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​Guidance on Reporting and Implementation of Professional Employee Evaluations for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 Academic Years

Local education agencies (LEAs) continue to have a responsibility, under Act 82 of 2012 (Act 82), to complete professional employee evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year. However, the requirement for LEAs to include performance data otherwise required under section 1123(b)(1)(ii) for a professional employee’s performance rating has been waived for both the 2019-2020 (under Act 13 of 2020) and 2020-2021 (under Act 136 of 2020) school years. 

This page provides LEA leaders with guidance and resources as they complete federally-required reporting of evaluations for the 2019-2020 school year, and completion of professional employee evaluations for 2020-21. It is the responsibility of each LEA to ensure no professional employee is restricted from receiving a yearly completed evaluation that is consistent with legal requirements due to the current circumstances. 

Each LEA should review current local policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) in implementing provisions of Act 82, Act 13, Act 136, and this guidance in consultation with the LEA’s solicitor or other qualified counsel.

 Act 82 defines LEAs as school districts, comprehensive career and technical centers (CTC), and intermediate units. Charter schools are strongly encouraged to follow this guidance to ensure all professional employees receive an end-of-year evaluation.

Reporting of Professional Employee Evaluation Results: 2019-2020

Annually, LEAs are responsible for completing a Teacher and Principal Evaluation Survey that includes additional information on Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Educator Effectiveness reporting requirements related to Equitable Distribution of Effective Educators. 

The annual Teacher and Principal Evaluation Survey will be emailed to Superintendents, CTC Directors, and other Chief School Administrators the week of January 11, 2021. This survey collects data on LEA-specific evaluation systems, as well as each school’s building level performance results of Teachers, Principals, and Non-Teaching Professionals. The survey is a required report to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and is to be completed and returned by February 19, 2021. 

For the 2019-2020 school year, professional employees’ evaluations are based solely (100 percent) on classroom observation and practice

Also reported in the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Survey is ESSA-required data on Educator Effectiveness. These building-level reports are separate and distinct from individual educator evaluation data, and therefore has no impact on the completion of individual teacher and principal evaluations. Only building-level aggregate totals of Effective/Ineffective classroom teachers will be reported to PDE per ESSA’s requirements. 

Under Pennsylvania’s ESSA State Plan, the following data elements are used to operationalize the reporting of Equitable Distribution of Effective Educators:

  1. Student Growth Measure [Student Learning Outcome] (SLO) (20%)
  2. Danielson Model – Domain 2 – Classroom Environment (30%)
  3. Danielson Model – Domain 3 – Instruction (30%)
  4. Danielson Model – Domain 4 – Professional Responsibilities (20%)

With the waiver of SLO data collection, SLO data (20%) will be substituted with additional emphasis on Domain 3 – Instruction, as this domain includes the component of Using Assessment in Instruction. Therefore, for reporting in 2019-20 and 2020-21, the following data elements will operationalize the definition of effective educator for ESSA’s equitable access requirements:

  1. Student Growth Measure – Danielson Model – Domain 3 – Instruction (20%)
  2. Danielson Model – Domain 2 – Classroom Environment (30%)
  3. Danielson Model – Domain 3 – Instruction (30%)
  4. Danielson Model – Domain 4 – Professional Responsibilities (20%)

In practical terms, Domain 3 will now comprise 50% of the weighting for ESSA purposes.

Implementation of Professional Employee Evaluations: 2020-2021

Like Act 13 of 2020, Act 136 of 2020 allowed the Secretary of Education to waive the requirement to include performance data otherwise required under section 1123(b)(1)(ii) in a professional employee's performance rating for the 2020-21 school year. Therefore, professional employees’ evaluations will again be based solely on classroom observation and practice. 

The following sections provide details for completing professional employee evaluations based solely on classroom observation and practice which may include virtual instruction consistent with the policies and collective bargaining agreement of the LEA.

Classroom Teachers

Under Act 82, the evaluation of professionals and temporary professional employees with instructional certificates serving as classroom teachers, and providing direct instruction to students, includes the following considerations:

  • Classroom Observation – 50 percent of the overall rating in each of the following areas: Planning and preparation; Classroom environment; Instruction; and Professional responsibilities.
  • Student Performance – 50 percent of the classroom teacher’s overall rating based upon the following areas:
    • Building-Level Data (15 percent)
    • Teacher Specific Data (15 percent)
    • Elective Data (20 percent)

For the 2020-2021 school year, classroom teacher evaluations shall be based solely (100 percent) on the classroom observation and practice, including each of the following areas:

  • Planning and preparation (20 percent)
  • Classroom environment (30 percent)
  • Instruction (30 percent)
  • Professional responsibilities (20 percent)

Using the PDE 82.1 Rating Form for Classroom Teaching Professionals, the following Classroom Observation and Practice components remain in effect for the 2020-2021 school year:

Classroom Teacher Observation and Practice

The final rating of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory will be based solely on the results of the outcome of Classroom Observation and Practice. A performance rating of Distinguished, Proficient, or Needs Improvement shall be considered Satisfactory, except that the second Needs Improvement rating issued by the same employer within 10 years of the first final rating of Needs Improvement where the employee is in the same certification shall be considered Unsatisfactory. A rating of Failing shall be considered Unsatisfactory. The Act 82.1 Rating tool will be updated to calculate overall teacher evaluation results and posted on the website.

