Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

# How student test data are used to calculate VAM in Pinellas

28

October

Pinellas County Schools didn't have a single teacher rated unsatisfactory for the 2012/13 school year.

The vast majority of teachers - about 95 percent - ranked in the top two categories on their professional evaluations, highly effective or effective. About 5 percent, or 395, were in the second lowest category, needs improvement.

Pinellas debuted its new system, as required by the state, for the 2011/12 school year to widespread concern and disappointment of teachers. That year, 65 percent of teachers were rated highly effective or effective. Fewer than 10 teachers were in the lowest category, unsatisfactory.

District officials have promised to make improvements to the system. They have introduced a stop-gap measure for this year's evaluations that should cut down on the number of teachers being graded based on students they don't teach. And they are piloting a new system at five schools in the 2014/15 school year.

To see how student test data were used for the 2012/13 school year, read the district's explanation below: (The original copy had arrows and stars, which haven't replicated well here.)

"Pinellas County Schools Instructional & Building Administrator Evaluation Systems

2012/2013 Use of Student Performance Data

Individual VAM Data Use

If a teacher has an individual VAM score, it is used:

ÿ FCAT Teachers: Generally, this applies to teachers that teach an FCAT subject and grade level

ÿ Non-FCAT Teachers: Generally, teachers that teach an FCAT grade level, but not an FCAT subject

² Example: A Sixth grade Science teacher – receives an individual VAM score based upon

ÿ Algebra EOC Teachers: Teachers that teach Algebra will have a VAM score based on the performance of the students they teach on the Algebra EOC

² This will not apply to recalculation of 2011-12 evaluations as no data was available

² 50% Student Performance Data = School VAM

² 50% FCAT Reading Developmental Scale Score teacher average compared to school the FCAT scores of the students they teach average

• This will be based upon the students assigned to the individual teacher

Score Calculations

ÿ N = 2: If a teacher has 2 or more students assigned to him/her, the FLDOE calculates an individual

VAM score

² Increasing to a larger number would then require using school-wide data rather than

ÿ Adjust score if not current year individual data

² Weight individual VAM score with school VAM score

² Example: A HS Math teacher-students took FCAT Math in 2009, but did not take it in 2010 individual data or 2011. The state provided an individual VAM score based upon the 2009 students. The 2009 score will be used, but will be calculated with 2010 and 2011 School VAM so the entire score is not based upon students taught three years prior

ÿ Scale 40% and 50% points separately

School Wide VAM Data Use

ÿ Pre K, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade Teachers: No individual VAM or other assessment data is available, so a school wide VAM will be used.

ÿ School wide instructional positions

ÿ Junior and Senior Teachers: No individual VAM or other assessment data is available that can be accurately and equitably applied

² This is a priority for 2013-14

² Examples: Guidance Counselors, Behavior Specialists

² Including IB and AP Teachers: a pilot test was conducted. The results indicate teachers would not benefit from use of these scores and a system to roster students is needed in order to accurately and equitably use this data

* This is a priority for 2013-14

Score Calculations

ÿ Scale school wide VAM scores to minimize the impact of outliers: Outlying scores (either very high or very low) tend to compress or inflate other scores. These scores will be counted, but will mathematically be scaled to prevent the compression of all school scores

ÿ Scale points from 5 to 40 or 5 to 50

• Lowest score = 5 (versus 0)

District VAM Use

ÿ Hospital Homebound

ÿ Private School ESE: These teachers are Pinellas County employees but do not teach Pinellas County students and the majority of these students do not take FCAT. The district VAM is the best option at this point in time.

Score Calculations

ÿ Median of school VAM scores: The district score is calculated as a median of all school scores

² With the changes in school VAM scores, this will keep the district score in relation to school scores

ÿ Extended Transition Teachers: these teachers teach students that are 18-22 and have an IEP and often work in unique settings such as the Veteran’s hospital. These students are technically not K-12 students do not take any assessments

ÿ Florida Alternative Assessment (FAA)

² Apply same process as Adult Ed Teachers: these teachers’ evaluations will include two metrics:

² Apply same process as used 2011-2012 for Center schools

• Include self-contained K-12 site based teachers

• Example: An SVE teacher at an elementary school will receive the school wide FAA score versus a School wide VAM score.

Summative Scores

ÿ Round to the nearest whole number: The final score will be rounded to the nearest whole number

² All numbers will be carried to the furthest decimal point until the calculation of overall points and then the final score will be rounded

Priorities Moving Forward

ÿ Priorities

² Kindergarten, 1st

² IB and AP teachers

² Exploring Possibilities and Options"