Date: February 22, 2013
The Honorable Janet Barresi
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Oklahoma State Department of Education
Hodge Education Building
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4599
Dear Superintendent Barresi:
Thank you for submitting Oklahoma’s guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, as well as the corresponding changes you made to Principle 3 of Oklahoma’s ESEA flexibility request, for peer review. During the week of July 16, 2012, two peer experts reviewed Oklahoma’s guidelines and the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of Oklahoma’s request. Staff from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) also reviewed Oklahoma’s submission as well as the changes Oklahoma made to its guidelines and to Principle 3 of its request in response to the feedback provided following the July peer review.
Based on the review of Oklahoma’s guidelines and the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of its ESEA flexibility request, and taking into account the feedback from the peer reviewers, it is determined that Oklahoma has not yet adopted guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet all requirements of ESEA flexibility. In particular, Oklahoma has not yet determined how it will measure growth for teachers of students in non-tested grades and subjects. However, it is also determined that Oklahoma is able to fully meet ESEA flexibility Principle 3 in the 2012–2013 school year while it makes final decisions regarding including measures of student growth in non-tested grades and subjects as a significant factor in its teacher and leader evaluation system. Additionally, Oklahoma’s progress indicates that the State is positioned to submit guidelines that meet all requirements of ESEA flexibility following the end of the 2012–2013 school year.
To maintain its approval to implement ESEA flexibility through the end of the 2013–2014 school year, Oklahoma 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 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, Oklahoma may wish to make other changes to its guidelines as a result of its ongoing development and piloting of evaluation and support systems. If Oklahoma 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, Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, please contact Elizabeth Ross at (202) 260-8961 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A copy of Oklahoma’s Principle 3 submission will be posted on ED’s web site at: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/esea-flexibility/index.html. I look forward to receiving the evidence that Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma.
Deborah S. Delisle
cc: Kerri White, Assistant State Superintendent, Office of Educational Support