Educator Effectiveness System

The EES is designed to measure educators' professional practice and their impact, and provide feedback and support to teachers to improve their effectiveness with students. Highly effective teachers can be identified for recognition and to serve as leaders to their colleagues.


To help students succeed in college and careers, it is imperative that the Department support our educators to become highly effective in their schools and classrooms. This means that administrators and teachers need feedback, coaching and data that inform them about how to improve their practice and make an impact. We are holding ourselves accountable at all levels of the organization for providing support and getting results for students.

For the first time in Hawaii, there is an alignment between our State Strategic Plan, school accountability, and the supports for and evaluation of our educators. For school principals, the evaluation and supports are centered on two components: student achievement and principal practice. Similarly, teachers’ evaluations are centered on teacher practice and student achievement. Within those two broad categories, teachers will receive feedback, support, and evaluation on five components:

  1. Classroom Observations/Working Portfolio
  2. Core Professionalism
  3. Student Survey (learn more)
  4. Student Growth (learn more)
  5. Student Learning Objectives

The focus of these measures on classroom and non-classroom teachers who are governed by the EES can be seen in this graphic:

The 2013-14 school year is the first year of statewide EES implementation. Feedback from this year will be reviewed and adjustments may be made to the system for the 2014-15 school year. The 2014-15 EES will inform pay increases slated for 2015-16. Questions relating to the teacher contract and pay should be directed to the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

More information can be found in the Educator Effectiveness System Manual. The Department's former evaluation system, the Professional Evaluation Program for Teachers (PEP-T), will be phased out in the 2013-14 school year.

Feedback groups

The Department has engaged local educators and national experts to review and discuss the EES with the purpose of ensuring our system fairly assesses the effectiveness of educators. Three of the four EES components were selected for review based upon recommendations from teachers and their representatives. The following workgroups are meeting and providing recommendations to the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent.

  • Teacher Leader Workgroup (TLW): Explores ways to improve the design and implementation of the EES. Complex Areas were asked to nominate up to two representatives for each of five subcommittees, with a goal for each to be a size where voices can be heard. The purpose of each subcommittee is to gather information about the training needs of teachers and schools, shape the development of the specific component, and make recommendations on the future development of the EES. The subcommittes include:
    • Non-Classroom Teachers (NCT)
    • Student Learning Objectives (SLO)
    • Student Growth Percentile (SGP)
    • Classroom Observations/Core Professionalism
    • Student Survey
    For School Year 2013-2014, 118 people from 15 Complex Areas signed up. TLW provides recommendations directly to the Deputy Superintendent and the two workgroups below.

  • HSTA-HIDOE Joint Committee: Reviews the EES for continuous improvement of design and implementation. This group consists of four HSTA and four Department members who provide recommendations to the Superintendent. Meeting notes:
  • EES Technical Advisory Group: Discusses and provides recommendations on how to define technical standards that focus on ensuring the EES system fairly assesses the effectiveness of educators. The group provides design recommendations to the Joint Committee on possible EES design modifications for SY 2014-15, based on a review of:
    • Department’s existing policies and practices,
    • Impact data collected for each of the EES’s components, and
    • Other state and district policies and practices.


    • Recommendations to the Joint Committee from the EES Technical Advisory Group, April 3, 2014.

Student Survey

One part of the EES related to the evaluation of teacher practice is the student survey, also known as the Tripod student survey. All students who complete the Hawaii State Assessment are eligible to take the Tripod student surveys. "Tripod" refers to three “legs” of quality teaching: content, pedagogy and relationships. This model emphasizes the importance of teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogic skills and their capacity to form and sustain effective student-teacher relationships. The model’s premise is that students will engage more deeply and learn more effectively when they perceive (or experience) all three legs are strong. Learn more in our Frequently Asked Questions.

Tripod surveys capture key dimensions of classroom life and teaching practice as students experience them. Surveys can deliver valid, reliable and detailed insights on teaching and learning. Using the Tripod survey assessments, educators have the ability to measure student perceptions in the following areas:

  • Teaching Effectiveness: Measures tied to each teacher are quality assured and benchmarked against national norms.
  • Student Engagement: Data concerning effort and motivation indicate for each classroom how students judge their own attitudes, behavior, and effort.
  • Student Satisfaction: Data indicate whether each classroom, building and district is a place where students feel safe, welcome and satisfied with their progress.
  • Whole-school Climate: Data from individual classrooms can be aggregated up to measures of whole school climate. In addition, surveys include questions that pertain to the school as a whole.

Findings can inform discussions about school quality and whole-school priorities, and focus teacher professional development and student engagement projects. The measures enable decision-makers at every level to focus priorities and track progress, helping to ensure investments in professional development and school improvement produce positive results.

Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators

The cohort of the EES for principals is known as CESSA. Principals are evaluated, mentored and supported to maximize their effectiveness with teachers and students.​

Contact Information

Tammie Picklesimer

Phone: 808-348-4102


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