Summary of Comments Received; DOE Response to ... - Maine.gov

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					                              Maine Department of Education
         Rule Chapter 180: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth Systems
                                 Comments and Responses

Department of Education Rule Chapter 180 is a new rule that sets forth procedures and
standards for implementation of Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PE/PG)
systems in all school administrative units. PE/PG systems are required pursuant to legislation
enacted in 2012 and codified in Maine law at Title 20-A, Chapter 508.

Notice of the proposed rule was provided on December 6, 2012. A public hearing scheduled for
December 27th was cancelled when all state offices were closed by a snowstorm. The public
hearing was rescheduled and held on January 28, 2013. The written comment period ended on
February 7th, 2013. The following is a summary of comments received at the public hearing or
by written comment, organized by the section of the rule affected by the comment.


LIST OF COMMENTERS (and commenter number)

1. Cindy Dean, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Education, University of Maine, Augusta,
Representing the Maine Council for English Language Arts
2. Jon Doty, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, RSU #34
3. Susan Grondin, Grade 7 Literacy Teacher, Lewiston Middle School
4. Linda Taylor, Teacher, 20+ years
5. Randee Allen, Teacher, 18 years, National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT)
6. Paul Stearns, Superintendent, SAD #4
7. Susan Kistenmacher, Farmingdale
8. Carolyn Vose, Grade 8 Physical Sciences Teacher, NBCT, Bangor Schools
9. Janice Rice, Special Education Teacher, Calais High School
10. John Fitzgerald, Math Teacher, CamdenHills Regional HS, Educator for 35 years
11. Cyndy Fish, Special Education Teacher, Abraham Lincoln School, Bangor
12. Richard Lyons, Superintendent, MSAD #22
13. Douglas Hodum, Farmington, Veteran Teacher
14. Fiona Hopper, Educator
15. Ralph Newell, Physics Teacher, South Portland HS, 47th year of teaching
16. Crystal Ward, Retired Teacher
17. Cathy Newell, Greenwood, Executive Director, Maine Adult Education Association
18. Ted Taylor, Teacher 10+ years
19. Laurie Wood, Saco Middle School Principal, Former Teacher
20. Stefani Lund, Rockland, Educator, RSU 13
21. Silvia Moore-Young, Turner, Music Teacher,
22. Alison Hoff, English teacher, Lawrence High School
23. Virginia L. Mott, Lakeville, President, Maine Parent-Teacher Association
24. Kate Sheldon, Kittery Teacher
25. Dick Durost, Executive Director, Maine Principals’ Association
26. Sandra MacArthur, Deputy Executive Director, Maine School Management Association, on
behalf of the Maine School Boards Association and the Maine School Superintendents
Association
27. Brian Doore

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                         Page 1
28. Jon Doty, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, RSU 34
29. Jill Watson, Special Education Teacher, Maranacook
30. Peter Alexander, Executive Director, Maine Alliance for Arts Education
31. See #50
32. Kevin O’Shaughnessy, Social Studies Teacher, Wells High School
33. Crystal Goodrich, Scarborough, Occupational Therapist
34. Patricia Bernier, Speech-language Pathologist, 24+ years
35. Leola Roberts, Hall-Dale Teacher
36. Les Todd, Waterboro Elementary School, Music Teacher
37. Deb Newman, Teacher
38. Bruce MacDonald, Former Teacher and Principal, Current Maine State Representative and
House Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs
39. Joyce Blakney, Math Teacher
40. Nancy Rhodes, 4th to 6th grade Teacher
41. Lynn Mercier, Wells-Ogunquit CSD, Jr High, Librarian
42. Caroline Harris, Great Salt Bay School
43. Patricia Pratt, Speech Therapist, AOS 93
44. Patricia Morris, Maranacook High School, Business Teacher
45. Grace Leavitt, Teacher, Greely High School
46. Laura Devin, Teacher
47. John Soifer, Special Education Teacher, Skowhegan Area High School
48. Mary Paine, Teacher, Messalonskee High School
49. Laura Stevens, Ph.D., Grade 2 Teacher
50. Lois Kilby-Chesley, Teacher, RSU #5, NBCT; President of the Maine Education Association
51. Melissa Elie, Leeds, Educator
52. Audrey Noether, Guilford, Educator
53. Margot Simonds, York, Teacher 20+ years
54. Steve Knight, Winthrop, Educator
55. Mary Beth Clason, North Waterboro, Educator
56. Candy Allen, Cumberland, Educator
57. Claire Pelletier, Waterville, Educator
58. Jessica Archer, Orono, Educator
59. Joan Casey, Pittsfield, School Psychologist
60. Toby Haber, Auburn, Educator
61. Linda Manning, Orono, Educator, Special Education
62. Deborah Betit, Brunswick, Educator
63. Charles Limoggio, Eliot, Culinary Arts Teacher
64. Christina Jovanovich, Wells, Educator
65. Lisa Ravelo, Sidney, Educator
66. Lucy Saunders-Kish, Norway, Educator
67. Seth Mitchell, Monmouth, Educator
68. Sue Michalka, Mapleton, Educator
69. Michelle Brown, Freeport, Educator
70. Renee Foreman, Buxton, Educator
71. Marian Whitehouse, Kennebunk, Educator
72. Dean Hall, Lisbon Falls, Educator
73. Susan Palmer, Windham, Educator
74. David Palmer, Windham, Educator

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                     Page 2
75. Elizabeth Connell, Gray, Physical Education Teacher
76. Carol Pelletier, Rockland, Educator
77. Courtney Culley, Georgetown, Educator
78. A Chadbourne, Pittston, Educator
79. Caroline Foster, Portland, Educator
80. Caroline Harris, Newcastle, Educator
81. Linda Livak, South Paris, Educator
82. Margo LaPlante, Milford, Educator
83. Erika Rusley, Cape Elizabeth, Educator
84. Linda Doughty, Bath, Educator
85. Michelle Cyr, Gorham, Educator
86. Tara Grady-Taylor, North Waterboro, Educator
87. Stephanie Babin, Saco, Educator
88. Chris LeSiege, Cumberland, Educator
89. Amy Cousins, Gorham, Educator
90. Dave Kilborn, Gorham, Educator, 18 years
91. Heather Kilborn, Gorham, Educator
92. Aaron Ouellet, Gorham, Educator
93. Kathleen Marquis, Gorham, Educator
94. Susan Moses, Standish, Educator
95. Gregory Landry, Portland, Educator
96. Valerie Albertini, Charleston, Educator
97. Jim Fotter, Lewiston, Educator
98. Suzi Ring, Bath, Educator
99. Steven Knowles, Alexander, Teacher
100. Jo Wade, Orono, Educator
101. Mary Beth DiMarco, Houlton, Educator
102. Brian Sullivan, Naples, Physical Education Teacher
103. Frank Blauvelt, Otisfield, Retired Educator
104. Leslie Johnson-Wright, Orono, Special Education Educator
105. Laura Avila, Lincolnville, Educator
106. Sue Howe, LCPC, Lewiston, Mental Health Clinician, Day Treatment Program in a Public
School
107. Narda Plant, Fort Fairfield, Educator
108. Sarah Bean, Madrid TWP, Educator for 25+ years
109. Emily Liebling, Portland, Educator
110. Tom Major, Portland
111. Herb Taggart, Levant, Teacher
112. Shannon Houlette, South, Portland, Educator
113. Deborah Wintle, Hollis, Educator
114. Deborah Jellison, Bangor, Educator
115. Michele Archambault, Holden, Educator
116. Debora Page, Milo, Educator
117. Barbara Hammond, Rumford, Educator
118. Carolee Mountcastle, Orono, Educator
119. Elizabeth Barker, Portland
120. Margaret Marshall, Corinth, Retired Educator
121. Frances Savage, Caribou, 3rd Grade Teacher, 28 years Educator

