Friday, February 15, 2013

Professional Growth and Effectiveness System Critical to Students’ Futures (Please Contact Your Legislators)

One of the most important education bills that the legislature is considering this session is HB 180, which amends KRS 156.557 to update statutory language to reflect changes to the teacher effectiveness system.

For two years, a steering committee comprised of teachers and principals from across the state have worked in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education and other partners to put an educator effectiveness framework in place to move us forward in Kentucky. It focuses on several areas including: Planning and Preparation; Classroom Environment; Instruction; Professional Responsibilities; and Student Growth. The Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) is a comprehensive statewide system to help teachers understand and implement the framework and make changes necessary for all students in Kentucky to become college- and career-ready. It is currently being field tested in schools across the commonwealth and overall feedback has been very positive.

Current evaluation systems in Kentucky do not provide our educators the information they need to support their professional growth and effectiveness and in turn, to support increases in student achievement. PGES provides teachers, administrators and districts the data and tools needed to improve. The proposed system moves educators from simply being qualified to becoming highly effective. It also defines what effectiveness looks like. Yet, ALL our children, regardless of where they live, deserve to be taught by an effective teacher at a school led by an effective principal. PGES provides that consistency.

The proposed changes to KRS 156.557 are also specific to meeting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver requirements. Under the provisions of the U.S. Department of Education’s waiver, each local school district must commit to develop, adopt, pilot, and implement, with the involvement of teachers and principals, teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that support continuous improvement of instruction and use multiple valid measures in determining performance levels, including as a significant factor, data on student growth for all students. HB 180 will set the stage for implementation of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System and meet the federal requirements.

If the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System is not implemented, it puts our federal flexibility waiver at risk and in fact all of our federal funding ($480,693,090). In this time of tight budgets, this would be devastating to our schools and districts. Below is a chart showing the federal funds that would be impacted.

Kentucky’s Federal Funding
Total Award
Title I - Part A
Title I - Part C - Migrant
Title I - Part D - Neglected & Delinquent
Title II A - Teacher Quality
Title II B - Math & Science Partnership
Tilt II C, Perkins
Vocational & Technical Education
Title III - English Language Acquisition/
Limited English Proficiency
Title IV 21st Century After
School Learning Center
Title VI - Rural and Low Income  
Advanced Placement Test Fee Program
Deaf - Blind
IDEA-Special Education-Preschool
IDEA-Special Education Basic
State Assessments
Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems
State Program Improvement Grant
Stewart B. McKinney Homeless

Yesterday, HB 180 passed the House Education Committee but still faces an uncertain future.

I ask each of you to contact  your legislators, in both the house and senate, to help them understand why this piece of legislation and the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System are so important to Kentucky’s continued success. Please ask for their support of HB 180. Without it, we will not have a systematic approach in place for professional growth and effectiveness and our educators and Kentucky’s students will be subject to a system of education that is inferior to what they deserve and need to become college/career ready and ultimately successful and productive taxpayers in our state.

Please direct any questions you may have to Tracy Goff Herman, KDE Legislative Liaison, at (502) 564-4474 or via e-mail at

Thank you for your support of HB 180 and your commitment to Kentucky’s students. 

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