State to Montgomery: Student test scores must be used in teacher evaluations -- Gazette.Net



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Teachers in Montgomery County will be rated on their effectiveness next year in part by how well their students do on state test scores.

Maryland State Department of Education staff explained in more detail to Montgomery County Public Schools leaders in an email Friday why the state did not approve the county’s newest model for teacher evaluations the week prior.

Data on how well students did on Maryland State Assessments must be used to determine 20 percent of teachers’ effectiveness in their evaluations, the email stated.

Montgomery also needs to give “additional thought” as to how overall student growth will be used in the evaluations, the email stated.

Montgomery’s model states that student growth, including student projects, in-class tests and course work, and more, will be a “significant” part of the teacher’s evaluation. But the state said the system needs to show that it is compatible with the state’s model, in which student work determines 50 percent of a teacher’s effectiveness.

The eight other districts that had their evaluation systems rejected by the state also were told that their evaluations would have to have 20 percent based on state test scores, said Bill Reinhard, Maryland State Department of Education spokesman.

Montgomery and Frederick were the only two districts in Maryland not to sign on to the federal reform program Race to the Top, but they now will be required to have similar evaluation systems as the rest of the state. They will not receive financial backing to make the changes.

If the two districts had signed up for Race to the Top when they had a chance in 2010, Montgomery could have received $12 million and Frederick about $2 million.

The state went ahead with its Race to the Top application without those districts.

Coming on board after the Race to the Top decision, Superintendent Joshua P. Starr has continued to push back on making any change.

Schools spokesman Dana Tofig said in an email Tuesday that the school system is “continuing to review its options and will continue to communicate with the state.”

If Montgomery doesn’t comply, the state could withhold aid, Starr could be put in jail, or there could be other consequences, Doug Prouty, president of the Montgomery County Teachers Association, said previously.

Montgomery will need to resubmit its plans by May 15, according to the state’s email.

jbondeson@gazette.net