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Analysis of SEA-SPS Tentative Agreement 01 Sept 2010

Page history last edited by joan@mathascent.org 11 years, 11 months ago

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Keywords: Tentative Agreement,  SEA-SPS  Seattle Education Association, teachers' union, 02 Sept 2010, Sept. 2, 2010, collective bargaining agreement

 

See also:  PG&E proposal     Joint SEA/District plan  More about the tentative agreement  Su  SERVE Seattle proposal    PGE and SERVE comments from teachers and parents  PGE and SERVE Aug 2010     District's SERVE sounds good but isn't

 

SEA/SPS Certificated Tentative Agreement  http://wea.convio.net/site/R?i=AwILa_zPMrMZWJ9_NtOBrg..

SEA/SPS Classified Tentative Agreement  http://wea.convio.net/site/R?i=wgDJDt-DyWDG9xndNfGJJA..

 

 

The ratified collective bargaining agreement, Section H,  "PG&E and Student Growth Phase-in",  subsection 1-d says this: 

 

"In 2013-2014, all employees of tested subjects (as outlined in Section G above) will be held accountable for meeting student growth standards."

 

A Summary of Article Eleven (XI) of the Ratified Agreement

 

Author's Comment:   The information summarized here gets at best vague passing reference in the SEA website summary of the tentative agreement, and in statements about the agreement from the SEA leadership. See for example this:  More about the tentative agreement 

 

I prepared this analysis in the wee hours of the morning, between the time the proposal was published (4:30 pm Wedn Sept 1) and the SEA meeting time (4:30 p.m. Sept 2). I do not understand why people are saying this agreement, which was ratified at the Sept 2 SEA meeting, does NOT include SERVE.  It may not include the acronym SERVE, but this agreement does require that student test score data will form part of the evaluation of new teachers; further, this agreement provides an opening for established teachers to be coerced into accepting that part of their evaluation will include student test score data. 

 

In this summary of the tentative agreement (TA) I focused on whether this TA allows for teacher eval to be based on student test growth data.  I ignored vast sections of the proposal. I focused on pages 25 and following.
 
Besides what the TA has to say about use of student growth data, I noticed several things:

 

1. With this agreement, the UNION is agreeing to the performance management policy of March 2009, that gives the superintendent broad discretion to "intervene in struggling schools," which can include replacing the principle, half the staff, closing the school (and seems to allow the sup to create charter schools if an when the legislation is passed.)   Reference: Article VIII,  Section G. Page 15: "1. SPS may choose to intervene in a school that has remained in the lowest performance level over the course of three years."
2. The TA does not require semi-monthly half days on friday.
3. The TA has a provision (page 4) for so called "Innovation Schoools."  Sounds to me like a place holder for anticipated charter school authorization legislation.  Innovation schools will get increased autonomy in return for increased accountability.  From page 4:
Innovation Schools – SEA and SPS will develop and negotiate a process, approved by both parties, that will allow agreed upon schools to be able to apply for broad exceptions from SPS policies and collective bargaining agreements in return for enhanced autonomy and accountability. The process designed will include how schools qualify and from which SPS policies and collective bargaining agreement sections schools may be exempted.  I think the District will use this clause to free the independent charter schools from having to hire union teachers. The independent charters will be allowed to hire TFA type teachers.
 
Focus of this summary:  The role of Student Growth Data in teacher evaluation.

 

Overview:  Key Clauses of the Agreement

 

