Special Educator Evaluation Resources

Date: May 2, 2013

To: Special Education Teachers, Directors, and Other School Leaders

From: Joan Breslin-Larson, Supervisor, Special Education

Gregory Keith, Coordinator, Educator Evaluation

Tyler Livingston, Specialist, Educator Evaluation

Re: Impacts and Opportunities for Evaluation of Teachers of Special Needs Students

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has consulted with a stakeholder work group to develop a teacher evaluation model that complies with the requirements in Minnesota Statutes, sections 122A.40 and 122A.41. This state model is currently in draft form and, when finalized, will be used in the event a school board and the exclusive representative of teachers fail to reach joint agreement on an evaluation process. The model has been published on the MDE website and has been shared in district informational sessions as an example of a process that complies with statute.

Several special education directors and teachers have identified areas in the statute and the state model that may be problematic as districts attempt to evaluate special education teachers, particularly in the context of itinerant teachers who work across districts that may have multiple evaluation models.

These leaders have expressed an interest in designing systems that offer meaningful feedback to all special education teachers in order to improve their performances and student outcomes. To that end, MDE has convened a focused group of special education teachers, low-incidence specialists, and special education administrators to offer guidance in the evaluation of special education teachers.

This group met first in late April 2013 and will continue to meet through the summer and fall. The outcomes for this team include:

• Identify impacts on special education teachers of implementation of the requirements in statute and the state example model
• Develop and disseminate ideas and opportunities in impact areas to provide meaningful feedback for teacher growth and fair, transparent evaluations for special education teachers
• Communicate continuously with stakeholders about the group’s progress
• Gather feedback from stakeholders regarding this work

The members of this group are motivated to engage stakeholders around the state in this process and to meet the outcomes listed above. To that end, they invite you to contact them with your ideas and questions about the work.

Bob Braun, Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative

Corlie Carter, Freshwater Education District

Rose Gebhart, Minneapolis Public Schools

Kim Gibbons, Minnesota Administrators for Special Education representative

Phyllis Hauck, Regional Low Incidence Facilitator, Region 3

Cherie Johnson, Goodhue Education Cooperative

Katy Perry, Education Minnesota Special Education Committee

Lisa Sorensen, Monticello Public Schools

Deb Williamson, Statewide Low Incidence Projects

MDE Resources

Joan Breslin-Larson, Supervisor, Special Education

Gregory Keith, Coordinator, Educator Evaluation

Tyler Livingston, Specialist, Educator Evaluation

View updates on the MDE website.