I got my evaluation back from my assistant principal today. We don’t really need to go into the details of how our evaluation system works; suffice it to say that my final score was 3.88/4, which is the highest final score I’ve ever received, and my third or fourth year in a row at Highly Effective. I will probably never manage a perfect score for various reasons so only losing twelve hundredths of a point over the course of the four classroom observations and two official goals is pretty damn good.
I also spent parts of sixth and seventh hour crunching NWEA data. I’ve talked about the NWEA before; it’s one of the standardized tests I at least kinda like– it’s over fast, it’s given multiple times a year (but still eats a lot less time than the single administration of the ILEARN does) and it focuses on measuring individual student growth and doesn’t bother with a pass/fail cutscore. It also does this thing where everybody is measured on the same scale– it goes up to like 350 or something like that but a 230 or so is about what an 8th grader is expected to get on the Math test at the beginning of the year, where a first grader might be shooting for a 180 and a high school senior a 270. Two of those numbers are made up but you get the basic idea.
Long story short, my numbers were phenomenal. I got an average of a year’s growth out of these kids between the test that was administered the week before I got there and the one I gave them a couple of weeks ago– a year’s worth of growth in basically one semester. My two Honors classes in particular posted huge gains. This is probably getting too far into the weeds, but check this out:
This is my first hour class. The plus signs are Math and the squares are LA. Now, you’d expect everybody to be to the right on the “achievement” part of the graph, since they’re honors kids, but there’s nothing about honors classes that guarantees high growth, and compare how high the pluses are to how high the squares are. It’s even more stark in sixth hour:
Only four kids from that group didn’t manage high growth. That’s outstanding. And by comparing my kids to their own LA scores I know I’m not running into any statistical bullshittery; they flat-out improved more in Math than they did in LA, and by a pretty good margin once you pull all the numbers together. That’s as clear a teacher effect as I know how to demonstrate.
“But wait, Mr. Siler!” you might point out. “Didn’t your kids have a month with no teacher, and therefore possibly score more poorly on the second administration than they might otherwise, thus leading to high growth as they get back what they lost?”
A reasonable question, and while I’m not going to post the graphs, I also looked at how they did against the first test of the year, when a missing teacher wasn’t a problem, and the gains are still as stark. My other classes don’t look quite this good– again, the honors kids really came through for me– but they still look pretty goddamn good.
I may just have my mojo back, y’all.
Remind me of this post in three days, when I’m drained by the last week and never want to teach again. 🙂