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                     Page 3
122.   Holly Forsyth, Portland, Educator
123.   Nancy Carroll, Gorham, Special educator
124.   Claire Ramsbotham, Saco, Educator
125.   Mark Pendarvis, Cape Elizabeth, Educator
126.   Susan Hardison, Durham, Educator
127.   Walter Smith, Saco
128.   Sue Smith, Saco, Educator for 38+ years
129.   Darren West, Easton, Educator
130.   Sharon Thoner, Little Deer Isle, Educator
131.   Robin Thurston, Washburn, Educator
132.   Valerie Paradise, Scarborough, High School Math Teacher , 12 years
133.   Lisa Savage, Solon, Literacy Coach
134.   Judith Morrell, Gorham, Special Education Teacher
135.   Nancy O’Rourke, Cumberland, Educator for 25 years
136.   Denise Simoneau, Bangor, Educator
137.   Molly Russell, North Yarmouth, Educator
138.   Julie Gomez, Lewiston, Educator, 25th year
139.   Amy O’Brien-Brown, Harpswell, Elementary-level Educator for 24 years
140.   Johna King, Yarmouth, Educator
141.   Margaret (Peggy) Brown, Harpswell, Teacher 20+ years, NBCT
142.   Marta Robbins, Bangor, Educator
143.   Jacqueline Durant-Harthorne, Scarborough, Teacher
144.   Dauna Binder, Portland, Recently Retired Elementary Educator
145.   Robin Colby, Waterville
146.   Robert McCully, Portland, Educator
147.   Louine Gagnon, Woolwich, Teacher
148.   MaryJane Ham, Cape Elizabeth, Educator
149.   Donna Brown, Rangeley, Educator
150.   Candace Dunham, Strong, Educator
151.   Jason Lambert, Portland, Educator
152.   Rebecca Koelker, Yarmouth, Classroom Teacher, Greely Middle School, 8 years
153.   Marguerite Lawler-Rohner, Cape Elizabeth, Educator, 2004 Teacher of the Year
154.   Suzanne Janelle, Saco, Middle School Teacher
155.   Mark Ashe, Scarborough, Social Studies Department, Cape Elizabeth High School
156.   Donald Blodgett, Scarborough, Teacher, 35 years
157.   Danielle Bogardus, Saco, Educator
158.   Rose Mahoney, Portland
159.   David Cowie, Portland, 6th Grade Teacher, 22 years teaching
160.   Kimberley Mathieu, Gorham, Educator
161.   Laurie Sivonen, Dayton, Former Teacher, current Social Worker in elementary school
162.   Carl Beckett, Mechanic Falls, Retired Teacher
163.   Linda Townsend, Buxton, Educator
164.   Allison Mains, Gorham, Educator
165.   Martha LaViolet, Westbrook, Educator
166.   Debra Fenton, Portland, Educator
167.   Megan Holden, Windham
168.   Dennis Gallagher, Cape Elizabeth, Educator for 25+ years
169.   Joseph Charnley, Arundel, Educator, King Middle School, 25 years in Education

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                          Page 4
170.   Victoria Bove, Gorham, Visual Arts Teacher, Middle School
171.   Jackie Toy, Standish, Educator
172.   Roger Berube, Lisbon, Educator, Lewiston High School, Former Biochemist
173.   Colleen Tims, Cornish, Educator
174.   Cristy Beaupre, Saco, Educator
175.   Donna Testa, Saco, Educator
176.   Richard Rothlisberger, Falmouth, Educator
177.   Heather Putnam, Saco, Educator


COMMENTS

                                         RULE SECTION 2:
                                          DEFINITIONS

Section 2(13). Definition of “teacher”

1. COMMENT: Commenter #17 asks whether adult education instructors are included in the
definition of teacher.

RESPONSE: Although adult education programs and instructors are important elements in the
State’s educational system, the Department does not believe that the Legislature intended to
require those instructors to be included in PE/PG systems.

The rule is amended in section 2(13) to clarify that adult education instructors are not included in
the definition of “teacher” for purposes of this rule.


2. COMMENT: Commenters #45 and 47 say that the definition of “teacher” is too narrow.
Many people other than classroom teachers impact student learning. The Maine Educator
Effectiveness Council (MEEC) was working with a broader definition that included educational
specialists such as guidance counselors, literacy coaches and others. Commenters #34 and 43
ask how evaluations will be done for non-classroom teachers, educational specialists and others
who are not included in the definition of “teacher.”

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that many staff in a school influence student outcomes and
should be evaluated and supported. There is nothing in the rule that prevents schools from
using the PE/PG system to evaluate other staff. However, the Department believes that, at this
time, adding non-classroom teachers makes system development more complex and decided
not to require the PE/PG system to cover those staff members in the rule.

No change to the proposed rule.


                                   RULE SECTION 3:
                 REQUIREMENT TO DEVELOP, PILOT AND IMPLEMENT SYSTEMS



Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                           Page 5
3. COMMENT: Commenters #7, 25, 47, 48 express concern that the timeline required for
developing, piloting and implementing PE/PG systems is too short. Commenter #48 suggests
that the timeline be revised to require full implementation in 2016-17, not 2015-16.
Commenter #25 notes that the Maine Schools for Excellence schools, funded by a federal TIF
grant, are piloting their systems for two years, not one year as provided in Maine law and rule.
He also notes that the state standardized assessment is shifting away from NECAP and into
Smarter Balanced assessments in 2014-15, which adds another challenging element to
implementation of the PE/PG systems. Districts should perform a comprehensive review of
pilots before full implementation.

RESPONSE: The timeline for developing, piloting and implementing PE/PG systems is set forth in
law, and cannot be modified by Department rule.

No change to the proposed rule.


4. COMMENT: Commenter #50 suggests that SAUs have an opportunity to apply for and
receive a waiver from the timeline. Commenter #50 also suggests that the timelines be adjusted
by one year for each year that General Purpose Aid to Education falls below the 2011-2012
school year funding.

