Hawaii teachers rate new evaluation system

Hawaii teachers rate new evaluation system

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than a year after Hawaii's teachers agreed to their new contract, some still don't understand the student evaluation system that will factor into their salaries. The Hawaii State Department of Education and the Hawaii State Teachers Association just released results of a teacher survey on the Educator Effectiveness System (EES). The online survey was sent to the HSTA's 13,500 teacher members. 30% of them completed the survey between Feb. 25 to March 11.

Key findings include:

20% of respondents indicated low levels of understanding of the EES by marking the "bottom three" box or 1-3 where 1 = do not understand at all. 18% indicated high levels of understanding of the EES by marking the "top three" box or 8-10 where 10 = completely understand.

Based on top-three box ratings, more respondents understand Classroom Observations (36%), while fewer understand the Hawaii Growth Model (12%).

Teachers are now evaluated by students in grades K-12 as part of the EES. The student survey, which is administered twice during the school year, is designed to provide classroom feedback to improve teaching and learning.

Kaimuki High School teacher M.J. Matsushita took the EES survey. She believes the state has not done a good job rolling out the evaluation system statewide.

"We'd have some professional development training and we'd frankly come out more confused or upset than when we went into it in the first place," said Matsushita.

According to the survey, a common complaint was that teachers need more guidance and time to prepare for the requirements.

"It's taking the teachers so much time to do this, which is a snapshot of the evaluation piece of what they do," said HSTA president Wil Okabe.

"It gives us a lot of information that we can act on. It gives us points of validation and also points of challenge where we need to improve. I think it's premature to be issuing a grade, so to speak, on it," said DOE deputy superintendent Ronn Nozoe.

As part of the controversial system, children grade the teachers in seven areas. The student surveys will count for 10% of the instructor's evaluation. For most teachers, next year's results will be used to determine whether they receive a pay raise.

"This is a huge transformational shift for our entire Department of Education, and I would argue, for the state of Hawaii," said Nozoe. "So to expect that there are going be bumps along the way, there are going to be disagreements, there's gonna be questions and apprehension, of course"

A joint committee of DOE and HSTA representatives will use the data to recommend improvements to the DOE superintendent.

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