§ 1270 The Delaware Performance Appraisal System II.
(a) An educator must receive at least 1 Delaware Performance Appraisal System II (DPAS II) evaluation annually. For purposes of this subchapter only, the term "educator" shall also include specialists who practice in Delaware public schools, whether or not they are licensed and certified by the Department. The evaluation must be consistent with the Delaware Professional Teaching Standards and the Delaware Administrators' Standards, and must otherwise be in accordance with the criteria and requirements of this section.
(b) The Department, with the consent of the State Board of Education, shall promulgate rules and regulations to develop and implement a new system of educator evaluation to be known as the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II (DPAS II). The DPAS II must include an overall rating and a student-improvement component rating, and must identify what constitutes satisfactory performance and unsatisfactory performance on the overall evaluation and on each component of the evaluation. For the purposes of § 1273 of this title, DPAS II must also include a definition of "pattern of ineffective teaching" and define "pattern of ineffective administration" as it relates to unsatisfactory performance on the overall DPAS II evaluation. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the minimum annual evaluation requirement for educators may be waived pursuant to rules and regulations adopted under this subchapter for proficient performance on previous evaluations. However, an educator may not receive 2 consecutive evaluation waivers.
(c) DPAS II must have no more than 5 components and must have a strong focus on student improvement, with 1 component dedicated exclusively to student improvement and weighted at least as high as any other component. The measure of student improvement must include an off-grade assessment, if available, along with other measures determined by the Department and the State Board. The measure of student improvement must take into consideration student absence, student mobility, student chronic noncompliance with school rules, chronic failure by parents to abide by the Parents' Declaration of Responsibilities under § 157 of this title, and other factors that may adversely affect the evaluation. If a student has missed more than 15% of the class time, the student's performance evaluation shall not be used in evaluating a teacher under this chapter.
(d) A local school district may develop and implement other assessment tools that measure annual student improvement, including assessments in other content areas. Assessment tools developed and implemented pursuant to this subsection must be approved by the Secretary and must be funded with local funds.
(e) Nothing in this section prevents a local school district from administering other evaluations in addition to the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II, provided that administration of additional evaluations is reported to the Department.
(f) A local school district may make application to the Department for a waiver of the provisions of the DPAS II evaluation system, which shall be granted, subject to the provisions of rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, if the request for a waiver is based on a locally developed evaluation process that is demonstrated to be the product of the collective bargaining process pursuant to Chapter 40 of this title and community review and is as rigorous and as educationally sound as DPAS II, provides for evaluating educator performance by measuring student growth using multiple measures over the course of a curricular year, and contains a mechanism for certifying evaluators and for quality control. Locally developed evaluation systems authorized pursuant to this subsection may not be applied to educators holding an initial license.
(g) The Department shall promptly establish a pilot evaluation program in not less than 1 or more than 3 school districts. Any such program shall be conducted with the consent of the school district and the organization representing the district's teacher for collective bargaining purposes. The pilot program must be at least as rigorous as the evaluation requirements to be promulgated under the provisions of the subchapter.
§ 1271 Certification of professional evaluators; monitoring evaluations.
(a) The Department shall develop rules and regulations pursuant to this subchapter to credential professional evaluators for the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II, including appropriate training for evaluators. The Department shall ensure that all evaluators are properly trained and credentialed.
(b) To maintain a high standard of quality for professional evaluations, the Department shall develop recommendations for an ongoing DPAS II monitoring system to be implemented by the Department. The monitoring system must include a process by which an educator may challenge the fairness of the process used and/or the conclusions reached in an evaluation.
§ 1272 Improvement plans; professional development.
(a) If the overall rating of an educator's DPAS II evaluation is unsatisfactory, the district shall develop and assign an improvement plan to the educator and provide a reasonable amount of time for the educator to complete the improvement plan. A district shall also make recommendations for improvement if an educator's performance on an individual component of the evaluation is unsatisfactory. An improvement plan must identify the deficiencies in an educator's performance and the professional development activities required to improve the deficiencies to a satisfactory level. An improvement plan pursuant to this section must be developed as part of a collaborative process between the district and the educator where possible, with the district having the final authority to develop and assign the plan. The Department shall develop guidelines for improvement plans required pursuant to this section.
(b) In an effort to promote continuous professional growth and to improve educator performance, the Department shall also develop guidelines for professional development when an educator receives a satisfactory DPAS II evaluation. The guidelines must incorporate specific professional development activities designed to enhance knowledge and skill in areas recommended by an evaluator.
§ 1273 Incompetency — A pattern of ineffective teaching.
A pattern of ineffective teaching shall be defined pursuant to § 1270 of this title, provided that the local school district has complied with § 1272(a) of this title. Notwithstanding any case law to the contrary, when a pattern of ineffective teaching is established, a local school district may move to terminate a teacher (as defined by § 1401 of this title) for incompetency pursuant to § 1411 or § 1420 of this title. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit a local school district's ability to terminate a teacher for incompetency under § 1411 or § 1420 of this title where supported by factors other than a pattern of ineffective teaching, and nothing herein shall be construed to require additional factors beyond a pattern of ineffective teaching to constitute incompetency for purposes of termination.
§ 1274 Disclosure.
If an educator licensed under this chapter is seeking an educator position in this State, the educator shall disclose the results of that educator's most recent 3 DPAS II evaluations or alternative evaluations permitted under § 1270(f) of this title, if applicable, to a prospective employing district. Upon the request of the prospective employing district, a present or previous employing district of the educator shall confirm the results of the educator's previous DPAS II evaluations. No action in law or equity may be brought or maintained against a local school district or an employee thereof for action taken in compliance with this section.
§ 1275 DPAS II Advisory Committee.
(a) The Secretary shall convene a Delaware Performance Appraisal System II Advisory Committee, which may provide advice concerning rules and regulations that are to be promulgated pursuant to this subchapter. The Committee shall consist of the following members:
(1) Two public school teachers appointed by the Delaware State Education Association;
(2) Two public school administrators appointed by the Delaware Association for School Administrators;
(3) A member of a local school board appointed by the Delaware State School Board Association;
(4) A parent with a child or children in public school selected by the Delaware Congress of Parents and Teachers;
(5) A representative of higher education appointed by the Council of Presidents;
(6) A representative from the Office of the Governor;
(7) The Chair of the Education Committee of the Delaware House of Representatives, or the Chair's designee; and
(8) The Chair of the Education Committee of the Delaware Senate, or the Chair's designee.
(b) The Delaware Performance Appraisal System II Advisory Committee shall review any proposed regulations to be promulgated pursuant to this subchapter and may submit written comments concerning the same to the Secretary and to the State Board prior to the Board's consideration of any proposed regulations.