RESPONSE: As stated above, the Department does not have authority to change statutory
timelines. A waiver provision would have to be added through a statutory change.

No change to the proposed rule.


5. COMMENT: Commenter #2 and 28 explain that RSU34 would like to implement its PE/PG
system sooner than the 2015-16 school year. The law (Title 20-A, section 13705) includes
language stating that nothing in the law prohibits a unit from fully implementing its system
earlier than 2015-16. The question is whether anything in the rule will prevent early
implementation, and whether the Department will be in a position to approve PE/PG systems
sooner than the timeline set forth in the law.

RESPONSE: The rule does not prohibit early implementation. However, in order for the
Department to approve a PE/PG system, the following tasks will have to be completed on the
state level: this proposed rule must be approved by the Legislature; evaluator training protocols
must be developed; and “teacher of record” guidelines or rules must be developed. The
Department will do its best to ensure that these tasks are completed in a timely manner, but
since completion is not solely within the control of the Department, we cannot say precisely
how soon the department will be in a position to approve systems.

With regard to early implementation of evaluation and support system, please note that SAUs
are not prohibited from implementing evaluation and support systems that are not approved by
the Department under chapter 508. They are, however, prohibited from using the ratings from
such systems in the manner authorized by law for “summative effectiveness ratings” from
Chapter 508 systems.


Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                         Page 6
No change to the proposed rule.


                                     RULE SECTION 4
                              DEPARTMENT APPROVAL OF SYSTEM

Section 4 (1) Timing of Submission and Approval

6. COMMENT: Commenters #47 and 50 express concern that the 90-day window set forth in
the rule for Department approval of PE/PG system plans is not enough time, given Department
capacity and the possibility that all the plans will be submitted at the same time. Commenter
#50 suggests amending the rule to require periodic review of systems as they are being
developed so that course corrections can be made before actual submission of the plans for
approval.

RESPONSE: The Department will take several steps to alleviate concerns about capacity and
timing, including (1) providing pre-approved system elements and complete models for the use
of SAUs, to reduce the level of variability among systems; (2) conducting periodic surveys of SAU
administrators and teachers during the plan development and pilot periods to identify potential
problem areas (as well as to identify technical assistance needs); and (3) encouraging
submission of draft system plans for comment.

No change to the proposed rule.


Section 4 (2) Submittal requirements

7. COMMENT: Commenter #50 proposes to require that any “additional measures” included in
a PE/PG system plan must actually measure effectiveness and must belong in a PE/PG system.

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that any additional measures must be related to
effectiveness, and will add language to that effect. However, it is not clear what criteria would
be used to determine whether a measure belongs in a PE/PG system

The proposed rule is amended by adding words in section 4(2)(D) to refer to additional measures
“of educator effectiveness.”


                                     RULE SECTION 7:
                         STUDENT LEARNING AND GROWTH MEASURES

Section 7 (1) “Significant Factor”

8. COMMENT: Commenters #45 and 50 believe that 25% is too high for student growth
measures, and are particularly concerned that the rule calls for “at least” 25%. Commenter #50
believes that any percentage used should be the maximum allowed, not the minimum.



Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                          Page 7
RESPONSE: The reason the rule refers to student growth measures as constituting “at least”
25% is that the rule is setting the floor for determining how much a measure has to count in
order to be considered a “significant factor.” The statute does not authorize the Department to
set a maximum percentage, only to describe what is considered “significant.” The statute
explicitly leaves it to local discretion to determine the actual portion of the rating that is based
on each measure.

No change to the proposed rule relating to maximum versus minimum. See Comment #10 for a
change in the percentage.


9. COMMENT: Commenter #27 believes that, at 25%, there is a good chance that variability in
student growth will not have a significant impact on most teacher’s rating.

RESPONSE: Review of the system over time will likely reveal whether 25% is a sufficient portion
of a teacher’s summative effectiveness rating.

No change to the proposed rule.


10. COMMENT: Commenter #26 believes that 25% is too high, especially since many of the
assessments that will produce the student growth numbers are in the process of being
developed. She states that the portion for student growth should be 15%, and we can revisit the
number at a later time.

RESPONSE: The Department has received many comments asking that student growth
measures be considered “significant” at a lower percentage than 25%. While there is no
evidence that a specific percentage is the “right” percentage, the Department is willing to allow
the systems to start up at a lower percentage, while educators and evaluators are getting
accustomed to the systems.

The proposed rule is amended in Section 7(1) to provide that, during the 1st year of a SAU’s
implementation of a PE/PG system, student growth measures will be considered to be
“significant” if they are at least 20% of the educator’s summative effectiveness rating. After the
1st year, those measures must equal at least 25% to be considered significant. Please note also
the changes being made in response to Comment #11.


11. COMMENT: Commenter #2 believes that the system being developed in his district should
be considered to have student growth as a significant factor, although it is not 25% of the rating.
The system being developed has 12 standards, of which one is student growth. He believes
that, although it is closer to 8% of a rating, the consequences of being rated “partially proficient”
or “substantially below proficient” on any of the standards means that the measures are a
significant factor.

RESPONSE: The Department believes that the overarching principle in considering student
growth measures to be “significant” is that those measures must have a discernible impact on
the summative effectiveness rating of an educator. The percentage amount, and the matrix

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                            Page 8
description in the rule are examples of how to demonstrate that the measures are significant. A
lower percentage point could be considered significant if it is accompanied by a system rule that
prevents a teacher from being rated “effective” if the teacher fails to attain a satisfactory level
of student growth, as determined by the PE/PG system plan.

The proposed rule is amended in section 7(1) to make clear that the percentage amounts and the
matrix description are examples of using student learning and growth measures as a significant
factor, but SAUs have the opportunity to demonstrate that other methods of using those
measures have a “discernible impact” on the summative effectiveness rating of educators.


Section 7 (2) Teacher of Record

12. COMMENT: Commenter #50 states that the “teacher of record” concept should be set
forth in a rule, not in guidelines, and that the rule should be in place before piloting of the
systems. She also suggests that the rule require notice to be provided: to teachers of the
student(s) for whom the teacher is “teacher of record,” a process for seeking review of that
determination if the teacher believes the determination is incorrect, and that SAU and
association develop a verification procedure to ensure accurate determination of teacher of
record prior to using student growth measures in an effectiveness rating.

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that “teacher of record” criteria should be clearly laid out,
and that there should be some statewide standards, with the potential for some local flexibility.

The proposed rule is amended in section 7(2) to provide for discussions and development of a
proposed rule relating to the concept of “teacher of record.”


13. COMMENT: Commenter #50 states that the rule should spell out who will comprise the
working group that will develop “teacher of record” business rules: include representatives of
the Maine Education Association, Maine Principals Association, Maine School Management
Association, Maine Administrators of Services to Children with Disabilities, and DOE.

RESPONSE: See the response to Comment #12.


