TDE/ATPPS Work Group: Letter to the Legislature
Teacher Development and Evaluation/Alternative Teacher Professional Pay System (TDE/ATPPS) Alignment Work Group’s recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature
“To better align Minnesota’s alternative teacher professional pay system under Minnesota Statutes, sections 122A.413 to 122A.416, and Minnesota’s teacher development and evaluation program under Minnesota Statutes, sections 122A.40, Subdivision 8, and 122A.41, Subdivision 5, and effect and fund an improved alignment of this system and program.”
The TDE/ATPPS Alignment Work Group was charged with the task of seeking alignment between the Alternative Teacher Performance Pay System Statute (ATPPS, also known as Q- Comp) and the Teacher Development and Evaluation (TDE) Statute. During discussions at five face-to-face meetings coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Education, the work group reviewed both laws, looked at existing funding mechanisms and budgets for both ATPPS and TDE programs, and listened to perspectives from both ATPPS districts and non-ATPPS districts with regard to implementation of both laws.
After discussion and consensus building that allowed all members of the work group to give their thoughts and opinions, the general recommendation of the work group is to keep the integrity of both laws intact while merging the two statutes into one overall statute. The funding recommendations will maintain the quality of programming that currently exists for districts participating in ATPPS while creating the same opportunities for districts that have not been part of ATPPS as they comply with state expectations for high quality teacher development and evaluation practices.
The following 11 process recommendations and three funding recommendations are based on three premises:
- The fundamental expectations of both laws are based on current research and best practices with regard to teacher development and evaluation and should be kept in place in future legislative action, with the option of providing performance pay for teachers which has less convincing research support as a means toward better student achievement.
- The recommendations should be taken as a package and not as individual, stand-alone statements. The work group supports a comprehensive approach to both teacher development and evaluation. Evaluating teachers without the necessary support for their development and continued growth is not sound practice and at the same time support and development of teachers should be tied to fair and reliable evaluation practices which include multiple, sound measures and trained evaluators.
- Neither teacher development nor evaluation programs (nor the combination thereof) will be viable without the necessary funding to support the mandate.
As co-chairs of the work group, we are available along with department staff to answer questions you have about the recommendations from the work group. A list of members of the work group as well as materials and documents used may be found at the following link: Teacher Development and Evaluation / Alternative Teacher Professional Pay System (ATPPS) Alignment Work Group.
Kelley Spiess, Co-Chair
Misty Sato, Co-Chair
Professor, University of Minnesota Campbell Endowed Chair for Innovation in Teacher Development
TDE/ATPPS Work Group: Recommendations
Recommendation 1. Given that TDE and ATPPS have many similar expectations, the programs should be combined under the current statute 122A.40 and 41 with all of the following program elements. (Note: This recommending body strongly supports that all of the following elements should be in place in order for a “combined” statute to be viable. Selecting portions of the following recommendations would be deemed insufficient to meet the expectation of supporting student learning through teacher development and evaluation.)
Programs should continue to be developed locally and jointly-agreed to by districts and teachers with a state default model in event of no agreement.
All districts should be required to comply with the new statute. (Note: Currently, ATPPS is voluntary.)
Recommendation 2. As is currently required in the TDE statute, and in accordance with best practices in teacher development and evaluation, the focus of a locally developed program should be on the development and evaluation of teachers as a means toward improving student outcomes.
- Teacher development should be guided with individual growth and development plans as an integral part of the evaluation and support cycle.
- Individual growth and development plans should be linked to the data and information embedded in formative feedback and summative evaluations given to the teacher in order to be a guide for instructional growth of the teacher.
- In alignment with Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.60, the professional learning opportunities for teachers should be aligned with local site goals.
Recommendation 3. As is currently required in the TDE statute, and in accordance with best practices in teacher development and evaluation, the summative evaluation of the teacher should be based at minimum on a three-year data collection cycle and include opportunities for ongoing feedback and development with, at minimum, annual feedback provided to the teacher.
