough?

At the elementary/middle school level, does the percentage of Math and English/Language Arts (ELA) have to be separated as shown in box 1 or 2 on the student growth model or could it be included in the School Progress Index (SPI)?

What must be included in the School Progress Index (SPI) at each level – elementary, middle, high?


Q: Will MSDE provide example scoring models for both the principal and teacher evaluations?

A: Yes, MSDE will provide samples that comply with the state default model. Examples have been developed within the Educator Effectiveness System project and will be shared at regional meetings and at the November 2012 Maryland Assessment Group conference.

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Q: Will scores be collected by the state?

A: At present, MSDE intends only to require the final summary effectiveness rating (highly effective, effective, or ineffective).

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Q: How will MSDE address the timing of MSA scores? Will MSA data from the prior year be used to evaluate teachers this year?

A: MSA data from the prior year will be used to evaluate teachers this year. Because scores for the current year are not available and processed until mid-July, they are not available sufficiently early to use in the current year.

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Q: What student data system has MSDE selected and how will that selection impact the district data systems?

A: MSDE is not intending to acquire a student data system. The agency has researched systems capable of generating teacher and principal evaluation ratings, but has not yet determined whether to procure a commercial system, to build a system, or to support local systems' development efforts. This decision is not likely before September 2012. If a commercial system is purchased, it might have additional student data capabilities, but that is not currently part of the requirements. For any package or system chosen, districts will be able to choose whether they want to use it.

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Q: How will student learning objectives (SLOs) affect the overall evaluation of teachers and principals?

A: In the state model, SLOs represent 20 to 35% of the overall evaluation depending on the person's particular assignment. See the State Teacher Evaluation Model. If not using the state model, districts can choose whatever portion and impact they would like.

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Q: With Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), what data sources may be used to gather baseline data on students for which teachers are responsible?

A: MSDE will provide state assessment data, cohort graduation and dropout rates, and School Progress Index scores to all school systems.

School systems vary in their use of locally-developed formative or benchmark tests or other professionally-developed measures such as national norm-referenced tests (e.g., Stanford, TerraNova, Dibbles). Systems also vary in their use of reporting tools (e.g., Performance Matters, SchoolNet, AssessTrax, PowerSchool). For specifics for your county, please ask your county's Local Accountability Coordinator or head of Student Assessment. SLOs can be built around any available data, but MSDE recommends that the data be reliable and assessments be credible and validated.

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Q: Regarding Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), what is an appropriate growth target?

A: This will be decided locally between the writer of the SLO and their evaluator as part of the SLO setting process.

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Q: How would a teacher know if a Student Learning Objective (SLO) growth target is rigorous enough?

A: This will be decided locally between the writer of the SLO and their evaluator as part of the SLO setting process, informed by local performance data.

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Q: At the elementary/middle school level, does the percentage of Math and English/Language Arts (ELA) have to be separated as shown in box 1 or 2 on the student growth model or could it be included in the School Progress Index (SPI)?

A: Pursuant to the USDE-approved ESEA waiver, MSA scores are part of the School Progress Index that applies to all schools and systems.

Also, in the state model for educator effectiveness evaluation, MSA scores represent specific contributions: 10% per subject for teachers responsible for both math and ELA; 20% for teachers responsible for only one of these subjects.

In the state model, these are separate elements which make a discrete contribution to the overall effectiveness score. See the State Teacher Evaluation Model.

If not using the state model, districts can choose different percentages for any of these components, including combining them or leaving them out altogether. Data provided by MSDE will separate the calculations for MSA reading, MSA math, and the SPI.

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Q: What must be included in the School Progress Index (SPI) at each level – elementary, middle, high?

A: The School Progress Index is calculated by MSDE using the same algorithm for all systems. Please see page 75 in the guide for specifics. MSDE will provide the values to districts and schools.

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Contact Information
David Volrath
Teacher/Principal Evaluation
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Email:  dvolrath@msde.state.md.us
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