14. COMMENT: Commenter #40 asks how reassignment of a teacher affects teacher of record
determinations.

RESPONSE: This is one of the questions that will be addressed by the rules that will be
developed.

No change to the proposed rule


Section 7 (3). Permissible Measures



Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                           Page 9
15. COMMENT: Commenters #26 and 28 note that the requirement that teachers teach a
student for 80% of the school days between pre- and post-test will be difficult to implement.
Commenter #28 states that schools with alternating day schedules wouldn’t meet the standard,
unless it is made to refer to something other than school days. Commenter #26 notes that it will
make it difficult or impossible to evaluate teachers like art and music teachers who do not see
students every day. She suggests finding a different way to prevent teachers from being held
accountable for students who have a high absentee rate. Commenters #21, 30 and 150 also note
that art, music and special education teachers, e.g., do not see students every day.

RESPONSE: The purpose of the 80% rule is to ensure that teachers are not held accountable for
student learning for a student who is taught for only days or weeks before the assessment, a
concern expressed by Commenter #135. It is also designed to ensure that teachers are not held
responsible for students with excessive absences, although Commenter #46 accurately points
out that, at 80%, a student could be absent for 50 school days and still be included in the
teacher’s rating. For these reasons, the Department will remove the 80% requirement as a
separate requirement and ensure that this question is dealt with as part of the “teacher of
record” guideline or rule.

The rule is amended in section 7(3) to delete the provision related to 80%.


16. COMMENT: Commenters #51-58, 60-62, 64-95, 96-100, 102-105, 107, 116, 119, 122-123,
125, 131, 134, 138-140, 142, 144, 148, 150, 152, 160, 164, 166, 171 and 173-176 submitted the
following statement: “The new system should not rely on student test scores to measure
student learning. A proper evaluation system should put an emphasis on helping teachers
create classrooms that support student learning.”

RESPONSE: PE/PG systems are not required to rely solely on student test scores; other
measures of student achievement may also be used to determine student growth, such as
portfolios, demonstrations, etc. The PE/PG systems proposed in the rule, consistent with Title
20-A, chapter 508, does require that the evaluation systems include professional development
opportunities and peer support to help teachers create classrooms that support student
learning.

No change in the proposed rule.


17. COMMENT: Commenters #49, 51-58, 60-62, 64-95, 97-98, 100, 103-104, 107, 113-116, 121,
125, 127, 129, 131, 134, 136, 138, 140, 146-148, 150-153, 157-158, 160, 163, 165-167, 169-170
and 173-176 submitted the following statement: “Measuring student growth requires a broad
range of assessments, not just standardized tests, because students learn and grow in many
areas as a result of their experiences in school and standardized test scores measure a very
limited range of student learning.”

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that no single measure of student growth – standardized
test or other measure – is likely to provide a full picture of student growth. Research and best
practices indicate the need for multiple measures of effectiveness. The Department will add
language to the rule to reflect this requirement.

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                        Page 10
The proposed rule is amended in section 7(3) by adding a new paragraph B, to require that
standardized tests may not be the only student growth measure used in a PE/PG system.


18. COMMENT: Commenters #51-58, 60-62, 64-97, 100, 102, 105, 108, 115-119, 122, 125, 129,
139, 140-143, 148-150, 153-154, 160-162, 165, 167, 171 and 174 submitted the following
statement: “Teacher evaluations should include several elements, not just standardized tests.
Standardized tests are best used as a reflective tool for teachers. Use of test scores to make
high-stakes decisions for teachers results in unintended negative consequences such as teaching
to the test, undervaluing other measures of learning and unfair comparisons.”

RESPONSE: The law governing PE/PG systems requires “multiple measures” of educator
effectiveness, including evaluation against professional practice standards and student learning
and growth measures. As stated above, the Department will add language to the rule to ensure
that standardized tests are not the only measure of student growth, but the relative weight of
measures is left by the law to local decisions.

See the response to Comment #17.


19. COMMENT: Commenters #3, 8, 13-14, 23, 44-45, 51-62, 64-96, 98, 101, 105, 107-108, 112-
114, 117-118, 121-122, 127, 132, 138-140, 142-145, 148, 150, 152, 158-159, 162, 164, 166-167,
169, 171-173 and 175 submitted the following statement: “Student growth should be limited to
10% of the teachers’ evaluation. A higher percentage ignores the fact that the evaluation is
intended to measure the success of the teacher, not the student’s ability, which includes many
factors including parental involvement and socio-economic background.”

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that a student’s level of achievement is impacted by many
factors other than the quality of the teacher – factors such as parental involvement and socio-
economic status. That is why the rule (Section 7(3)(A) prohibits the use of a student’s
achievement level as a measure of student learning and growth. The Department agrees that
the PE/PG systems are intended to measure the “success of the teacher” and believes that one
element of evidence of that success is the academic growth of the teacher’s students.

In terms of the weight of student growth measures, the rule must comply with the law which
requires that “measurements of student learning and growth must be a significant factor in the
determination of the rating.” Title 20-A, section 13704(3)(A). To be considered significant, the
Department believes that student growth must be enough of a factor to have a discernible
impact on the teacher’s summative effectiveness rating. It is not likely that 10% would have
such an impact, unless accompanied by a provision such as the one described in Comment #11,
preventing a rating of “effective” without evidence of satisfactory student growth.

No change to the proposed rule.


20. COMMENT: Commenters #51-58, 60-62, 64-100, 103, 105, 107, 112-113, 115-118, 121,
124-126, 135, 138, 142, 144, 148, 152, 157, 160, 163, 167, 171, 173 and 176 submitted the

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                       Page 11
following statement: “Test scores should be limited to 10% of the evaluation process and
should incorporate 3-5 years of data, at least. It isn’t possible to measure a teacher’s success
based on a single year of student test scores. This kind of evaluation may only work with data
from several years with the same student.”

RESPONSE: The rule prohibits the use of a single test score – which measures achievement, not
growth. Guidance on the number of students or number of years needed in order to be
“statistically reliable” will be developed by the Department.

No change to the proposed rule.


21. COMMENT: Commenters #51-58, 60-62, 64-95, 97-101, 104-105, 107, 112-119, 124, 127-
129, 131, 134, 137, 139-141, 152, 154, 160, 164-168, 171 and 173-175 submitted the following
statement: “The evaluation process should emphasize reflective practice where teachers can
use the lessons learned to continually improve their classroom and the education they provide
to every public school student.”

RESPONSE: Both the law and the rule reflect the importance of these goals. The law, Title 20-A,
section 13704(5) requires a PE/PG system to include “opportunities for educators to share, learn
and continually improve their practice,” and a requirement that “observations of professional
practice, formative feedback and continuous improvement conversations must occur
throughout the year for all educators.” The rule reflects these requirements in Section 12(4).

No change to the proposed rule.


