Enhanced Growth Model Enacted by Board of Regents

The state Board of Regents met in Albany on June 17 and 18 – SAANYS was there. The attached action item [click here to download document], including revised student linkage rules and methodologies for assigning points to teachers and principals under the annual professional performance review (APPR) system, was passed with virtually no discussion at the meeting on the 17th by the Board of Regents members.

Educators Impacted by the Regents Action:
The Regents action affects subcomponent 1 of the APPRs for teachers and principals who will receive a state-generated subcomponent 1 score (ELA and math teachers in grades 4-8 and their principals, and high school principals).  It has no affect on teachers and principals whose subcomponent 1 scores are based on student learning objectives (SLOs).

What the Board of Regents Action Does: The board has put in place an enhanced growth model for APPR subcomponent 1 for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. (The board’s action has no effect on the current content, calculation, or weighting of the subcomponent 2 locally selected measures of student achievement.) The distribution of APPR points used in 2011-12 (20-20-60) remains in place and will be continued for next year. The value-added growth model will take effect beginning in 2014-15, whereupon the distribution of APPR points will become 25-15-60. The board’s action impacts the following four aspects of the APPR system:
1.    “Linking” Student Performance to Teachers – In 2011-12, in order for a student-level score to count in a teacher’s APPR evaluation, the student had to be continuously enrolled for 195 calendar days in grade 4-8 ELA and for 203 calendar days in grade 4-8 math.  For 2012-13, in order to increase the incidence of student scores attributed to teachers, the continuous enrollment rule was eliminated and SED will institute a minimum 60 percent aggregate requirement for student enrollment in a course for a student to count in the APPR evaluation. NYSED also “plans” to apply a weighting factor reflecting the percentage of time the student was enrolled in and actually attended the course.
2.    “Linking” Student Performance to Principals – For principals of schools with grades 4-8, in 2011-12, in order for a student-level score to count in the principal’s APPR evaluation, the student had to be enrolled on BEDS day and assessment day. For 2012-13, so that the enrollment rules match the requirements for institutional accountability, there will be no change in this requirement – there will be no consideration of student attendance.
3.    Student Growth Measures, Controlling for Student Characteristics in Grades 4-8 – For 2011-12, teacher and principal growth measures considered four types of student characteristics for comparing a student’s growth to others: academic history, poverty, disability, and English language learner status. For 2012-13 and 2013-14, the enhanced model adds considerations for prior year testing in a different subject, retention in grade, students new to the school, average prior achievement and prior score in class for the same subject, the percent of time students with disabilities spend in general education settings and the percent of students with disabilities in a student’s class, NYSESLAT scores of English language learners, and the percent of ELL students in a student’s class, and the percent of poverty in a student’s class.   Beginning in 2014-15, the value-added growth model will add two more factors: over or under-age for grade and class size.  
4.    Student Growth Measures for High School Principals in Grades 9-12 – In 2011-12, the new 3-subcomponent APPR requirements did not apply to high school principals. For 2012-13 and 2013-14, equivalent student characteristics and factors will be used in calculating a high school principal’s state growth subcomponent rating, and the rating will be based on a combination of two measures that are weighted by the number of students included in each measure:
a.    Measure 1 – The high school student growth percentile measure will compare the performance of students between 7th or 8th grade state assessments with the integrated algebra and comprehensive English Regents exams to the performance of similarly achieving students statewide. For each of the two Regents exams, schools must have at least 16 student scores for the mean growth percentile (MGP) to be calculated for that subject.
b.    Measure 2 – Student growth based on the number of Regents exams passed annually starting in the year of student entry into grade 9, compared to similar students statewide. Up to 8 Regents exams are counted in this measure and at least 16 students must be enrolled in the school for the measure to be calculated.   

What this Means to School Administrators:
For Collective Bargaining Agreements – If the CBA includes the 20-20-60 proportions and this information was included in the review room submission approved by the department, no additional action is necessary.  If the CBA includes the 20-20-60 proportions in the CBA, but this information was not included the review room submission, it is unclear whether the school district must submit this additional information in review room for SED approval or may simply implement this provision. For the locally-selected measures in subcomponent 2, if a 20 point process was negotiated only for selected principals (e.g., K-3 principals), it is our position that the process negotiated for such principals does not now automatically apply to all principals, unless agreed upon. The Regents item also specifies that if the CBA does not include the 20-20-60 proportions, the district/BOCES must implement a 20 point chart for the locally selected measures subcomponent by multiplying each score attained on its 15 point method by a factor of 4/3 (1.33).  It is also unclear whether a CBA that does not include the 20-20-60 proportions may be quickly re-negotiated and implemented at the local level. Note: The Regents document indicates that NYSUT assures that every school district has also negotiated and agreed upon a 20-20-60 point chart and that there is no need to re-open collective negotiations – SAANYS has not provided such assurances to the department.

There are many open questions about the content of the Regents item including: What happens in cases where principals do not have at least 16 student scores necessary to calculate the MGP? When will the promised details be provided regarding the 2012-13 linkage policies? When will the promised training materials be provided that include a more detailed explanation of the 9-12 growth measures. We also have conceptual questions, such as, why does the department continue to adhere to the rigid and unfair position that a principal’s evaluation must be inextricably linked to their school’s accountability status and how will the department control for high schools that offer fewer Regents exams?  We will keep you updated as this evaluation system continues to evolve.