  • The principal uses either the General or Comprehensive evaulation for his/her annual evaluation of each teacher. See below for summary of the Comprehensive and General Evaluations, and/or see Articles XI sections D (Page 28) and E (page 29), respectively.  Both forms of principal-conducted evaluations of teachers have "performance expections." (These are summarized below.)  Failure of a teacher to meet the performance expections results in sanctions. Under the General evaulation, the worst sanction is "probation."  Under the Comprehensive Evaluation the worst sanction is, in the case of provisional certificated employees, non-continuation of contract, and, in the case of employees with continuing contracts, being put on probation. The contract does not define "probabation," nor does it say whether a teacher can be moved from a continuing contract to a provisional contract. Although all currently employed certificated teachers start on the General Evaulation plan, a principal can choose to move a teacher to the comprehensive plan, and the decision is "non-grievable."  
  • "The decision to move an employee to the Comprehensive Evaluation is not grievable, but a meeting of the employee, his/her SEA representative, the supervisor and the SPS Executive Director of Schools may be called by the employee to discuss the reasons for the change." [Article XI, clause F-2]  This stipulation is perhaps the most disadvantageous element of this agreement, since it appears that the principal need not give a strong evidenced-based rationale for a decision to move a teacher from the general to the comprehensive evaulation plan. 
  • This agreement does require that teacher evaulations will be based on student test data:  
    • "When common district-wide assessments are available, the results of those assessments will be used to determine a student growth rating."  [Source: Article XI - Section G - part 1.]  [Note: The District intends to have standardized assessments for every high school course in the Core24 program.] 
    • The Comprehensive PG&E will be used for ... "Any employee who has failed to meet the student growth standard as outlined in Article XI, Section G." [Source: Article XI -clause D-1.]  The "student growth standard" is as follows: 
    • "Teachers who demonstrated low growth averaged over two years will return to a comprehensive evaluation and receive additional observations and support as outlined below in number 9." [Source: Article XI - Clause G-8-d.] Note, this includes established teachers who the contract says would start out in Fall 2010 on the "general evalulation" plan.  

 

    • "If an employee returns to the Comprehensive Evaluation because of low growth averaged over two years"...[the principal has the option to ] "recommend placing the teacher on Performance Improvement Plan and/or probation."  [but must exercise this option by December 15.  Source: Article XI Clause G-9] 
    • "In 2013-2014, all employees of tested subjects (as outlined in Section G above) will be held accountable for meeting student growth standards."  Note: Due to Section G we understand that a "tested subject" is one for which the District has a district-wide standardized assessment.  Source: Article XI, clause H-1-d. 
    • "Prior to 2013-2014, the student growth goals will not be a factor in evaluation of the teachers that are subject to the General Evaluation Plan."  Note: Since the principal does not appear to be required to provide a strong evidence based rationale for shifting a teacher from the General to the Comprehensive evaulation track, and since such a decision is non-greivable, this clause has little consequence. Source: Article XI, clause H-1-d. 
  • The Comprehensive PG&E says that employees that fail their evaluation will face these sanctions (these are paraphrases): 
    • certificated provisional employees can face non-renewal of contract; 
    • certificated employees on continuing contracts can face being placed on probation.
    • Source: Article XI - Clauses D-5-b,c,d.  Detail provided in the next section.
  • "Performance Schedule."  The "Performance Schedule" depends on whether the teacher is subject to the general or comprehensive evaluation. See below.  
  • Career ladder positions: these are for teachers willing to have student test data tied to their evaluation, and who meet other criteria, nicluding that their students show strong growth in student test scores over a two year period.  Teachers on the career ladder will - if the supplemental levy is passed - get to take days off from regular classroom assignment (will have a substitute) in order to work with (mentor, coach) other teachers in their building. [ Details, see Article IV Section E.] I have not found any clause that seems to provide for extra pay for teachers participating in the "career ladder" program.  Career ladder positions are associated with buildings. Apparent the intent is that every buliding will have at least one career ladder program. The cost of the substitute teachers will be borne by the proposed supplemental levy. Therefore, this program is contingent on passage of the levy ballot measure.   


Performance Schedule  

 

Expectations and Sanctions under the Comprehensive Evaluation  [Source: Article XI Section D-5 (page 29)]

 

  • For employees in their first four years of teaching, satisfactory performance equates to meeting the performance schedule as follows: 
        •  Year 1: Must be proficient in Classroom Environment and basic or above in all other domains 
        •  Year 2: Must be proficient in Classroom Environment and Planning & Preparation and basic or above in all other domains 
        •  Year 3: Must be proficient in Classroom \ Environment, Planning & Preparation and Instruction and basic or above in Professional Responsibilities. 
      •   Year 4 and beyond: Must be proficient in all domains  

 

Sanctions under the Comprehensive Evaluation  [Source: Article XI Section D-5 (page 29)]

 

      •  "Certificated employees on provisional contracts that fail to meet the performance schedule will not have their contracts renewed."
      • "One (1) unsatisfactory (U) marking on any component within a domain will require a provisional certificated employee to be non-continued."
      •  "Certificated employees on continuing contracts that fail to meet the performance schedule will be issued a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), receive the support of a Human Resource Consulting Teacher, and may be placed on probation."