Non-Teaching Professionals

Under Act 82, the evaluation of the effectiveness of professionals and temporary professional employees serving as non-teaching professional employees includes the following considerations:

  • Classroom Observation – 80 percent of the overall rating in each of the following areas: Planning and preparation; Educational environment; Delivery of service; and Professional development.
  • Student Performance – 20 percent of the non-teaching professional employee overall rating based upon the Building-Level Score.

For the 2020-2021 school year, non-teaching professional evaluations will be based solely on classroom observation and practice, including each of the following areas:

  • Planning and preparation (25 percent)
  • Educational environment (25 percent)
  • Delivery of service (25 percent)
  • Professional development (25 percent)

Using the PDE 82.3 Rating Form for non-teaching professional, the following Observation and Practice evidence remain in effect for the 2020-2021 school year:

Non Teaching Professional Observation and Practice Table

The final rating of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory will be based solely on the results of the outcome of the Classroom Observation and Practice. A performance rating of Distinguished, Proficient, or Needs Improvement shall be considered Satisfactory, except that the second Needs Improvement rating issued by the same employer within 10 years of the first final rating of Needs Improvement where the employee is in the same certification shall be considered Unsatisfactory. A rating of Failing shall be considered unsatisfactory. The Act 82.3 Rating tool will be updated to calculate overall non-teaching professional evaluation results and posted on the website.

Principals and School Leaders

Under Act 82, the term principal includes the positions of principal, assistant principal, vice principal, and CTC director. The evaluation of professional employees serving as principals includes the following considerations:

  • Framework for Leadership Model (Leadership/Observation/Practice) – 50 percent of the overall rating in each of the following areas: Strategic and cultural leadership; Systems leadership; Leadership for learning; and Professional and community leadership.
  • Student Performance – 50 percent of the principal’s overall rating based upon the following areas:
    • Building-Level Data (15 percent)
    • Correlation Data (15 percent)
    • Elective Data (20 percent)

For the 2020-2021 school year, principals’ evaluations shall be based solely on the Framework for Leadership Model, including each of the following areas:

  • Planning and preparation – Strategic and cultural leadership (25 percent)
  • School environment – Systems leadership (25 percent)
  • Delivery of service – Leadership for learning (25 percent)
  • Professional development – Professional and community leadership (25 percent)

Using the PDE 82.2 Rating Form for Principal and CTC Directors, the following Observation Evidence remain in effect for the 2020-2021 school year:

Principal/School Leader Observation/Evidence

The final rating of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory will be based solely on the results of the outcome of the Classroom Observation and Practice. A performance rating of Distinguished, Proficient, or Needs Improvement shall be considered Satisfactory, except that the second Needs Improvement rating issued by the same employer within 10 years of the first final rating of Needs Improvement where the employee is in the same certification shall be considered Unsatisfactory. A rating of Failing shall be considered unsatisfactory. The Act 82.2 Rating tool will be updated to calculate overall principal and CTC director evaluation results and posted on the website.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

LEAs are advised to consider the following questions and answers when completing the professional employee observations and evaluation requirements.

Can professional employee tenure decisions continue using school year 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school year evaluation results?
Yes. The 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years can count toward an educator’s acquisition of tenure based on the LEA’s evaluation decision(s) consistent with section 1108 of the School Code. 

What method does PDE recommend for conducting observations of professionals providing virtual instruction?
There are multiple methods of conducting observations of professionals during a period of remote learning. LEAs should consult or develop local policies on the collection of data for evaluating the four domains of planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. Contact your local Intermediate Unit for support. 

Has PDE excluded any components (e.g., SLO, Teacher Correlation or elective data) from the educator evaluation models?
Pursuant to Act 13 of 2020 and Act 136 of 2020, the Secretary of Education has waived the requirement to include performance data, including Building Level Data, Teacher Specific Data, and Elective Data (SLO) for evaluations during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. 

Will the decision to exclude performance data for the current year impact plans for future evaluations that rely on lagging data (e.g., previous year's student data)?
PDE will release additional information and guidance concerning the impact of lagging performance data on future year professional employee evaluations.