TLE Quantitative Delay?

Post date: Jan 29, 2015 11:04:25 AM

Our own Senator Ford is a key player in the TLE appraisal system. He is a member of the TLE Commission, which recommends TLE policies to the state board of education to implement the state statutes. He is also the chair of the Senate Education Committee. Senator Ford has filed Senate Bill 706, which would convert the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years into pilot years for the quantitative portions of the TLE, in which 100% of our TLE ratings would still be based on the qualitative rubrics. It appears his bill would require we collect data in 2016-17 which would be used for 50% of our ratings in 2017-2018.

The bill also allows districts to modify the mix of quantitative percentages for teachers in tested grades and subjects, currently split at 35% based on Value Added Measures and 15% on Other Academic Measures, to a different split. However, it does not allow non-tested grades and subjects to alter their percentages from 35% based on Student Learning/Outcome Objectives and 15% on Other Academic Measures. Districts could thus adjust the mix to help alleviate some of the inequities between state-test-based VAMs and teacher-test-based SLOs/SOOs. The bill leaves intact the requirement that eventually 50% of the TLE rating for all teachers must be based on quantitative measures.

The bill also provides an exemption from TLE's quantitative measures for teachers in post-retirement work in a district as well as teachers moving in from a different district to have only qualitative ratings in their TLE. The language is unclear about the duration of that exemption.

A bill is not a law. It has to pass committees in both houses of the legislature to reach the floor of each house, be passed in matching form by both houses, and be signed by the governor. It can be killed or amended throughout that process.

So for now we must proceed under existing state law, which mandates that 2014-2015 data on OAMs becomes 15%, and VAM/SLO/SOO becomes 35%, of the TLE rating in 2015-2016. If the bill becomes law in some form resembling its initial state, our efforts this year and next year would become pilot-year work to help us prepare for 2017-2018, when quantitative measures would take full effect.

These are most welcome changes, and it can't hurt to thank Senator Ford for these potential improvements.

UPDATE: The bill is clearly a reflection of a stinging report on problems with TLE which was authored in November but not released publicly until January 29, 2015.


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This bill does NOT fix the fundamental flaws with typing teacher appraisals to student test scores nor the immense amount of wasted time and effort in the additional testing with little real academic impact. The legislature needs to get out of the business of mandating new standards and basing appraisals on test scores. The new state superintendent was elected on a platform of reducing testing in Oklahoma; we shall see if that carries over into legislative changes. However, she has said nothing of substance yet about teacher appraisal. For now we are stuck with little support, many meaningless mandates, and a toxic school testing and appraisal environment. But at least reality is beginning to seep in!

Granger Meador, BEA Chief Negotiator

Senator Ford