At its meeting on April 5, 2017, the State Board of Education voted to adopt the March 29, 2017 recommendation of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) concerning the use of state mastery test data in educator evaluation plans. As a result, state mastery test data may now be used for the purposes of goal setting and professional development planning, but not in evaluation ratings.
In a statement issued by the State Department of Education concerning PEAC’s March 29, 2017 recommendation, Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell explained that the recommendation “affirms the consensus among Connecticut education stakeholders that state mastery tests provide a valid and reliable estimate of student achievement and that they can plan an important role in goal-setting for educators.” Commissioner Wentzell explained further that “state mastery tests, such as the Smarter Balanced assessment, can no longer be directly linked to the calculation” of teacher evaluation ratings.
The State Board of Education’s action on April 5, 2017 followed the Board’s action a year ago, in April of 2016, in adopting PEAC’s recommendation to provide school districts with “flexibility with respect to the incorporation of state test data in the evaluation of educators through the 2016-17 school year.” In conjunction with that action in April of 2016, PEAC was charged with the responsibility to “continue to discuss the use of state test data as part of educator evaluation beyond 2016-17” and make recommendations to the State Board of Education. The action taken by the State Board of Education on April 5, 2017 comes as a result of that further study by the PEAC.