This 2015-2016 school year will begin the first year that the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will use student data to evaluate not only teacher performance, but principle performance. Educator evaluation has been a term on all Missouri educators’ minds this year, but Sarah Potter, the communications coordinator for Missouri’s DESE calms everyone’s nerves by explaining how the evaluations will be measured.

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Potter explained that it is not student performance that is being evaluated, but student growth. She also gave this example; to evaluate a welding teacher a portfolio would be used, showing the students work at the beginning and at the end of the school. This would allow it to be determined if the student was able to learn in that educators classroom.

The educator evaluations is just one step Missouri DESE is using to progress toward their goal of “Top 10 by 2020.” This phrase means that Missouri DESE wants to be one of the top 10 states in the country when it comes to education, by 2020.