The New Jersey Department of Education released changes to evaluation weights for the 2016-2017 school year last evening. The changes modify the percentage related to median ‘Student Growth Percentile’ or SGP which changed from 10 percent to 30 percent for teachers and principals.
Basis for the Change
The memo announcing the changes outlines the transitional process the State took back in the 2014-2015 school year when the assessment weight was modified downward to 10 percent to allow for transition from NJASK to the new PARCC assessment. According to the memo, the “change also allowed the Department to gather information about the stability of the mSGP measure during the transition to the new assessment. “
Arguing that New Jersey has now entered its third year of PARCC testing and that students, teachers, school leaders and schools have successfully transitioned to the new assessments, the Department also made the point that test results are being returned to school districts more rapidly than ever before and that the assessment is being used as a tool to improve classroom instruction more effectively than any previous statewide assessment.
Education commissioner David Hespe said in a statement that as New Jersey enters its fourth year of its educator evaluation system, the department is encouraged by how, in its view, the evaluation system is supporting academic success.
“The goal of [the] TEACHNJ Act is to help ensure that all students receive a quality education, and increasing the evaluation component weight gets us closer to the original intent,” he said, referring to a 2012 statute requiring the use of multiple measures in evaluations.
SGP scores are available for educators who teach or lead in grades 4-7 math or 4-8 English language arts – the areas tested by PARCC. The revised mSGP weight applies to approximately 15 percent of teachers.
Under State regulation, N.J.A.C. 6A:10-4.1, the Department is required to announce weights for each subsequent academic year by no later than August 31.