22. COMMENT: Commenters #5, 22, 38, 44, 59, 120, 123, 128 and 160 expressed concern that
a teacher’s rating will be impacted by the types of students who are assigned to the teacher.
Challenging students will not score as high on tests and will negatively impact their teachers’
ratings. This may result in good teachers avoiding special education students or academically-
challenged students, who need good teachers the most.

RESPONSE: There is nothing in the statute or the law that prohibits SAUs from taking into
consideration the types of students taught by a teacher in setting the student growth
expectations for that teacher’s students. While it adds complexity to system development, the
Department encourages the use of differentiated growth expectations for the very reasons set
forth in the Comments. Many commenters stated that students learn differently and
demonstrate learning differently and at different rates. The Department agrees with this
statement, and believes that the flexibility provided in the statute and rule allow for SAUs and
their staff to accommodate those differences.

No change to the proposed rule.


23. COMMENT: Commenters #48, 109 and 131 express concern about the use of standardized
tests because such tests don’t measure important skills – deeper learning and skills; student
creativity; social skills; and problem-solving. Commenter #48 states that she’s concerned about

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                         Page 12
teachers having incentive to teach to the test, especially the kinds of tests that are currently
used in schools: “We need to consider the consequences of placing a premium on multiple
choice questions and one-draft essays, which reduce learning to fragments of knowledge and
encourage a lock-step, test-prep approach to education. We need tests that ask students to
construct knowledge, to solve real-world problems, to design, to imagine, to reason; we need
such tests to encourage educators to foster these skills.”

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that standardized tests do not measure all types of
knowledge and skills. For that reason, the rule has been amended (as described above in
Comment #17) to require multiple assessments of student learning. The mix of measures used
will be a local decision.

See the response to Comment # 17.


24. COMMENT: Commenters #21, 30 and 38 express concern that traditional assessment tools
don’t indicate what a student can do, e.g., in music, art, PE drama (21), and that the currently
available assessment tools devalue creativity (30) and do not measure skills such as those set
forth in the Guiding Principles in the Maine Learning Results (38). We need broader measures of
learning, not narrower measures

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that PE/PG systems must use assessment tools designed for
the specific content area being taught. Such tools are being developed throughout the country,
e.g., an Arts Assessment Initiative is working on tools for arts education. The Department will
make that work available to SAUs.

See the response to Comment #17.


25. COMMENT: Commenters #13, 16, 44, 45, 63, 132, 146, 150 and 156 express concern about
the use of standardized test scores because students have no incentive to perform well on the
tests. Many students do not take the tests seriously, yet a teacher’s evaluation is impacted by
those test scores. Commenter #156 suggests using the tests as a requirement for graduation,
like Massachusetts.

RESPONSE: A school district may, if it chooses, allow use of a standardized test score as part of a
student’s grade.

No change to the proposed rule.


26. COMMENT: Commenters #1, 15, 20, 48 and 109 express concern that, although other
assessments are permissible, most SAUs will default to using standardized tests.

RESPONSE: See the Response to Comment #17.




Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                         Page 13
27. COMMENT: Commenters #47 and 50 ask that the pre-test and post-test for a student occur
in the same school year. Otherwise, teachers will be held responsible for summer learning loss.

RESPONSE: Summer learning loss can be taken into account when setting student growth
expectations. Requiring pre-test and post-test to occur in the same school year may add to
concerns expressed by other commenters (#43, 132) about too much testing.

No change to the proposed rule.


28. COMMENT: Commenter #34 expresses concern about the possible use of Individual
Education Plans as a basis for measuring student growth. She asks what safeguards are in place
to ensure that educators do not write minimal goals so that student growth is guaranteed, and
what safeguards are in place so that educators are not accused of setting minimal goals for their
personal benefit when the goals conflict with those of a parent or other educator.

RESPONSE: The rule says that IEPs “may be used to establish an appropriate basis for measuring
student growth…” This does not change the standards set forth in federal and state law
regarding the development of IEPs. To avoid potential conflict of interest in the preparation of
the IEP, a SAU may choose to set educator goals separate from the IEP, while using information
developed through the IEP process. The Department will provide further guidance to SAUs on
the intersection of Maine’s special education rule (MUSER, Rule Chapter 101) and this rule.

No change to the proposed rule.


29. COMMENT: Commenters #61, 46, 123 and others express concern that many special
education students have cognitive difficulty that prevents them from doing well on a
standardized test. They learn, but at a different pace than other students. Progress cannot
always be measured by the same standards as for other students. It is not fair to judge teachers
of these students by the same student growth measures as other teachers.

RESPONSE: The rule sets criteria for student growth measures, including the requirement that
SAUs account for differences across the learning spectrum, when setting growth targets for
students and teachers.

No change to the proposed rule.


30. COMMENT: Commenter #6 is concerned that test scores promote competition among
teachers rather than collaboration, and that this is harmful to the atmosphere of professional
trust needed for a school to succeed, and that use of test scores discourages teacher from
taking risks and trying new techniques for fear of the impact of a few points on a test score.
Commenter #155 is concerned that using test scores will damage the teacher-student
relationship because teachers will be too focused on getting the test scores up and may ignore
other student needs; it could also cause stress between teacher and parents.



Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                       Page 14
RESPONSE: With regard to competition among teachers, there is nothing in the statute or rule
that pits one teacher against another. There is no requirement for teachers to be listed from
high to low, and there is nothing to prevent many or most teachers from being rated “effective”
or “highly effective.” With regard to the student-teacher relationship, teachers will not be
judged solely, or even predominantly, on test scores, so teachers will have incentive to engage
in good professional practice rather than focusing solely on test results. Professional practice is
likely to be the most important element of the teacher’s rating.

No change to the proposed rule.


31. COMMENT: Commenters #24, 34 and 45 are concerned that there is no way to include in a
teacher’s evaluation the things that teachers do such as spending their own money for supplies,
taking time to get to know their students, the extra time spent helping struggling students,
instilling a love of learning in students, teaching respect and perseverance.

RESPONSE: The extraordinary efforts made by many teachers may not be directly measurable,
but are likely to impact a teacher’s rating because many of those efforts can be used as evidence
of the teacher’s excellence in meeting a professional practice standard and many (like
interventions and individualized instruction) are likely to result in improved academic
performance.

No change to the proposed rule.


32. COMMENT: Commenters #39, 41 and 46 express concern about the creation of a “2-tier
system,” with different methods of evaluation for teachers of tested subjects (ELA, math,
science) and nontested subjects. Different methods of evaluation will end in different results,
which may be unfair to some.

RESPONSE: There is no single measure of student growth that would be appropriate to use in
evaluating every teacher. In order to fairly measure a teacher’s effectiveness, the student
growth measure must be related to the teacher’s area of responsibility. This does not mean
that one type of evaluation will be more or less fair than another.

No change to the proposed rule.


