State BOE approves rule to implement new teacher, leaderhip evaluations

ATLANTA — The State Board of Education adopted a new rule at its April meeting. It establishes that all school districts and charter schools will implement the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System, known as TKES, and Leader Keys Effectiveness System, known as LKES, by the 2014-15 school year.

TKES and LKES are new ways of evaluating teachers and administrators based on objective measures such as student growth and achievement.

Officials said State Board Rule 160-5-1 .37 meets the requirements of House Bill 244, passed in 2013, which requires the Department of Education establish a teacher and leader evaluation process that is fully implemented by 2014-15.

The rule passed during the board’s two-day regular meeting April 2-3.

By the 2014-15 school year, each school district and charter school must implement an evaluation system developed by the Georgia Department of Education for teachers, assistant principals and principals that uses measures of student achievement and student growth.

School districts also must base decisions regarding retention, promotion, compensation, dismissals and other staffing decisions including transfers, placements and preferences in the event of reductions of force, primarily on the results of the new evaluation system.

Lastly, the newly developed evaluation system shall give every teacher of record, assistant principal or principal one of four ratings levels — exemplary, proficient, needs development or ineffective. Proficient is the target rating for both teachers and school leaders.

The state reported that 99 percent of all public and charter districts and schools are in full or pilot implementation of TKES and LKES this school year.

The 26 Race to the Top school districts began piloting the program in 2012. In 2012-13, Georgia conducted a full-year implementation of TKES and LKES, with 54 districts, two state agencies, four district charter schools and 16 additional schools participating.

TKES and LKES are major components of Georgia’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver. The U.S. Department of Education granted Georgia a no-cost extension of its Race to the Top grant to provide more time for statewide rollout for training and implementation of the systems.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said full implementation of TKES and LKES is an important step toward providing the best possible instruction for Georgia students.

“During pilot implementation, we have received feedback from teachers and administrators that confirms that both systems will increase communication and collaboration among school staffs, and deepen educators’ ability to prepare their students for the future,” said Barge.