 

Performance Schedule:  Expectations under the General Evaluation

 

Source: Article XI Section E-4 (page 30)

 

"Satisfactory performance is defined as maintaining proficiency or above in all four domains."

"a. An employee whose performance is Unsatisfactory shall be placed on a Performance Improve Plan (PIP) and receive the support of a Human Resource Consulting Teacher. He/she may be subsequently placed on probation."

"b. An employee whose performance is Basic shall develop a support plan with their supervisor. The support plan will be for three months. At that point the administrator will discontinue the support plan, continue the support plan, or place the employee on a Performance Improvement Plan based on progress made."

 

 

Other references to "Performance Schedule" in the tentative agreement.

 

  • "Beginning in 2011-2012, compensation in the amount of $2,000 will be given to any certificated employee working in a Level 1 school. The stipend will be given each year the school is designated as a Level 1 school and will continue for two years beyond the designation if the school is at Level 2 or higher. Any employee, who falls off the performance schedule, as outlined in the evaluation procedures, will have three (3) months to improve their performance or will have the remaining amount of the stipend suspended until improvement is shown."  {Source: Article VI clause G-6..   
  • ....."  Source: Article VIII clause B-2.

 


Detail.

 
The agreement requires that every year, a teacher will perform a self evaluation and, will, in consultation with their principal, set two student growth goals. Every certified employee will be evaluated by a principal according to one plan or the other.  For various reasons teachers can move or be moved from one plan to the other.
 
The agreement has two evaulation plans:  General and Comprehensive. These are the evaulation schemes that the PRINCIPAL uses to evaulate teachers.

 

Self-eval/setting of growth goals happens every year, and happens for all employees, in addition to the the employee under going one or other of the general an comprehensive plans.

 

The agreement implies that starting in 2013-2014, the student growth goals set annually by teacher (in consultation with the principal) will become a factor in the teacher's evaluation, including for teachers that are evaluated under the less punative "general evaluation plan," In addition to this, there are two other evaulation plans (more info below).

 

The General plan allows for teachers being put on probation (see more below),

 

The agreement allows principals to move teachers to the comprehensive plan (growth data as a factor kicks in) ; teachers cannot grieve such a decision

 

The Comprehensive plan allows for teachers on provisional contracts to be fired. Find more information below.

 

All new teachers will be evaluated under the comprehensive plan, never under the general.

 

Student growth data (defined in Section G) absolutely is a factor in teacher evaulation, and in decisions about whether to fire a teacher or not. 

 

Teachers subject to the Comprehensive Evaluation Plan will have the student growth data taken into account.

 

Teachers subject to the General Evaluation Plan

  • Prior to 2013-2014, the student growth goals will not be a factor in evaluation of the teachers that are subject to the General Evaluation Plan.
  • Section H:  "PG&E and Student Growth Phase-in" subsection 1-d says this:  "In 2013-2014, all employees of tested subjects (as outlined in Section G above) will be held accountable for meeting student growth standards."  Note, Due to Section G we understand that a "tested subject" is one for which the District has a district-wide standardized assessment.
      


The agreement calls for a career ladder.  A teacher can opt in if 

  • the teacher's two year averaged student growth data is very good,
  • if the teacher gets rated as innovated in two of three domains and 
  • if the teacher agrees to be evaluated under the comprehensive, rather than general, plan. 

 

The General plan

  • allows for teachers being put on probation, and allow (implicitly) for teachers to be moved to the comprehensive eval plan. I did not find a definition of "probation."  It might mean simply that the teacher gets shifted to the comprehensive eval plan. The Comprehensive plan allows for teachers to be fired.
  • General plan is for teachers that are not on the comprehensive plan. The General Plan only evaulates teachers based on the four domains, but not on the student growth targets. 
  • This will change in 2013-2014:   Section H,  "PG&E and Student Growth Phase-in",  subsection 1-d says this:  "In 2013-2014, all employees of tested subjects (as outlined in Section G above) will be held accountable for meeting student growth standards."
  • Established teachers start on the General Plan, but their supervisors can move them to the more comprehensive plan, even based on just an in informal evaluation. As far as I can tell, teachers can not grieve such a decision. They can comment and have the comment go in the file, but they cannot grieve.
     