33. COMMENT: Commenters #27 and 48 express concerns about the use of the current
Student Growth Model available in Maine. Commenter #27 says that it may be unfair to
teachers to expect student growth every year – it varies from year to year, but the model may
cause bad scores for teachers based on lack of growth. Commenter #48 expressed concern that
some teachers will always be rated below-average because the scoring is on a bell curve,
regardless of actual accomplishment.

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that simply using the “typical,” “high” and “low” growth
ratings that are provided might not be fair to teachers. However, the growth model provides
other data that is useful, without forcing teachers into false comparisons.

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                          Page 15
No change to the proposed rule.


34. COMMENT: Commenters #46 and 50 ask for more information on how to determine a
statistically reliable sample. Commenter #50 proposes that 4 years of continuous data on a
student is required in order to count that growth data in a teacher’s evaluation. Commenters #3
and 124 are concerned about the impact on a teacher’s rating of fluctuations in student scores
from year-to-year and class- to-class, and the impact of a single low-scoring student in a small
class.

RESPONSE: The Department will provide additional guidance on what constitutes a statistically
reliable sample as part of the technical assistance that will provided in 2013-14 and beyond.

No change to the proposed rule.


35. COMMENT: Commenter #50 wants student growth measures to be fully aligned to the
curriculum taught.

RESPONSE: Based on the recommendation of The Maine Educator Effectiveness Council, the
rule proposes a requirement that any assessment used “measure intended curriculum.” This
should address the concern expressed in this Comment.

No change to the proposed rule.


36. COMMENT: Commenter #3, 49 and 50 disapprove of the use of data from student or
parent surveys as part of an educator’s effectiveness rating. While information from surveys
may be useful for reflection, it should not be used to impact an educator’s employment or
compensation.

RESPONSE: There is research indicating that, performed correctly, student surveys are relatively
accurate in predicting teacher effectiveness. The Department would not authorize the use of a
survey instrument that was simply a popularity contest.

No change to the proposed rule.


37. COMMENT: Commenter #50 provides language requiring that the Department ensure that
additional measures (other than professional practice standards and student growth measures)
actually measure effectiveness and belong in a PE/PG system. (see section 4(2)D)

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that the additional measures should measure effectiveness,
but it is not clear what standards would be used to determine whether the measures “belong in
a PE/PG system.”

See response to Comment # 7 .

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                      Page 16
                                         RULE SECTION 8
                                         RATING LEVELS

38. COMMENT: Commenters #45 and 50 expressed concern with the rating level labels.
Commenter #50 believes that the term “partially effective” is harsh and prefers the use of the
term “developing” to indicate that the person is moving toward effectiveness. Commenter #45
reports that the MEEC seemed to be coming to consensus on the labels “Effective” and
“Developing” for levels 2 and 3, and that many on the Council opposed the label “ineffective.”

RESPONSE: The Department understands that the labels used to describe the rating levels are
important. That is why flexibility is provided in the rule to use locally-developed labels that
reflect local opinions, provided those local labels are crosswalked to the standard labels
provided in the rule. The rule uses variations of effectiveness for the 4 labels, for the sake of
consistency. Using the term “developing” implies that a person is on a path from one level to
another, which may or may not be true of a person who is partially effective.

No change to the proposed rule.


39. COMMENT: Commenter #121 suggests that the rule eliminate the designation of “highly
effective” since this level of differentiation creates unnecessary tension among teachers, which
can be damaging to teacher collaboration.

RESPONSE: The law requires 4 rating levels, and the Department does not believe that
recognizing a great degree of effectiveness is a problem. As noted above, if the term “highly
effective” is considered problematic, a different label may be used.

No change to the proposed rule.


40. COMMENT: Commenter #26 supports the consistency of using the word “effective” in all 4
rating categories, to align with the language of the law. She recommends, however, that the
lowest 2 levels be labeled “ineffective” and “highly ineffective.” This would allow both
categories of teachers to have an opportunity to have a professional improvement plan, and
would indicate that “teachers should be effective or highly effective to remain in the system
over time.”

RESPONSE: The Department believes that the term “partially effective” accurately reflects the
status of a teacher who demonstrates at least some level of competence in professional practice
and whose students demonstrate some level of learning. Nothing in the law or the rule
precludes teachers other than those rated as “ineffective” from being provided an opportunity
for a professional improvement plan. Finally, labeling the lowest 2 categories as ineffective
could have significant impact on the employment status of a larger portion of the teaching force
than was anticipated in passage of the law.

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                         Page 17
No change to the proposed rule.


41. COMMENT: Commenter #40 (and 50) ask that evaluations be in writing, and provide
information for the educator, not just a number or rating level.

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that the PE/PG system must provide meaningful feedback
to educators to help them understand their strengths and their needs for improvement. It was
assumed that the evaluations would result in written information, but nothing in the rule
explicitly required that, so the Department will add language to the rule to reflect this
requirement.

The proposed rule is amended in Section 11(3), to add language requiring written evaluations
that includes recommendations and commendations.


                                     RULE SECTION 9
                             METHODS OF COMBINING MEASURES

42. COMMENT: Commenter #47 is concerned with the lack of guidance to SAUs on how to
combine quantitative and qualitative measures to derive a summative effectiveness rating. He
believes that leaving them to figure it out on their own will be confusing. Commenter #121
believes that the combination methods set forth in the rule are too complicated. Commenter
#50 provides different wording to describe potential methods of combining measures, and also
would add language requiring that “the summative evaluation may not be limited to a matrix
alone, but must include a narrative that provides specific recommendations and
commendations to more completely describe the teacher’s effectiveness”

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that SAUs will need guidance on potential methods of
combining measures, but does not believe that the rule is the appropriate place for providing
additional guidance. The Department agrees that a summative evaluation rating should not
simply be a number, or placement on a matrix. (See response to Comment #41)

No change to the proposed rule, but see response to Comment #41.


                                     RULE SECTION 11
                              IMPLEMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

Section 11(1) Evaluation frequency

43. COMMENT: Commenters #19, 48 and 146 are concerned with the administrative resources
required to meet the requirement that observations of professional practice and formative
feedback occur each year and throughout the school year for all educators. Commenter #48
believes that this requirement will dilute the attention that can be provided to the teachers that
are most in need of assistance.


Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                        Page 18
RESPONSE: The requirement for observations and feedback throughout the year is set forth in
law and can’t be changed by the rule. The Department believes that this may be one area in
which peer observations could be useful. These observations and feedback are not required to
be part of an evaluation, and so could be performed by peers, trained or not.

No change in the proposed rule.


Section 11(2) Training of Evaluators

44. COMMENT: Concerns about the identity and quality of evaluators were raised by
commenters #1, 3, 5, 13, 15, 44, 45, 46, 48, 50, 61, 103, 110, 130, 151. Concerns include the
lack of clear guidance on what training is required for evaluators; who will serve as evaluators;
the importance of qualified evaluators is necessary to the credibility of the system; must be
trained to apply rubric evenly and fairly; evaluation skills today vary widely from school to
school; evaluators need to be determined to be effective, not just go through training; evaluator
should be someone who knows the teacher, not someone from another school; takes time and
practice to ensure quality evaluator; concern about evaluator bias, personal dislike of a teacher;
some who do evaluations now haven’t taught or been in classrooms in years;

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that well-trained evaluators are essential to producing
meaningful evaluations. The exact protocol will be determined during the 2013-14 school year.

