Teacher Evaluations: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an SLO? An SLO is an instructional goal, for specific students and, for a specific time interval.
2. Who writes SLOs? All elementary, middle, and high school teachers and counselors (including teachers of tested and non-tested subjects) and principals write SLOs.
3. How many SLOs? Teachers and principals are required to write on individual and one school-wide SLO.
4. Do all teacher and principals write SLOs every year? All teachers and principals will write SLOs every year.
5. Do teachers need to write their SLOs individually or can they write them in teams? It is recommended that teaches write their SLOs in the professional learning communities (PLCs) such as grade-level teams or course-alike teams. Each individual teacher will identify his/her own students and data in the student selection process.
6. Are less than full-time teachers required to write two SLOs? All teachers, including less-than-full-time teachers, will write two SLOs.
7. Will new teachers need to write SLOs? New teachers will write SLOs.
8. Do resource teachers and special education teachers write SLOs? Can general education and special education teachers, as co-teachers, write common SLOs? Resource teachers and special education teachers will write SLOs. General education and special education teachers, as co-teachers, can write common SLO’s.
9. If a teacher is in multiple schools, does he/she write his/her SLOs at the base school where the evaluation is being written? A teacher in multiple schools will write his/her SLOs at the base school where the evaluation is being written.
10. How do teachers who are in multiple schools determine where to focus their two SLOs? A teacher who sees a pattern or trend of a student growth need in more than on school can choose to write SLOs applicable for multiple schools. The principal of the base school approves the SLO.
11. Do therapists (e.g., speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist) write SLOs? At this time, therapists will not write SLOs. However, a teacher writing an SLO may collaborate with a therapist on an academic goal for a group of students.
12. Can self-contained special education teachers use behavior or personal/functional skills for SLOs for students with special needs? Teachers will write SLOs for their students based on the curriculum and ALT outcomes.
13. Can an SLO be implemented in a short-time period? (e.g., if an SLO is skill specific, can it be analyzed in just a few weeks?) A rigorous SLO should last for a significant amount of time to help determine student proficiency.
14. How will SLOs be incorporated into teachers’ evaluations and principals’ evaluations? Teachers and principals are required to write two SLOs for the 2014-2015 school year. These SLOs will be combined to create the 50% Student Growth rating of the evaluation. The other 50% of the evaluation will still be based on the teacher or principal’s professional practices.
15. Who approves SLOs? Superintendents approve principals’ SLOs. Principals approve teachers’ SLOs.
16. Can a principal delegate approval of SLOs to assistant principals or Supervisors of Instruction? The principal may delegate initial review and approval of SLOs to assistant principals or Supervisors of Instruction. The principal is responsible for final approval of SLOs. Teachers can assist other teachers in developing theirs SLOs, but are not assigned responsibility for approval of SLOs.
17. What happens if a principal or a teacher does not achieve the goals of their SLOs? SLOs are only one of the many data sources which will be used to determine if a principal or teacher meets standard.
18. Can SLOs be changed during the year based on data and reflection? SLOs can be revised collaboratively during the year based on analysis of student learning needs.
19. Do principals write both School Improvement Plan (SIP) goals and SLOs? Do principals write their SLOs based on teacher growth or student growth? Principals SLOs are the same as their SIP goals.
20. Can a principal require that teachers’ SLOs align with the SIP? One SLO is based on a school-wide goal and must be aligned with academic/curriculum goals of the school.
21. What happens if a teacher or principal writes an SLO that does not reflect high expectations for students? Principals are responsible for approving SLOs. If, in the principal’s judgment, the SLO is not sufficiently rigorous, or does not meet students’ needs, then the principal may decide not to approve the SLO. The principal and teacher will then work collaboratively to craft an SLO that would better benefit student achievement.
22. Is it true that SLOs must be applicable to all students, regardless of disabilities, language proficiency and/or attendance? SLOs will apply to the students that are identified in the SLO. Students who enroll after Sept. 30 or are not present at least 80% of the time will be excluded.
23. If the SLO isn't supposed to be 100% of the evaluation, why were some teachers evaluated only on the basis of meeting their SLOs? SLOs only represent 50% of the evaluation. The professional practice score still accounts for 50% of the evaluation, whether it is based on observations conducted that year or carried over within a three-year cycle.