Michigan’s governor appointed a special committee (temporary commission that expired in June 2013) — the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness (MCEE). The charge of MCEE was to issue the Governor, State Board of Education, and the state legislature a final report that identifies and recommends a 1) student growth and assessment tool; 2) state evaluation tool for teachers; 3) state evaluation tool for school administrators; and 4) changes to the requirements for professional teaching certificates. MCEE, in their April 2012 Interim Report, recommended running a “pilot study” for the growth assessments and evaluations (using standardized tests and classroom observations).
The Survey Research Center (SRC) at the Institute for Social Research was identified by MCEE as an independent academic research organization to manage and conduct this pilot study. The activities consisted of selection and recruitment of 12 Michigan school districts , training of principals and other administrators in those districts on one of four teacher observation protocols selected for inclusion in this pilot test, coordination with observation tool vendors to secure training and software, coordination with standardized test vendors to secure and administer selected tests to all students in the participating districts, recruitment, hiring and training of “independent observers” who will conduct partnered observation sessions with the principals on a subset of teachers according to the research design, development of a Value Added Measurement methodology, administration of additional surveys to teachers and principals collecting their experience on evaluation methods within their district, and analysis of all pilot data to help inform the MCEE on a final recommendation.
All pilot activities occurred during the 2012-2013 academic year. The SRC team worked closely with MCEE to implement the pilot and associated research.