Publication Date


Place of Publication

University of Maine, Orono

Document Type



At the request of the Maine State Legislature, the Maine Educational Policy Research Institute (MEPRI) has monitored the progress and challenges school districts have faced in designing and implementing teacher performance evaluation/professional growth (PE/PG) systems. During the last year, particular attention has focused on federal requirements that PE/PG systems use statewide standardized assessment data for measuring student growth over time. Therefore, MEPRI conducted a series of case studies involving seven school districts across the state in order to assess issues involving the incorporation of student growth data in their PE/PG system. The work for this project was conducted in Spring of 2015, with the goal of addressing three general sets of questions:

(1) What instruments are these districts currently using to assess student growth across the curriculum? What features do superintendents and teachers seek in student assessment measures? To what degree are districts using the MEA/Smarter Balanced for assessing student growth, and what concerns do they have that may be limiting its use in PE/PG systems?

(2) How are these districts using student data to define and measure growth? How is growth weighted and incorporated into their PE/PG system?

(3) What classroom observation tools are these districts using? What challenges and solutions have they found? How do student growth and classroom observation data compare? How are they balanced and reconciled in the PE/PG system?