Arizona Education Association

Winter 2013

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AC C OU N TA BI L I T Y Addressing Teacher Evaluation Concerns School districts across Arizona are implementing new evaluation systems for teachers and principals with new performance classifications. These new evaluations are the result of legislation passed in the last two legislative sessions (HB2823 and HB2500), which mandated evaluations include quantitative data on student academic progress and made changes in improvement time periods and the dismissal process. Originally, both pieces of legislation, as introduced, contained many punitive measures. AEA staff and members worked with legislators to mitigate some of the most detrimental parts to the legislation and negotiated more professional development and support to help teachers who find themselves struggling in the classroom. The fact that the AEA was able to successfully negotiate major changes to a bill that was originally so detrimental to teachers' rights and professionalism is a significant victory in light of the current political climate. You can read more about AEA's efforts online at www. AEA's Quality Teaching and Learning and Advocacy departments have created this FAQ around the new teacher evaluation system. What is the difference between "continuing" and "probationary" status? Teachers employed by a school district for the major portion of more than three years, who have not been rated as ineffective, have "continuing status" (Arizona's version of tenure). All other teachers have "probationary" status. Beginning on June 30, 2013, these terms now explicitly appear in Arizona law to describe the legal rights of these two different types of teachers. The main difference between these two categories is that probationary teachers can be nonrenewed at the end of the school year for a myriad of reasons, but continuing status teachers have a due process interest in continued employment, so they can only lose their position if dismissed or subject to a reduction in force. What are the four performance categories that Districts must classify all teachers? Highly Effective • Consistently exceeds expectations • Demonstrates mastery of standards as determined by required observations Effective • Consistently meets expectations. • Students generally made satisfactory levels of Winter.13advo.indd 12 academic progress. Demonstrates competency in standards as determined by classroom observations. Developing • Fails to consistently meet expectations • Unsatisfactory levels of student academic progress • Insufficient level of competency in adopted standards as determined by classroom observations. NOTE: This classification may be assigned for more than two consecutive years to new or newly-reassigned(new subject or grade level) teachers. This classification is not intended for veteran teachers for more than two consecutive years. Ineffective • Consistently fails to meet expectations • Unsatisfactory levels of student academic progress 12 Winter 2013/14 x AEA Advocate 11/4/13 3:23 PM

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