In Delaware, a school or district may create its own evaluation system, Title 14 – Chapter 12 – Subchapter VII. Educator Evaluations. Colonial School District along with a few charter schools have decided to take advantage of this alternative evaluation system. Two years ago, EastSide Charter School, in collaboration with Thomas Edison Charter School, Prestige Academy and Kuumba Academy, received a waiver by the Department of Education to implement an innovative alternative to the traditional teacher evaluation system, DPAS II.
(f) A local school district, vocational-technical school district or charter school may make application to the Department for a waiver of the provisions of the DPAS II evaluation system, which shall be granted, subject to the provisions of rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, if the request for a waiver is based on a locally developed evaluation process that is demonstrated to be the product of the collective bargaining process pursuant to Chapter 40 of this title and community review and is as rigorous and as educationally sound as DPAS II, provides for evaluating educator performance by measuring student growth using multiple measures over the course of a curricular year, and contains a mechanism for certifying evaluators and for quality control.
The Colonial Education Association union’s members voted on the proposal and approved it 275-240.
“We’re giving this a shot because this is an alternative to [the old system], said CEA President Stephanie Ingram. “I think what people are thinking is: this could be something better. At least with Colonial, we actually get to have some say in what happens.”
The statewide Delaware Performance Appraisal System II is widely distrusted by teachers because it includes scores on standardized tests, among other concerns. Almost no teachers have been rated ineffective under the system, and administrators have complained that the process is overly bureaucratic and time-consuming.
“DPAS-II just wasn’t working for us,” Leida said. “Our folks were telling us that they weren’t getting enough value out of it for it to be worth all the time that was being spent on it.”
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