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The top 6 things you need to know about CITE 6

Topping the list: CITE 6 is NOT tied to pay

CASTLE ROCK – After several years of ramping up, CITE 6 is finally here.

Here are six things you need to know as our teacher evaluation system, Continuous Improvement of Teacher Effectiveness (CITE), is tied to student assessment data:

6. CITE 6 is required by state law
Colorado Senate Bill 191, passed in 2010, requires school districts across the state to tie teacher evaluations to student measures of learning by the 2015-2016 School Year.

By law, 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation will now be based on their teaching practices (CITE 1-5) and 50 percent on student performance (CITE 6), including their growth and achievement.

The roll out of CITE 6 began a few years ago.  While the last two years haven’t been included in the evaluation data sent to the Colorado Department of Education, schools began creating models and gathering data to be used for CITE 6. Meanwhile, teachers were encouraged to develop individual class-level assessments that can help them gauge the growth of their students over the course of a year. DCSD Highly values the assessments created and administered by teachers, because they directly impact instruction and student growth.

5. DCSD does not rely solely on state-mandated assessments
The state has provided a lot of flexibility to school districts regarding the nature of the assessments they use. Some have chosen to simply rely on the data provided by state assessments, like TCAP, while others have used School Performance Frameworks.

DCSD does not believe that state standardized tests adequately measure what matters most to our students, parents, teachers and community. While we are still required to include state tests  our system minimizes their impact by making them worth only 10% of the overall evaluation. The other 40 percent represents data collected from other assessments sources that schools choose.

“We want schools to pick those assessments that are really meaningful for their teachers and community, those that really represent the work that they do with students. That is what we really want,” Reynolds said.

4. Schools have latitude in determining mix of assessments considered
Because DCSD is a District of Choice, it does not mandate standard measures across the board.  As a result the schools have tremendous latitude in deciding which measures will be utilized in their slice of the CITE 6 pie.

“We provide extreme flexibility for schools. We value choice and decentralized decision making in the Douglas County School District, Reynolds said. “Schools can make those decisions about what type of assessment will be used, so a principal and their building leadership teams have the capability to create models that really represent the needs of their community and staff. You could have a third-party like MAP or you could have a classroom summative assessment or you could have a team assessment that they collaboratively created. There are many options for the type of assessments they may include.”

3. System built for great teachers
In Douglas County, we value educators who use data to inform instruction.

“Our teachers are professionals and they’re experts in teaching and learning,” Reynolds explained. “[CITE 6] is set up for teachers that are reflective in their practice, they set high, yet achievable goals for all their students,” Reynolds explained.

As a result, only 10 percent of the overall evaluation is community data. The other 40% is made up of the type of assessments that teachers use every day.

“Teachers are the key. They are the ones making the decisions about the majority of the assessments,” Reynolds explained.

2. Teachers have great flexibility in setting targets, reporting data
Utilizing the InspirED Innovation tool, teachers have a great amount of latitude to determine not only what assessments to include, but also the ability to tailor targets to specific students.

“Typically teachers use data to reflect on their teaching, but we are asking them to physically put out a target to strive for,” Reynolds explained. “You may have high-achievers and you may want to set your target higher for those students than you might for other students that need more support. They have that capability to really individualize targets based on student need and can adjust those targets during the year, based on what is happening in the classroom.”

Reynolds says teachers even have the capability to determine which students will be included in their CITE 6 reporting.

“We give them flexibility in terms of what they include in the model,” Reynolds explained. “For instance, if they have a student that left mid-year, you could remove them from your data set, because they were not there for your entire instructional period. They have that flexibility.”

If a teacher decides not to include a student, they must provide an explaination as to why they are removed and an evaluator has an opportunity to review the decision.

1. CITE 6 is NOT tied to pay
Early on, DCSD decided against tying this aspect of teacher evaluations to pay, so even though student measures of learning will be included in the composite evaluation that will be sent to the Colorado Department of Education, only CITE 1-5 will be tied to pay.

This is especially fortuitous this year; given the flux that state assessments are currently experiencing as Colorado moves to PARCC and eventually SAT testing.

“It is not tied to pay, Reynolds said unequivocally. “There are too many variables involved. The state assessment system is not stable yet, in terms of their data set.”

Learn more about CITE 6 and access resources on the CITE 6 Google Site.

April 19, 2016 | By rmbarber | Category:

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