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Robert Harp ACF Abstract FY13

"The Use of Student Achievement Data In Special Education Teacher Performance"

Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) Conference

Research has revealed that the effectiveness of a teacher directly impacts the achievement of the students they teach. The highly effective teacher impacts school improvement by improving the success of their students in the skill areas being taught. Many states have recently mandated performance evaluation systems that establish approaches to the measurement and use of data on student growth as a significant factor in teacher performance evaluations. An exploration of the research on effective measurement of teacher performance has aided in the development of a performance evaluation tool to be used with teachers of students with low incidence disabilities that incorporates the functional and academic areas of instruction appropriate for these students with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities. An effective student growth measurement tool must acknowledge the variety of ways a student can show growth in the special education setting while maintaining the standards required in the performance evaluation of teachers. The student growth model developed addresses the varying skills upon which special education teachers focus instruction and the assessments available to show student growth in these areas. Additionally, the tool combines the need to focus on Common Core standards for all students with the equally compelling need for focus on functional skills as dictated by the individualized education plan for each student with a disability.