March 21, 2013
Honorable Terry Holliday
Commissioner of Education
State Department of Education
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Dear Commissioner Holliday:
Thank you for submitting Kentucky’s guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, as well as the corresponding changes you made to Principle 3 of Kentucky’s ESEA flexibility request, for peer review. As you know, during the week of July 16, 2012, two peer experts reviewed Kentucky’s guidelines and the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of Kentucky’s request. Staff from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) also reviewed Kentucky’s submission.
Based on the review of Kentucky’s guidelines and the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of its ESEA flexibility request submitted on September 14, 2012, and taking into account the feedback from the peer reviewers, it is determined that Kentucky has not yet adopted guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet all requirements of ESEA flexibility. In particular, Kentucky has not yet adopted a method for including student growth as a significant factor in determining performance levels in its teacher and principal evaluation and support systems. However, ED has determined that Kentucky is fully able to meet ESEA flexibility Principle 3 in the 2012–2013 school year while it pilots methods of including student growth as a significant factor and studies the result of this pilot program in select districts. These activities will enable Kentucky to submit guidelines that meet all requirements of ESEA flexibility following the end of the 2012–2013 school year and to conduct a statewide pilot of its evaluation and support systems consistent with those guidelines no later than the 2013–2014 school year.
To maintain its approval to implement ESEA flexibility through the end of the 2013–2014 school year, Kentucky must submit to ED for review and approval an amended request incorporating its final guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with all requirements for these systems under Principle 3 of ESEA flexibility. ED will provide you with additional information regarding this review in the coming months.ED understands that, in addition to modifying its guidelines to address the issue set forth above, Kentucky may wish to make other changes to its guidelines as a result of its ongoing development and piloting of evaluation and support systems. If Kentucky wishes to make any additional changes, it should ensure that any such changes are consistent with Principle 3 of ESEA flexibility by consulting with ED. Depending on the nature and extent of such changes, Kentucky may need to submit a request to amend its approved ESEA flexibility request. If you have any questions regarding the amendment process or anything else related to Kentucky’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, please contact Victoria Hammer at 201-260-1438 or Victoria.Hammer@ed.gov.
A copy of Kentucky’s Principle 3 submission, including its current draft guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, will be posted on ED’s website at: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/esea-flexibility/index.html.
I look forward to receiving the evidence that Kentucky has adopted final guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet the requirements of Principle 3 and to continuing to support the State as you work to improve the quality of instruction and academic achievement for all students in Kentucky. Thank you for your commitment to all students in Kentucky.
Deborah S. Delisle
cc: Mary Ann Miller, Policy Advisor