Executive Summary

Glossary of Key Terms

Created in conjunction with Hope Street Group Teacher Fellows, the Playbook glossary contains clear and simple explanations to terms technical terms used in the Playbook like non-tested grades and subjects and value added measurement. 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



Delaware Performance Appraisal System II (DPAS II)

  • Delaware’s statewide evaluation system for teachers, specialists, and administrators.


Effective Teaching Practices

  • Teaching practices that lead, in general, to greater student learning



Effective Teacher

  • A teacher whose students achieve acceptable rates (e.g., at least one grade level in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in this notice).
  • States, LEAs, or schools must include multiple measures, provided that teacher effectiveness is evaluated, in significant part, by student growth (as defined in this notice). Supplemental measures may include, for example, multiple observation-based assessments of teacher performance.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

  • First enacted in 1965 and most recently reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind Act, the ESEA is the primary federal law that impacts K-12 public education. The Act emphasizes systematic, comprehensive educational reform through improving academic accountability, as well as curriculum, resources, and teacher quality. 

Highly Effective Teacher

  • A teacher whose students achieve acceptable rates (e.g., at least one grade level in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in this notice). States, LEAs, or schools must include multiple measures, provided that teacher effectiveness is evaluated, in significant part, by student growth (as defined in this notice). Supplemental measures may include, for example, multiple observation-based assessments of teacher performance.


Interim assessments

  • Interim assessments are “assessments that: 1) evaluate students’ knowledge and skills relative to a specific set of academic goals, typically within a limited time frame, and, 2) are designed to inform decisions at both the classroom and beyond the classroom level, such as the school or district level.
  • States, like Delaware, are also considering Interim assessments as a method of measuring student growth in non-tested grades and subjects.
  • The DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are well known interim assessments.


Non-Tested Grades and Subjects

  • Grades and subjects that are not required to be assessed under ESEA.
  • Usually, these grades and subjects are not the subjects of math and reading in grades 3–10 and includes subjects like fine arts, social studies, physical education, and more.  Non-tested grades and subjects generally cover the majority of teachers and subjects. 

Norm-referenced tests (NRTs)

  • A NRT compares a person's score against the scores of a group of people who have already taken the same exam, called the "norming group." 
  • The Stanford 10 and Terra-Nova are well know NRTs
  • States, like Delaware, are considering NRTs as a method of measuring student growth in non-tested grades and subjects.



Pre-Test

  • Assessment administered at the beginning of a school year or the end of the prior school year which is part of the same system as a post test


Post-Test

  • Assessment administered at the end of a school year which is part of the same system as a post test

 

Race to the Top

  • A $4.35 billion United States Department of Education competition created to spur innovation and reforms in state and local district K-12 education.


Student Learning (or “Student Outcomes,” “Student Achievement”) 

  • Outcome in which students achieve mastery of content standards
  • May be measured through standardized exams, formal non-exam-based demonstrations of learning (e.g., a portfolio of student work collected at the end of the year), or other means

 

Student Learning Objectives

  • Student learning objectives are data-based targets of student growth that: (1) teachers set at the start of the semester or school year and (2) strive to achieve by the end of the semester or school year.
  • Principals approve these targets after teachers thoroughly review available student baseline data in consultation with colleagues and program support staff.


Student Achievement

  • For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of student learning and performance such as student scores on pre-tests and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
  • For tested grades and subjects: (1) a student's score on the State's assessments under the ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.



Student Growth

  • Increases in student achievement over a period of time.
  • Growth may be measured by a variety of approaches, but under Race to the Top regulations any approach used must be statistically rigorous and based on student achievement (as defined above) data, and may also include other measures of student learning in order to increase the construct validity and generalizability of the information.

 

 
  • A comprehensive system for evaluating teachers outlined in the TAP Teaching Skills, Knowledge and Responsibilities Performance Standards, otherwise known as the TAP Instructional Rubric. The TAP rubric is a set of clearly defined standards that promote best practices and apply to all content areas. Teachers are well-prepared for their observations during thorough training on the TAP rubric and through TAP's continuous professional growth "cluster group" meetings. 
 
 
The Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee (TEAC)
  • The Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee (TEAC) was created by the First to the Top Act to recommend guidelines and criteria for the new evaluation system.  Committee members included teachers, principals, legislators, business leaders and state education officials. 
 

The Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM)

  • The Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM), adapted from the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) evaluation model. TEAM provides a comprehensive system for evaluating teachers with both quantitative and qualitative components.


Teacher Effectiveness

  • The ability of teachers to successfully encourage student learning
  • Tied conceptually to “outputs;” different from phrases like "highly qualified teacher" - which is linked to “inputs” such as a bachelor’s degree—and “teacher quality,” which may be ambiguous


Teacher Effectiveness Measures (Or "Multiple Measures")

  • Means of determining teacher effectiveness using multiple inputs measures
  • Examples of possible inputs include VAM
  • Research efforts such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Measures of Effective Teaching” (MET) project are determining correlates to student learning in order to develop additional measures
  • May be used for applications such as career ladder options, pay, professional development, and other applications

Teacher Evaluation

  • Collecting and using information to critique teacher performance
  • Two evaluation types exist: formative and summative. Formative evaluation is a tool used to improve instruction. Summative evaluation is a tool used to make personnel decisions

Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010

  • Act  which paved the way for Tennessee's teacher evaluation reforms which was passed by the members of the 106th Tennessee General Assembly in a special session in January 2010.

 


Value-Added Model (VAM)

  • A statistical model that primarily uses student achievement on assessments (e.g., standardized state exams) to measure teacher effectiveness
  • Primarily only available for teachers in tested subjects (core subjects); scope may be expand as new assessments become available
  • Limited in its ability to use non-quantitative measures of student learning
  • The Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) is Tennessee’s longstanding model used for Tennessee’s Value Added Assessment

The Federal Government and Teacher Evaluation

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