Improved Educator Effectiveness System praised


Changes made to improve the Educator Effectiveness System based on teacher feedback helps increase understanding of the supports in place to help them advance their practice, according to a survey.

​Survey Executive Summary​Read a summary of results from the Educator Effectiveness System survey.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​HONOLULU –The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) recently conducted the second annual DOE/HSTA Joint Survey on the Educator Effectiveness System (EES). Overall, this year’s results show strong support for the principles of the performance evaluation and significant increases in the percentage of teachers who understand the EES. 

"The HSTA continues to work with the DOE to gather stakeholder feedback, which has helped to address concerns with the EES and improve the system," said Joan Lewis, HSTA vice president and a member of the EES Joint Committee. "As educators, teachers are committed to improving their practice and continuously strive to meet the highest standards and demands of our public schools. The EES is meant to enhance the practice of teaching and benefit student learning, and we need to ensure that there is a clear understanding of teacher expectations and that we support Hawaii’s public school teachers and provide the necessary resources throughout this process."

Key survey findings include:

  • ​Overall understanding of the EES improved across the board, nearly doubling those who have high understanding and cutting those who understand poorly in half. 
  • The majority (64 percent) of teachers surveyed believe setting learning goals and monitoring progress - key principles of the EES - are important for improving the practice of teaching.
  • A majority (61 percent) believe that teachers in their schools are held to high professional standards for delivering instruction.
  • A high percentage (59 percent) feel that they have successfully adjusted their teaching to reflect the relevant Hawaii Common Core standards.
  • Teachers are still struggling with the mechanics of the evaluation process. However, most teachers believe their evaluators are fair and knowledgeable.  

In addition, survey results indicate teachers remain interested in adjusting the EES to differentiate requirements and supports for teachers based on prior ratings. Teachers surveyed also called for more training opportunities and enhanced communication from all levels. 

​"The survey not only reveals areas that still need improvement but also that more teachers understand the value the evaluation can have for their teaching practice," stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "The input provided by our teachers continues to play a crucial role as we strive for an evaluation that is truly about improvement. We remain committed to working towards a better system for our teachers because they are the critical factor in supporting and furthering student achievement."

A total of 4,225 teachers completed the online survey sent to 12,991 members — for a 33 percent response rate. It was conducted Feb. 23 through March 13.

The survey is a collaborative effort of DOE and HSTA to have a broad perspective of teachers’experience with EES this school year and to track changes in the second year of full implementation.  

The Castle Foundation sponsored the survey, which was conducted by Ward Research. President Becki Ward noted, "You don't see change like this in just one year in a survey unless something significant has occurred."

Results of the survey are being considered by DOE as part of a series of steps​ the DOE and HSTA have taken to seek teacher and administrator input and feedback, and refine the EES for next school year. Those changes are forthcoming.


In the 2013-14 school year, the EES was implemented statewide following a two-year pilot program that involved a total of 81 schools. A review and improvement process was built into the first year of statewide implementation to inform design for the 2014-15 school year, with feedback from teachers, principals, administrators, and Complex Area and state staff.

Based on lessons learned and feedback, the DOE implemented 18 changes for the 2014-15 school year. These changes were designed to simplify the system, streamline its components to eliminate redundancies, and differentiate the approach for teachers based on their specific needs.  

The EES Joint Committee was developed specifically to provide stakeholder input into EES design. The Committee includes the HSTA, teachers, principals, administrators, technical experts and Complex Area and state staff.​

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