During the first year of full implementation of teacher evaluations in Rhode Island, 72 percent of East Greenwich teachers scored "highly effective," the top possible ranking. All but one of the rest of the teachers scored "effective," with that one scoring "developing." No East Greenwich teachers scored "ineffective."
Teacher evaluations are based on classroom observations, professional responsibilities, and student growth and achievement, as determined by objectives established by teachers and evaluation teams.
For now, student growth on statewide assessment exams is only part of the evaluation system for information and guidance and does not play a role in the calculation of the teacher’s final evaluation rating.
EG teachers scored higher than nearly all other school districts. Only districts in Middletown (86.8 percent highly effective) and West Warwick (84.3 percent highly effective) scored higher.
Following the approval of Education Evaluation System Standards in 2009, Rhode Island schools began the process of putting evaluations in place for all teachers in the 2010. The last school year (2012-13) was the first year of full implementation of educator evaluations for all teachers and principals in all schools.
The evaluation process has been controversial, partly because teacher evaluation was to have been based on student achievement.
One East Greenwich teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said evaluating teachers was a good idea – "It makes sense, it is a really good idea, but it takes so much time."
The teacher suggested that the amount of work put in did not equal the results coming out. "Obviously it's good information," said the teacher, but "when you look at the cost-benefit analysis, when you look at the output … what you get out is a lot less than what you put in."
The teacher applauded administration help through the process.
"Bottom line, I think the way they are supporting teachers through this is excellent."
The evaluations, however, have some built-in problems.
"I think it causes a real tension between what's right for kids and what's right for your evaluation at the end of the year," the teacher said. "Those two shouldn't be in conflict."