TITLE 14

Education

Free Public Schools

CHAPTER 12. Educator Licensure, Certification, Evaluation, Professional Development, and Preparation Programs

Subchapter VII. Educator Evaluations

§ 1270. The Delaware Performance Appraisal System II.

(a) An educator holding an initial license pursuant to § 1210 of this title must receive a Delaware Performance Appraisal System II (DPAS II) evaluation annually. An educator holding a continuing license pursuant to § 1211 of this title or an advanced license pursuant to § 1213 of this title must receive a Delaware Performance Appraisal System II (DPAS II) evaluation at least every 2 academic years. 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 administer 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.

(c) (1) 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. All components must be weighted equally beginning in the 2017-18 academic year.

(2) For all Part A and Part B goals, the educator, as well as the administrator, may propose measures to be used to provide data to judge progress towards the goals. The proposed measures must be approved by the administrator, and not result in additional assessments for students. With regard to Part B goals, the measures must be selected from a list of the standardized measures approved by the Department.

(3) 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 shall only be used with the agreement of the 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, vocational-technical school district or charter school 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.

(g) The Department shall implement the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System through a pilot program in no less than 3 local education agencies for the 2021-2022 academic year. During the 2022-2023 academic year, additional nonparticipating local education agencies may join the pilot program. The pilot program shall weigh all performance areas equally, shall incorporate professional growth plans for teachers, and shall meet the following requirements for each participating local education agency:

(1) Any such pilot program shall be conducted with the consent of the local education agency and organization representing the local education agency’s educators for collective bargaining purposes, if applicable.

(2) The performance area dedicated to student improvement shall contain a Part I and a Part II. Part I shall contain at least 1 individual professional learning goal created by the teacher and administrator that is focused on the continuous improvement of skills aligned to the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System teacher observation rubric. Part II shall contain at least 2 individual student improvement goals selected by the teacher and administrator that demonstrate the teacher’s contribution to student growth for his or her current cohort of students. If the teacher and administrator do not agree, the administrator’s decision is final. Each “Part II” goal shall be based upon a measure that has been approved by the Department. Measures may be created by a local education agency but must be approved by the Department prior to use. The administrator shall assess the progress toward goals, regardless of whether the teacher has satisfied the requirements of § 1403(a) of this title, is on a directed professional growth plan, or has a satisfactory rating on his or her most recent performance evaluation.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule or regulation to the contrary, grades 3 through 8 and high school state assessments required under § 151 of this title shall not be required as a measure of student growth as part of a teacher’s evaluation.

(4) 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 shall only be used with the agreement of the teacher under this chapter.

(5) a. Local education agencies that participated in the 2021-2022 school year pilot may continue to use the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System during the 2022-2023 academic year. Evidence collected and feedback provided under this subsection shall be used as part of a teacher’s evaluation cycle and to assign an official summative rating for the 2022-2023 academic year. Any local education agency that participated in the 2021-2022 school year pilot that does not continue to use the Delaware Growth and Support System during the 2022-2023 school year shall apply to the Department for approval to revert back to the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II (DPAS II) or an approved alternate evaluation system.

b. Any such decision regarding continued use of the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System during the 2022-2023 school year shall be made with the consent of the school district and organization representing the district’s educators for collective bargaining purposes. Approval granted under this subsection shall be for the 2022-2023 school year only.

c. For the 2022-2023 school year any local education agency that makes the decision not to continue with the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System shall implement DPAS II or an approved alternate evaluation system in accordance with this section.

(6) Beginning with the 2023-2024 academic year, the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System will replace the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II for all licensed and certified teachers.

(h) (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this section, the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II under this section is modified for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic school years. Educators must engage in an observation and feedback cycle to provide coaching, and support to encourage all of the following:

a. Relationship building.

b. Student engagement in learning.

c. Standards-aligned curriculum implementation.

(2) The observation and feedback cycle under paragraph (h)(1) of this section must include all of the following:

a. An initial goal setting process.

b. Classroom observation:

1. Experienced teachers shall receive a minimum of 1 announced or unannounced observation within the observation and feedback cycle.