No change to the proposed rule.


45. COMMENT: Commenter # 46, 75 and 102 expressed concern about whether evaluators
would have expertise to evaluate specific types of teacher, e.g., Physical education teachers,
different subject matters.

RESPONSE: To the extent that an evaluator must understand the specific pedagogy of a subject
in order to evaluate that educator, that understanding would be required as part of the
evaluator’s training.

No change to the proposed rule.


46. COMMENT: Commenter #34 expressed concern about possible bias of an evaluator and
asks whether a teacher would be given the opportunity to reject a specific evaluator.

RESPONSE: The statute governing PE/PG systems allows an educator to appeal a summative
effectiveness rating if the rating is the result of bad faith. Bias on the part of the evaluator could
result in a bad faith rating and would be grounds for appeal. Given this concern, the Department
would advise school administrative units to provide screening for bias and, if appropriate, to
allow an educator to reject a specific evaluator. However, the Department is not proposing this
procedure as part of the rule.


Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                            Page 19
No change to the proposed rule.


47. COMMENT: Commenter #49 believes that evaluators must be trained in the specific
practice standards that they are using to evaluate a teacher, not just generally be trained.

RESPONSE: The Department agrees with this Comment and will add language to the rule to
reflect this requirement.

The rule is amended in Section 11(2) to require that evaluators be trained in the specific
evaluation model they are implementing.


                                       RULE SECTION 12
                                    EDUCATOR INVOLVEMENT

Section 12(1) Development of System

48. COMMENT: Commenter #1 expressed concern about whether teachers would have
sufficient time to participate in creation and implementation of PE/PG systems. Commenters
#40, 46, 99, 129 and 135 stress the importance of including teachers in the creation of the
system to tap teacher expertise. Commenter #40 states that teachers chosen by the association
should be part of the committee that creates the PE/PG system.

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that involvement of educators in the creation and
implementation of PE/PG systems is a key element in promoting successful systems. The
statute and the rule recognize this element as well; both require the involvement of teachers
and other educators in the development and implementation of the PE/PG systems. However,
given the variety of local conditions around the state, the Department does not believe that it is
appropriate to include specific standards for involvement in the rule.

No change to the proposed rule.


Section 12(2) Training

49. COMMENT: Commenter #28 asks that the language of section 12 (2) be amended to
require that SAUs provide training, but not that the SAU is responsible for ensuring that each
educator understands.

RESPONSE: The SAU is responsible for providing the information and the opportunity for
educators to understand the information. The SAU is not required to verify each educator’s
understanding.

The proposed rule is amended in section 12(2), first paragraph, to clarify the SAU’s responsibility.


Section 12(3) Steering Committee

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                           Page 20
50. COMMENT: Commenter #32 asks that active teachers be a majority of the Steering
Committee because loss of a job due to ineffectiveness will essentially result in loss of a career.
Like lawyers and doctors, teachers should be involved in decisions about a person’s ability to
practice a profession. Having teachers as a majority of members of the Steering Committee
would balance the power of the management and remove the stigma and possibility of a
subjective evaluation. Steering Committee can meet the requirement for peer evaluation; the
Steering Committee would include teachers of different subject areas, and can share the
administrative burden of performing evaluations.

RESPONSE: The Steering Committee is involved in evaluating the PE/PG system, not necessarily
in evaluating individual teachers. The Steering Committee does not have authority under the
law to perform evaluations or make determinations of an individual teacher’s effectiveness. The
membership of the Steering Committee is addressed in later comments.

No change to the proposed rule. See Reponses to Comments # 51 and 53.


51. COMMENT: Commenters #47 and 50 believe that local associations must be able to
appoint teacher members to the Steering Committee, and that teachers should have equal
representation. Commenter #50 believes that the law allows only teachers, administrators and
other SAU staff to sit on the Steering Committee, so the language of the rule is inconsistent with
law because it calls for a Steering Committee that includes, but is not limited to, those
members.

RESPONSE: The Department has reviewed the language of the statute and agrees that it
appears to limit the Steering Committee to teachers, administrators and other SAU staff. The
Department also agrees that local associations would be involved in selecting teacher members
of the Steering Committee, but is not clear that teachers would be required to have equal
representation.

The proposed rule is changed in Section 12(3) relating to membership on the Steering
Committee.


52. COMMENT: Commenter #50 states that the Steering Committee has more than an advisory
role. She believes that decisions made by the Steering Committee must be implemented by the
School Board and SAU administrators.

RESPONSE: The Department does not believe that the law was intended to reduce the authority
and responsibility of school boards to make decisions about the evaluation processes in schools,
and therefore does not intend to amend the rule as requested in this Comment.

No change to the proposed rule.


53. COMMENT: Commenter #23 asks that parents be included in membership of the Steering
Committee, as another way to further family-school partnerships.

Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                          Page 21
RESPONSE: In accordance with Comment #51, the Department believes that the membership of
the Steering Committee is limited by statute to teachers, administrators and other SAU staff.
Nothing prohibits a school from inviting parents and community members to provide input to
the Steering Committee or to form a Community Advisory group to work with the school and
the Steering Committee.

No change to the proposed rule.


Section 12(4) Peer Review

54. COMMENT: Commenter #50 believes that peer review should only be used for formative
purposes, and not be included as part of the summary evaluation unless the peer reviewer is a
trained evaluator and the educator chooses to include that evaluation as part of the summative
evaluation.

RESPONSE: The Department agrees and has amended the peer review section of the rule to
include this language.

The proposed rule is amended in Section 12(4) to allow the use of peer review only for formative
purposes, unless the peer reviewer is trained and the educator being evaluated agrees to have
the peer review used as part of the evaluation.




                                      RULE SECTION 14
                              PROFESSIONAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN

55. COMMENT: Commenters #3, 24, 32, 45, 47, 49 and 50 expressed concerns about the
Professional Improvement Plan (PIP). Commenter #24 says that, done well, the plan results in
setting clear, reachable goals for the teacher if not done well, the plan could impose such a
heavy burden on the teacher that he or she could not reach the goals. To be effective as a tool
to improve educator practice, Commenter #50 states that a PIP must include clear, objective,
measurable outcomes. Commenters #32 and 49 state that a PIP must have attainable goals,
reasonable time frames, a list of available resources and a definition of success. Commenter
#50 suggest that the plan must be developed in consultation with the teacher, and association
representatives must be allowed to work with the teacher, at his or her request, to determine
appropriateness of the PIP and that the PIP must be modified in accordance with that
assessment.