Recommendation 4. As is currently required in the TDE statute, and in accordance with best practices in teacher development and evaluation, measures of teacher effectiveness should use data on student academic growth, observations of teachers’ practice, and a measure of student engagement.
These data sources should be used together to guide coaching and formative feedback to the teacher as well as for the summative evaluation of the teacher.
Recommendation 5. Professional learning opportunities for teachers should follow best practices as already described in Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.60.
In alignment with Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.60, professional development opportunities should be embedded in the regular working hours of the teacher, and thus be job-embedded.
Recommendation 6. The locally developed program should include opportunities for teachers to take on professional roles, such as peer reviewer, peer observer, mentor, peer coach, instructional coach, professional learning community facilitator, team leader or other roles that allow for sharing of best practices and wisdom of experience through peer collaboration. These roles should be clearly structured.
Recommendation 7. As is currently required in the TDE statute and in accordance with best practices in teacher development and evaluation, all data within the program should be considered personnel data.
Observation and meeting notes used for developmental purposes by peer coaches, mentors or others who are not the summative evaluator can be disclosed only with teacher’s consent.
Recommendation 8. Provision for alternative compensation or performance pay should be locally determined and will not be a requirement of all districts. (Note: currently, ATPPS expects performance pay.)
Compensation may be annual or tied to agreement specifications.
Recommendation 9. The definition of teacher should be as in Minnesota Statutes, section 122A, which specifies that a teacher must hold a valid Minnesota license.
An appropriate evaluation process should be used for other professionals related to their job description and/or their licensure requirements.
Recommendation 10. The Minnesota Department of Education should be charged with the following responsibilities related to the development, support and review of the locally developed program.
- Secure assurance from each district that all requirements of state statute are being met.
- Provide support and training for districts based on need.
- Create support materials that will allow districts to perform self-review and
engage in continuous improvement.
- Create materials that will help districts align the locally developed program with other expectations in statutes such as World’s Best Work Force and Staff Development Program expectations in Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.60.
- Support districts in reporting on their local use of state funding.
Recommendation 11. Regarding probationary teachers, Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.40, Subdivision 5, and section 122A.41, Subdivision 2, should be amended to allow for the following:
- Probationary teachers should receive formative evaluations and feedback at least three times periodically throughout each school year during the probationary period of employment (“the first three consecutive years of a teacher’s first teaching experience”).
- The evaluation of the probationary teacher should align with the evaluation expectations in this combined TDE and ATPPS statute, with the provision that the probationary teacher have a summative evaluation at the end of each of the three years of probationary period of employment.
- The probationary teacher enters the three-year evaluation cycle at the beginning of the fourth year of employment.
Funding Recommendation #1: The Legislature should combine these programs into one program implemented under the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, sections 122A.40 and 41. Equal funding should be provided to all districts at the level currently available under Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.415, and consistent with the provision in other recommendations in this report.
Funding Recommendation #2: All districts should receive the state allocation of $169/student for implementing the provisions in Minnesota Statutes, sections 122A.40 and 41 (Teacher Development and Evaluation), to develop, improve and support teachers and improve student learning and success. Use of these funds must be used for the following program elements and others per Minnesota Statutes, sections 122A.40 and 122A.41:
- Minimum of one summative evaluation in a three year cycle.
- 35 percent based on student academic growth.
- Professional roles such as peer reviewer, coach, observer.
- Student engagement measures.
- Individual growth and development plan.
- Classroom observations and feedback.
- Job-embedded professional development.
Funding Recommendation #3: All districts and charter schools should have access to local levy authority with equalization of up to $91/student to further enhance teacher development and improve student learning if they adopt and implement at least three of the following additional program elements:
- Teacher leadership positions.
- New teacher mentoring and induction support.
- Supplemental/additional job-embedded professional development.
- Performance incentives at the school or individual level based on student outcomes and/or teacher performance.
- Reform of the salary schedule tied to evaluation results.
Funding Recommendation #4: The role of the Minnesota Department of Education should be to provide professional development, implementation support, technical assistance, levy certification and verification of the use of the funding through expenditure review (UFARS reporting).