Frequently Asked Questions
Q Comp General Questions
·Q: How are Peer Evaluators aligned with teachers?
A: Our goal is to match teachers and Peer Evaluators as closely as possible. However, all evaluators have received extensive training in Cognitive Coaching, which supports instructional and non-instructional best practices.
Q: What kind of feedback should I expect from my conversations with my peer evaluator?
A: The mission of Q Comp involves supporting self-directed learning through reflective conversations, drawing from a non-judgmental coaching model.
Q: Why do I have to be observed a third time if I met the components the first time?
A: Completing three observation cycles per year is in accordance with the Anoka-Hennepin Q Comp plan, as approved by Minnesota Department of Education, which is aligned with the district’s Teacher Development and Evaluation plan.
·Q: Will the teacher being evaluated receive partial compensation or is it an all or none proposition? What about part-time employees?
A: Teachers are eligible for their different compensation targets. In order to receive the full $1,870.00 compensation, a teacher must successfully meet the observation requirements ($1,500), meet her/his student learning goal ($185), and have her/his site meet its site goal ($185). It is possible to receive partial compensation if one or more of the three targets aren’t met. (Example: The site doesn’t meet the site goal, but the teacher meets the observation requirements and his/her own student–learning goal, that teacher would receive $1,685.00). Part-time employees that are greater than .4 FTE receive the full stipend for the observation component and the student achievement goal. The site goal stipend is pro-rated for part-time staff based on their FTE.
·Q: Is there a cap on the percentage of teachers who can earn a stipend?
A: No, there is money in the budget for every teacher to earn all three components of Q Comp compensation.
·Q: Will I not receive my performance increment (step) if I fail to receive some or all of the Q Comp incentives?
A: Teachers who fail to meet the performance standard for the observation incentive will be placed on formal PAS with their administrator the following school year. If in that second year, they once again fail to meet the incentive, they may be denied their performance increment (step). This is very similar to wording in the current contract. The site and student achievement goals are in no way connected to the performance increment.
·Q: Do teachers receive the entire stipend if they are gone part of the year for child care leave?
A: The Observation and Student Achievement Goal are paid in full to all eligible teachers who complete the process. The Site Goal stipend is prorated for the number of duty days served. Using sick days, however, does not affect the amount of the Site Goal stipend.
·Q: Why don’t we put this money into lowering class size and hiring more teachers?
A: This money is specifically designated by the legislature for Q Comp and can’t be spent any other way. If AHEM or the school board votes down Q Comp, annual teacher evaluation will still continue per the Teacher Development and Evaluation Law, but will not have money attached to it.
·Q: Can a teacher opt out of Q Comp?
A: No, all licensed educators who are .4 FTE or greater are part of Q Comp. The state does not allow us to have an “opt-out” option.
·Q: Do Peer Evaluators also participate in the Q Comp process?
A: Evaluators are evaluated by the Q Comp Administrator and/or the Q Comp Coordinator and a Peer of Choice.
Q: Can I access my Q Comp forms from previous school years within AHEP?
A: Q Comp forms from previous years may be accessed through the drop-down menu that appears when your name in the upper right-hand corner of the dashboard is clicked on.
·Q: For hourly employees in ABE and ECFE, how many hours is 0.4 FTE?
A: .4FTE is equal to 536 hours.
Site/Student Achievement Goal Questions
Q: How is the site goal generated?
A: The Minnesota Department of Education requires an increase in performance over the previous year's site goals. The Anoka-Hennepin Research, Evaluation, and Testing Department uses the previous year's MCA and cohort data to establish the next year's goal. The Q Comp goal is based on MCA math scores.
·Q: How can all teachers support reading/math goals in site improvement plans in secondary schools? How can specialists in elementary school support reading/math goals?
A: Your building should have a plan for how you can work together, regardless of discipline to improve such scores. Your coaches, PLCs, and Peer Evaluators can also help in this area. However, we recognize that no individual teacher can single-handedly achieve a site goal.
·Q: If I serve in multiple buildings, which site goal will I use for Q Comp?
A: If you teach in more than one building, you will decide which building's site goal you want to use. The deadline for making this decision will be early in the school year.
Observation Cycle Questions
·Q: How will we know what the Peer Evaluator is looking for in an observation?
A: The teacher will be evaluated on the 5 components within the instructional domain (See the PAS rubrics). At the pre-observation meeting, the teacher will also tell the Peer Evaluator what to look for based on the instructional domain and its connection to the teacher’s particular lesson.
·Q: What are the rubrics based on? Who is Char Danielson?
A: Our rubrics are pulled directly out of our current PAS system, which is based on the work of Charlotte Danielson, a well-known education researcher/consultant on assessment systems for teachers. Most school districts in Minnesota use either the Char Danielson “Frameworks” or the Marzano program.
·Q: I don’t teach in a “traditional” classroom, how will I be observed?
A: Many of our teachers are not in “traditional” classrooms. You may be evaluated while you are facilitating a meeting, leading a professional development session for adults, or even participating in a due process meeting. Your evaluator will help you set up a system/plan that would be able to align with the Q Comp guidelines.
·Q: What is the Peer of Choice?
A: During the second observation cycle, you get to choose a peer to perform your observation. In this observation cycle, you will meet with your Peer Evaluator and Peer of Choice in the pre and post conferences, but the Peer of Choice will perform the observation alone.
·Q: Who can become a Peer of Choice?
A: To be a Peer of Choice you must be eligible for Q Comp and a member of the teachers' bargaining unit, complete the Peer of Choice training on LMS, and be approved by your administrator.
·Q: How are ABE teachers with year-round schedules accommodated?
A: Peer Evaluators are scheduled to work the traditional 187-day calendar. If it isn't possible to complete three observations during the traditional 9-month calendar, we would schedule summer observations by either the Teacher Coordinator or a Peer Evaluator willing to work additional hours.