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that the Professional Improvement Plan language needs
additional detail, in line with parts of the Comment. The plan should be in writing, created in
collaboration with the educator, and provide clear, measurable outcomes. The Department
declines to require that the outcomes be objective (observations of classroom practice are
subjective, to some extent) or be reachable by that educator (some educators may not be able
to achieve effectiveness, regardless of the quality of the PIP). Finally, the Department declines


Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                         Page 22
to add language requiring local association acceptance of the terms of PIP, since that appears to
be a significant change in management of schools.

The rule is changed in section 14 to add criteria to be met by a professional improvement plan.


                                        RULE SECTION 15
                                      PILOTING OF SYSTEM

56. COMMENT: Commenter #50 expresses the belief that the pilot must include all elements of
the PE/PG system, not just portions of the system. She also wants to include language to make
it clear that the purpose of the pilot is to evaluate the PE/PG system, not to evaluate teachers.

RESPONSE: The Department would certainly encourage the piloting of all elements of a system,
but does not believe that it should be required. We do agree that student growth measures
should be part of the pilot and will amend the rule to reflect that requirement.

The rule is amended in section 15, in line with this comment.


                                    RULE SECTION 18
                         RATINGS UNDER PRE-CHAPTER 508 SYSTEMS

57. COMMENT: Commenters #12 asks whether anything in the rule prohibits SAD 22 from
implementing a collective bargaining agreement to take effect in FY 14, which includes
alternative, performance-based pay.

RESPONSE: Nothing in the statute or the rule prohibits a school administrative unit from
implementing a collective bargaining agreement that includes performance based pay. What is
prohibited would be using the terms of Title 20-A, Chapter 508 (e.g., the “just cause” provision
in section 13703) to impose a consequence on an educator based on a rating from a system that
was not an approved PE/PG system.

No change to the proposed rule.




                                      OTHER COMMENTS

Local Control

58. COMMENT: Commenters #11 and 26 approve of the level of local control reflected in the
law and the rule. Commenter #26 believes that local control is essential to the success of the
PE/PG systems, and that the law and rule set basic standards than can be exceeded on the local
level.




Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                        Page 23
Commenter #47 expresses concern about the level of local control, which gives districts the
mandate and the responsibility to create their own systems, resulting in 164 different systems
with so little similarity that the goal of statewide reform is lost. Lack of consistency across
districts will mean that there is no basis for comparison of what an effective teacher looks like
from one district to another.

RESPONSE: Local flexibility is provided by statute. For example, Title 20-A, section 13704(3)(A)
explicitly states that the proportionate weight of student growth measures is a local decision.
The Department will encourage SAUs to adopt similar systems, but is not authorized by law to
require similar or uniform systems.

No change to the proposed rule.


Confidentiality of Evaluations and Ratings

59. COMMENT: Commenter #24 wants to ensure that it is clear that the ratings, like other
personnel records, are confidential records.

RESPONSE: The Department agrees that evaluations and ratings are confidential personnel
records and will add that statement to rule.

The rule is amended by adding section 11(4) to address this issue.


Family Involvement

60. COMMENT: Commenter #23 approves of the provision of law including parents in the
development of the PE/PG system. She asks that the rule be amended to encourage family
engagement in education. This could be achieved by requiring teachers and administrators, as
part of their evaluation, to demonstrate ongoing parent engagement. The National Parent-
Teacher Association Standards for Family-School Partnership sets forth standards for Family-
School Partnerships, with Goals and Indicators. The Standards are: (1) Welcoming all families
into the school community; (2) Communicating effectively; (3) Supporting Student Success; (4)
Speaking up for Every Child; (5) Sharing Power; and (6) Collaborating with Community.

RESPONSE: Family and community engagement are included in the professional practice
standards for both teachers and principals, so there is a clear statement of the importance of
family and community engagement. For example, under the InTASC Standard #3 (Learning
Environments), teachers are required to “collaborate with learners, families and colleagues to
build a safe, positive learning climate of openness, mutual respect, support and inquiry.” The
School administrative units, if they so choose, may also add parent or community surveys as
additional measures of educator effectiveness to further measure engagement. The Department
does not believe that additional engagement requirements are needed in the rule.

No change to the proposed rule.



Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                         Page 24
Probationary Period

61. COMMENT: Commenter #6 suggests that the state extend the probationary period for
teachers to 7 years, with a major performance checkpoint at 15 years

RESPONSE: The length of the probationary period is a matter of statute, and cannot be changed
by the rule.

No change to the proposed rule.


Two-year Period for improvement

62. COMMENT: Commenter #151 believes that 2 years is not enough time for a teacher to
show marked improvement.

RESPONSE: The statute provides that 2 consecutive years of ineffectiveness qualifies as “just
cause” for nonrenewal of a teacher contract, but it does not require that a teacher be
nonrenewed on that basis. It’s possible that the timing of the rating system will mean that a
teacher would have more than 2 years in any case, since teachers on continuing contract must
be given notice 6 months before renewal date, and the 2nd ineffective rating may not have been
given by that time, so the SAU may have to wait another year to implement the non-renewal.

No change to the proposed rule.


Educator Preparation

63. COMMENT: Commenters #1, 48 and 162 urge policymakers to look at teacher preparation
as a way to improve educator effectiveness. Commenter #162 asks whether teacher prep
programs will teach PE/PG systems and professional practice standards, and whether they will
model effective teaching practices. Commenters #50 and 162 believe that increased standards
for entry into the profession would ensure teacher quality.

RESPONSE: The rules for approving teacher preparation programs were amended last year to
require those programs to train teacher-candidates in meeting the InTASC standards and to
train administrators in meeting the ISLLC standards.

No change to the proposed rule.


System Evaluation

64. COMMENT: Commenter #27 urges the State to ensure that the PE/PG system
implementation is studied, to determine whether the system is effective at meeting the goal of
improved educator effectiveness. This is necessary especially because of the potential for great
local variation of systems.


Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                       Page 25
RESPONSE: The Department agrees that there would be value in such a study, but does not
currently have plans to conduct or initiate such a study.

No change to the proposed rule.


Time and Resources

65. COMMENT: Several commenters, including Commenters #25, 30, 44, 45 and 46, raise
concerns about the adequacy of resources that will be available to schools to meet the
requirements of the law and rule. Financial resources, technical assistance, staff and
administrator time are needed to develop, pilot and implement PE/PG systems. Commenter
#30 wonders whether the resources would be better spent on other things, or whether it would
make sense to wait until the State is on better financial footing.

RESPONSE: Resources will be needed to develop and implement PE/PG systems. The
Administration is proposing funds for this purpose in the biennial budget document. In addition,
SAUs will be able to target already-available funds for this purpose, including federal Title II
funds (for certain types of professional development.) The Department will provide technical
assistance and will stress the value of SAUs working together to save time and money in the
development and implementation of these systems.

No change to the proposed rule.




Comments and Responses Chapter 180                                                       Page 26

				
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