SB 332 - This act modifies provisions relating to educator quality, including adding criteria that must be met for a teacher to gain permanent teacher status; requiring school districts to implement an educator evaluation system; establishing criteria for reducing the number of teachers in a district when necessary; and creating a process to address the employment and performance of ineffective or minimally effective teachers.
CRITERIA FOR EARNING PERMANENT TEACHER STATUS: This act establishes criteria school districts must use when granting permanent teacher status to teachers, as described in the act. Criteria must include multiple measures for assessing a teacher's effectiveness. Student academic growth, as described in the act, must be the predominant criterion. A teacher must earn four consecutive ratings of effective or highly effective on the annual evaluation to be granted permanent teacher status. If a teacher satisfies all of the criteria, he or she will undergo a formal review and conferral process with the teacher's principal and the superintendent's designee to gain permanent teacher status. (Section 168.114, 168.221)
REDUCTION IN FORCE AND STAFFING DECISIONS: This act modifies the criteria that a school board uses when placing teachers on leave of absence because of a decrease in student enrollment, district reorganization, or financial condition. This act repeals requirements and procedures commonly referred to as "last in first out" which, when placing teachers on leave, gives preference to permanent teachers and retains permanent teachers based on performance-based evaluation and seniority. Instead, in such a situation, and when a district makes decisions of retention, promotion, dismissal, and other staffing decisions, the school board must primarily use the results of annual performance evaluations. Individual teacher performance will be weighted at not less than fifty percent, which must include evidence of increased student growth, pedagogical skills, and preparation to maximize instructional time. A school board cannot use a differentiation in compensation levels, seniority, degrees, or credentials as a basis for staffing decisions, as described in the act. If the results of individual evaluations are equal, a district may consider other factors, including contributions, accomplishments, or performance; relevant supplemental professional experience, and length of service. (Section 168.124, 168.221)
EDUCATOR EVALUATIONS: Each school district must establish a comprehensive, performance-based evaluation system for each teacher that must be performed annually or the district must adopt the model evaluation system developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The system must include both formative and summative evaluations. Each teacher and principal contract and collective bargaining agreement must authorize the use of evaluation results as the basis for decisions. Evaluations will be used to provide supports and professional development for teachers and principals.
Evaluation systems must use multiple measures, be aligned with growth in student achievement and must be used as the basis for personnel decisions. For teachers who teach courses subject to annual assessments aligned with state standards, student achievement and student growth must count for at least fifty percent of the evaluation using value-added measures developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. For teachers who do not directly instruct students in subjects and grades subject to such assessments, but who are expected to contribute to student performance, growth in student achievement on such assessments must be used as an evaluation measure and count for a percentage of the evaluation as determined by the district. Multiple additional measures must be used for teachers and principals, as described in the act.
Four rating levels must be used to evaluate teachers and principals: highly effective, effective, minimally effective, or ineffective. Evaluation results must be used to base decisions regarding significant differentiation in retention, promotion, dismissals, and other staffing decisions, including a reduction in force. Each district must fully implement the evaluation system using the same timeframe used by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in conjunction with the Department's waiver from the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. (Section 168.128)
UNDERPERFORMING TEACHERS: If a permanent teacher receives a rating of ineffective or minimally effective on an annual year-end performance evaluation, the district must provide the teacher an individualized development plan. The teacher will also be placed on a remediation period, during which time the teacher will receive assistance and in-service training opportunities to help correct performance deficiencies. If the teacher does not receive a rating of effective or higher by the time of the subsequent annual year-end performance evaluation, the teacher's permanent teacher status will be revoked and he or she will be placed on probationary teacher status, receive additional professional development, and will be eligible for dismissal or demotion.
Any probationary teacher who has been rated ineffective by evaluations for two consecutive school years will not have his or her contract renewed. (Section 168.128, section 168.221)
DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION: The Department must promulgate rules to implement this act and must develop a model evaluation system. The Department must: develop standards for rating levels; develop processes and requirements for value-added models; provide technical assistance to districts; establish a process to approve assessments and forms; and monitor local evaluation systems. (Section 168.228)
INCOMPETENCY: Currently, a separate tenure system exists for the St. Louis City School District. This act adds "incompetency" as a cause for removing a tenured teacher in the St. Louis City School District. Incompetency, for both St. Louis and the statewide teacher tenure system, is defined as two consecutive ratings of ineffective. (Sections 168.114, 168.221)
PROFESSIONAL IMPROVEMENT PLANS: Each school district must develop guidelines for professional improvement plans for teachers, principals, and administrators no later than the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. The development of the guidelines must include teachers chosen by the district teaching staff, administrators, and others. The professional improvement plan will be used to assist teachers in obtaining a satisfactory level of performance. The process for developing the criteria and goals are described in the act. (Section 168.310)
REPEALED SECTIONS: This act repeals a requirement that public schools develop teaching standards by June 30, 2010; provisions dealing with the employment of probationary teachers; and school administrator and superintendent evaluations. (Sections 160.045, 168.126, 168.410)
This act is similar to HB 631 (2013), SB 806 (2012) and HB 1526 (2012).