 
The Comprehensive Plan

 

  • allows for teachers to be fired
  • applies to new teachers, provisional employees, and teachers that the supervisor has decided to move (from General Plan)
  • Established teachers (and anyone on the General Plan) will be put on the Comprehensive Plan if they fail to meet student growth goals, or they fail to get a good rating on one of the 4 domains of PG&E.
  • Teachers cannot grieve being moved from the General to the Comprehensive plan.  From page 31: 

 

"The decision to move an employee to the Comprehensive Evaluation is not grievable, but a meeting of the employee, his/her SEA representative, the supervisor and the SPS Executive Director of Schools may be called by the employee to discuss the reasons for the change."

 

  •  Teachers can be moved back on to the general plan if they meet their student growth goals, etc.
  • The Superinentent has unilateral authority to move provisional teachers from the Comprehensive to the General Plan, no rationale need be given.

 

FUNDING-CONTINGENCIES:  several aspects of the agreement will be curtailed or not implemented if funding does not come available
details on very last page = page 34.
 
=====KEY QUOTATIONS OF THE AGREEMENT, Article XI, starting page 25=====
 
SECTION B. GENERAL TERMS OF THE EVALUATION PROCESS

Sub-section Article X1-Section 3-B-a-ii:

 

a: Student growth goals....ii.  During the student academic achievement goal setting process the evaluator and the certificated employee should review and discuss:

  • Classroom, school, SPS, and State performance data, trend data, previous strategies and outcomes;
  •  Classroom evidence available which may include classroom-based  assessments, district assessments, state assessments, classroom data, student portfolios, student IEPs, special education assessments or data pertinent to specialists or support personnel;
b. Professional Growth Goal(s)   i. The evaluator will meet with individual certificated employees to set at least one annual professional growth goal linked to the student academic achievement goal(s) and school’s CSIP plan. The certificated employee and the evaluator have a joint responsibility to develop the growth goal(s) in a collaborative manner, and identify any support resources needed. The certificated employee and evaluator will sign the completed Goal Setting Plan, each should retain a copy.

 


SECTION D: PG&E – Comprehensive Evaluation
SECTION E: GENERAL EVALUATION.....[less risky evaluation: worst case scenario is getting put on probation]
SECTION F: EMPLOYEES RETURNED TO A COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION
1. Once proficient in all four domains, a certificated employee will be evaluated under a general evaluation (as outlined in Section E) unless one of the following occurs:
a. Based upon formal or informal observations and conferences, the evaluator deems the employee’s overall performance to be no longer proficient in one or more of the criteria and domains; or
b. The employee’s students do not meet typical growth, as defined in Article XI, Section G.
c. The employee voluntarily moves to a comprehensive evaluation in order to be considered for a career ladder position. [so you can't access the career ladder unless you are wiling to have student test scores be part of your evaluation]
2. The decision to move an employee to the Comprehensive Evaluation is not grievable, but a meeting of the employee, his/her SEA representative, the supervisor and the SPS Executive Director of Schools may be called by the employee to discuss the reasons for the change.
3. Once a teacher has demonstrated proficiency in all four domains and met typical growth standards, then he/she will be evaluated as set forth in Section E [i.e., according to less risky general eval] above.
 
p 31...SECTION G: DEFINITION AND USE OF STUDENT GROWTH STANDARDS
When common district-wide assessments are available, the results of those assessments will be used to determine a student growth rating. These results will be calculated as set forth below.....
.....8. Performance Expectations
a. The performance of a teacher’s students on each assessment will be rated according to a 100-point scale signifying the following:
i. Low growth: less than 35
ii. Typical growth: 35-70
iii. High growth: more than 70
b. A teacher’s overall rating will equal the average of his/her ratings on all common assessments over two years.
c. Teachers will be eligible to apply for career ladder positions if they are “Innovative” in at least two of the following domains: Classroom Environment; Planning and Preparation; or Instruction. They must be at least “Proficient” in the other domains. They must also demonstrate high student growth averaged over two years.

 

 

 

  •  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 


......
p. 34] SECTION H: PHASE-IN OF PG&E AND STUDENT GROWTH STANDARDS

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