Dec. 15, 2011 Oklahoma State Board of Education Meeting Highlights

Teacher, Leader Effectiveness Evaluation plan adopted

The Oklahoma State Board of Education on Dec. 15, 2011, adopted a Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Evaluation plan for the coming year. For the qualitative assessment portion of the evaluation systems, the board selected Tulsa Public Schools’ TLE Observation and Evaluation System as the presumptive default for teacher evaluations. This system will be paid for by the state in terms of training and implementation using a formula based on the district’s average daily attendance.  The board also selected McREL’s Principal Evaluation System as the state-supported, presumptive default administrative evaluation system. But the board also chose to allow school districts throughout the state to select which of three teacher evaluation systems they would like to use for the coming pilot year – Tulsa’s, Marzano’s  Causal Teacher Evaluation Framework, or Danielson’s Framework for Teaching; and two leader evaluation systems – McREL’s and Reeves’s Leadership Performance Matrix.

The board’s vote came after months of meetings by the 19-member Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Commission, which included input from statewide stakeholders such as educators, parents, students, community members and policymakers. Board members said they very much valued the commission’s recommendation to use Tulsa’s teacher evaluation system and McREL’s leader evaluation system, but they also wanted to allow some flexibility for the pilot year so they could better weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each system before moving toward a more permanent solution for the state.

$157.9 Million Budget Increase Approved

The Board of Education also approved a $157.9 million budget increase requested by the State Department of Education for Fiscal Year 2013. The budget allows the department to implement reforms passed this year – such as changes to the Reading Sufficiency Act, which will put an end to social promotion for students not reading on grade level by the end of third grade; an A-F grading system for schools; and the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Evaluation System. The budget also allows the department to meet state requirements for funding programs such as Teacher Retirement and the Flexible Benefits Allowance. And it restores funding to FY 2011 levels for programs such as National Board Certified Teacher bonuses, Advanced Placement incentives and Achieving Classroom Excellence remediation, which had to be cut last year due to state budget cuts. The increase is the smallest amount sought in many years.

“This represents a responsible budget request that ensures we can implement crucial reforms across the state, while also meeting requirements and restoring programs previously cut,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi said. “Oklahoma continues to face fiscal challenges, and we're mindful that any budget request must carefully prioritize and use taxpayer dollars in an efficient and effective manner."

Rulemaking Process Discussed

The Board also heard from Kim Richey, assistant general counsel for the State Department of Education, about the rulemaking schedule for the coming year. Currently, the public comment period is open for proposed rules for changes in the Reading Sufficiency Act, which address third-grade retention for students not reading on grade level by the end of third grade. The public is allowed to comment on criteria for good cause exemptions to retention and mid-year promotion, as provided by law. Public Comment will be sought in January for rules for the state’s new A-F grading system for schools.

Last updated on May 8, 2012