2. Novice teachers shall receive a minimum of 2 announced or unannounced observations within the observation and feedback cycle.

c. An end-of-year conference between the educator and evaluator.

(3) The evaluator shall record feedback provided to an educator under this subsection in the Data Service Center platform and must include all of the following:

a. Component and Criterion level ratings as developed for the 2020-2021 school year and shared by the Department in a guidance document.

b. Any narrative language related to recommendations or commendations on the educator’s performance.

(4) The only forms that an educator must complete under this subsection are the following:

a. The goal setting form.

b. A verification form, created by the Department, to ensure that the educator’s observation and feedback cycle has been completed.

(5) Evidence collected and feedback provided during observations under this subsection may be used as part of the evaluation cycle and to assign a summative rating for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years.

(6) [Repealed.]

72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §  270 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 295, §  273 Del. Laws, c. 44, §§  10, 1173 Del. Laws, c. 84, §  274 Del. Laws, c. 13, §§  8-1275 Del. Laws, c. 77, §  3878 Del. Laws, c. 53, §  4679 Del. Laws, c. 221, §  180 Del. Laws, c. 429, §§ 1-483 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 183 Del. Laws, c. 116, §§ 1, 483 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1

§ 1270A. Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System [Effective July 1, 2023].

(a) Teachers holding an initial license pursuant to § 1210 of this title, a continuing license pursuant to § 1211 of this title, or an advanced license pursuant to § 1213 of this title must receive an annual evaluation through the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System. The evaluation must be consistent with the Delaware Professional Teaching 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 administer the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System. The Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System must include an overall rating and a student-improvement rating and must identify what constitutes satisfactory performance and unsatisfactory performance on the overall evaluation and on each performance area of the evaluation. For the purposes of § 1273 of this title, Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System must also include a definition of “pattern of ineffective teaching” as it relates to unsatisfactory performance on the overall Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System evaluation.

(c) (1) The Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System will have no more than 5 performance areas, as determined by the Department, with a required strong focus on student improvement, with 1 performance area dedicated to student improvement. All performance areas must be weighted equally.

(2) The performance area dedicated to student improvement shall contain a Part I and a Part II. Part I shall contain at least 1 individual professional learning goal created by the teacher and administrator that is focused on the continuous improvement of skills aligned to the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System teacher observation rubric. Part II shall contain at least 2 individual student improvement goals created by the teacher and administrator that demonstrate the teacher’s contribution to student growth for his or her current cohort of students. If the teacher and administrator do not agree, the administrator’s decision is final. Each “Part II” goal shall be based upon a measure that has been approved by the Department. Measures may be created by a local education agency but must be approved by the Department prior to use. The administrator shall assess the progress toward goals, regardless of whether the teacher has satisfied the requirements of § 1403(a) of this title, is on a directed growth plan, or has earned a satisfactory rating on his or her most recent performance evaluation.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule or regulation to the contrary, grades 3 through 8 and high school state assessments required under § 151 of this title shall not be required as a measure of student growth as part of a teacher’s evaluation.

(4) 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 shall only be used with the agreement of the teacher under this chapter.

(d) A local education agency 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 education agency from administering other evaluations in addition to the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System, provided that administration of additional evaluations is reported to the Department.

(f) A local education agency may make application to the Department for a waiver of the provisions of the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support 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 the Delaware Teacher Growth and Support System, 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.

83 Del. Laws, c. 116, § 270 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  1

§ 1270B. Delaware Performance Appraisal System II [Effective July 1, 2023].

