The District Evaluation Advisory Committee, or DEAC, required by AchieveNJ through at least SY16-17, has great potential for supporting districts in effectively implementing AchieveNJ. This was clearly recognized by New Jersey's evaluation pilot districts and is widely documented in the Final Evaluation Pilot Advisory Committee (EPAC) Report. Recommendations and suggestions for effective DEACs are offered from pilot districts in this two-page excerpt from the full report.
Some recommended functions of the DEAC include:
- Coordinate efforts to plan and implement educator evaluation;
- Maintain open lines of communication and provide a consistent message about evaluation throughout the district;
- Provide an integrated vision connecting multiple initiatives that districts are implementing; and
- Provide a coherent professional development plan for the district based on evaluation data.
The committee must include:
- the superintendent
- a special education administrator
- a parent
- a member of the district board of education
- one or more central office administrators overseeing the teacher evaluation process
- one or more administrators conducting evaluations
- representatives of teachers from each school level in the district
Districts should consider expanding this minimum requirement to include more teachers and other educators whose engagement in the initiative is important to its success, e.g. teacher leaders, association representatives, other teaching staff members, such as school counselors, etc.
The primary role of the DEAC is to oversee and guide the planning and implementation of the school district board of education's evaluation policies and procedures (for both teachers and principals), whereas the School Improvement Panel (ScIP) provides leadership at the school level not only for the implementation of the district's teacher evaluation policies and procedures, but also mentoring and professional development supports for teachers.
The superintendent is responsible for the formation and operation of the DEAC. The superintendent must decide how to use the advice provided by this committee and which DEAC decisions should be adopted by the district. The superintendent should clearly communicate the DEAC role in providing feedback.
One key role that both the DEAC and ScIP can play is to mediate and facilitate ongoing communications between the district and its schools to ensure that policies and procedures are being communicated consistently and implemented effectively. For example, the DEAC can distribute policy and procedural information via each ScIP. The SciP can provide school-level feedback on how the policies are being implemented, including information on successes and challenges. To ensure effective two-way communication between ScIPs and DEACs, districts should consider having at least one ScIP member from each school also sit on the DEAC where feasible.
Below is a summary of possible agenda items that might be used by DEACs in April or May. Districts should use these resources as guidance and select only those items that make sense for them.
Possible Agenda Items for April/May DEAC Meetings
1) Discuss procedures in place to complete evaluation process throughout district
2) Analyze aggregated SGO score distributions and SGO quality
Refer to Finishing Strong document.
Discuss improving assessment quality and how various measures can be used to determine student starting points. Discuss how to improve collaboration throughout the SGO process.
3) Analyze aggregate teacher practice scores
Examine observation scores by school and by component. Identify potential PD areas that could be addressed in 2015-16.
5) Discuss FAQs
Update district website FAQ with answers to this month's questions from staff. Refer to DOEs FAQ