The similarities between student learning goals and measuring student growth– DDMs– have led to confusion in some districts– and an opportunity for streamlining in others.
Before exploring the pros and cons of using the same set of data to assess progress toward student learning goals and student growth, it’s important to review the place of both in the educator evaluation system. A teacher’s progress with student learning goals contributes to Performance Rating (Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement, Unsatisfactory), while measures of student growth are used to arrive at Impact Rating (High, Moderate, or Low).
Pros: By collecting data sets that track progress on student learning goals and measure student growth (DDMs), teachers should be able to decrease the time allocated to assessment and the time needed to score student work.
Cons: The objectives of the student learning goal may be very different than those of the DDM. The first may be short-term, whereas a DDM ought to be long-term, usually a school year or semester. And the grain-size may be different; the student learning goal can address a more narrow set of learning a standards than a DDM. Finally, there is the possibility that one set of data might ‘count against’ a teacher twice. If that single set of data is disappointing, it can drag down a teacher’s performance and impact rating.
What do you think? How is your district approaching this issue?