(a) For purposes of this subchapter only, Delaware Performance Appraisal System II applies only to specialists and administrators who practice in Delaware public schools. An administrator or specialist holding an initial license pursuant to § 1210 of this title must receive a Delaware Performance Appraisal System II evaluation annually. An administrator or specialist holding a continuing license pursuant to § 1211 of this title or an advanced license pursuant to § 1213 of this title must receive a Delaware Performance Appraisal System II evaluation at least every 2 academic years. The evaluation must be consistent with the Delaware Framework for Specialists 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 administer the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II. The Delaware Performance Appraisal System 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, Delaware Performance Appraisal System II must also include a definition of “pattern of ineffective practice” and define “pattern of ineffective administration” as it relates to unsatisfactory performance on the overall Delaware Performance Appraisal System II evaluation.

(c) (1) Delaware Performance Appraisal System II must have no more than 5 components and must have a strong focus on student improvement, with 1 component dedicated to student improvement. All components must be weighted equally.

(2) For all Part I and Part II goals, the specialist, as well as the administrator, may propose measures to be used to provide data to judge progress towards the goals. The proposed measures must be approved by the administrator and not result in additional assessments for students. With regard to Part II goals, the measures must be selected from a list of the standardized measures that may be created by a school district or charter school but must be approved by the Department. If the specialist and administrator do not agree, the supervisor’s decision is final.

(3) 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 shall only be used with the agreement of the teacher specialist or administrator under this chapter.

(d) A local education agency 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 education agency 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 education agency may make application to the Department for a waiver of the provisions of the Delaware Performance Appraisal System 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 the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II, provides for evaluating specialist or administrator 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.

83 Del. Laws, c. 116, § 3

§ 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.

72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §  274 Del. Laws, c. 13, §§  13, 14

§ 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.

72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §  274 Del. Laws, c. 13, §  15

§ 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.

72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §  2

§ 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.

72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §  270 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  178 Del. Laws, c. 53, §  47

§ 1275. DPAS II Advisory Committee.

(a) The Secretary shall convene and provide administrative staff to the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II Advisory Committee. The Committee shall consist of the following members:

(1) Three public school teachers appointed by the Delaware State Education Association.

(2) Three public school administrators appointed by the Delaware Association for School Administrators.

(3) One public school superintendent or his or her designee, appointed by the School Chiefs’ Association.

(4) A member of a local school board appointed by the Delaware State School Board Association.

(5) A parent with a child or children in public school selected by the Delaware Parent-Teacher Association.

(6) A representative of higher education appointed by the Governor from an institution that offers a teacher preparation program authorized by the Department.

(7) A representative from the Office of the Governor.

(8) The Chair of the Education Committee of the Delaware House of Representatives, or the Chair’s designee.

(9) The Chair of the Education Committee of the Delaware Senate, or the Chair’s designee.

(10) One ex-officio, nonvoting, representative from the Department, appointed by the Secretary.

(11) One ex-officio, nonvoting, representative from the State Board of Education, appointed by the President of the State Board of Education.

(b) The Committee shall meet at least once a quarter each year.

(c) Annually the Committee shall designate a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson from amongst its membership.

(d) The Committee shall review data produced by the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II to advise the State’s efforts to ensure fidelity of system implementation statewide, the accuracy and reliability of the data collected by the Department, and the State’s use of the data to improve educator quality and provide meaningful and professional development opportunities.

(e) The Committee shall review any aspects of the State’s ESEA flexibility application which involve the educator evaluation system and any renewal, extensions, or amendments to the application that deal with educator evaluation prior to submission to the U.S. Department of Education.

(f) The Department shall provide the Committee with data produced by the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II, as necessary for the Committee to fulfill its responsibilities pursuant to subsection (d) of this section and to make recommendations regarding educator quality, professional development, and system design and implementation.

(g) The Committee may provide comments in writing to the Governor, Secretary of Education, the State Board of Education, and the General Assembly on subsections (d), (e), and (f) of this section.

(h) The Delaware Performance Appraisal System II Advisory Committee shall review any proposed regulations to be promulgated pursuant to this subchapter and shall submit written comments concerning the same to the Secretary and to the State Board prior to the State Board’s consideration of any proposed regulations.

74 Del. Laws, c. 13, §  1670 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  179 Del. Laws, c. 289, §§  1, 280 Del. Laws, c. 16, §  1