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Teacher Evaluations

Teacher Evaluation

Read our free Ebook on upcoming changes in teacher evaluations.

Keep up with teacher evaluation systems.

See your state department of education's website on emerging teacher

evaluation policies.

This is a place where Core Learning Resources will keep you up to date

on teacher evaluation systems.

MA is rolling out rubrics, evaluation guides and a total system

of evaluation for everyone from the Superintendent on down.

this important subject on our state by state map.


If there's something you've read that adds to our ability to forecast

how teacher evaluation will evolve, let us know, add a comment below.




New York Governor Andrew

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, responding to concerns about totally revealing all

aspects of new teacher evaluations, has struck a compromise in the new bill, which passed

the NY State Senate.

Buffalo Rising Article June 23, 2012

"The new bill strikes a balance between the two competing interests: allowing parents to be fully informed about their children's education, while protecting the privacy of teachers and avoiding a media frenzy exploiting the data. With broad bipartisan support, Governor Cuomo's bills allows parents to become better informed about their children's education, while still allowing significant public disclosure to promote thorough, meaningful research and analysis."
Public disclosure of individual educator evaluations is prohibited.
Districts must release aggregated data in a number of forms.
Buffalo must be proactive in setting up procedures for compiling the necessary aggregate data.


NY City brings in observers to check on "ineffective" teachers.

New York seems to have inadvertently positioned itself as the poster child for awkward implementation of new teacher evaluation systems. 2/18/12 New York Times article By 

"Observers Get Key Role in Teacher Evaluations"

In an agreement reached on Thursday 2/16, the New York Education Dept. and UFT will put into effect an evaluation system that will bring independent observers into the city's classrooms to monitor the weakest teachers.

Why don't we just paint a scarlet W for weakest on the teachers who will have visitors from outside the school community? One could argue that we all know who the weak teachers are, and perhaps it's time to let them in on this to make them better teachers, but we are all in a questioning mode right now. NCLB, AYP, and all the unsustainable elements of the ten year old ed reform movement have not exactly bred confidence in state departments of education and new methods for fixing troubled systems. We're already hearing "don't worry this won't last".

The system is based on a New Haven effort where one observer will be assigned to any teacher receiving an "ineffective" rating, the lowest possible grade in the fledgling evaluation system. One observer will be assigned between 50 and 80 teachers. Each ineffective teacher will be evaluated by their observer 3 times each year. If the observer agrees with the Principal that the teacher is ineffective, the process toward termination is put in an accelerated track.

Paying all these evaluators will be expensive, they must be licensed teachers. This may be a good job for retired teachers. In New Haven the obervers are called "Third Party Validators" (do we hear the Priceline ad "Teacherline terminators"?)


Teaching is a tough profession, but passion to be in the classroom does not mean ability to be an effective teachers. We get that, but it will be excruating to watch the growing pains of this system, and the lives it will change. 

Please add your voice to this discussion, what we really need are great new ideas for improving instruction to help academic achievement.

Connecticut endorses 45% student test score system

Newsday, 2/11/2012 reports

By The Associated Press  STEPHANIE REITZ (Associated Press)

"The Connecticut State Board of Education on Friday unanimously endorsed guidelines for those performance evaluations, a key step in its request for a waiver from some No Child Left Behind law mandates -- and also in Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposal to reform tenure to make it easier for districts to dismiss inept teachers.The framework envisions evaluations in which 45 percent of a teacher's or principal's rating would be based on students' performance in standardized tests or other indicators that the district might determine locally.

Another 40 percent would reflect their daily performance and professional practices, such as classroom planning and leadership skills. The rest would reflect feedback from peers, parents and students.

They would be rated either as exemplary, proficient, developing or below standard -- and those below standard would have to either improve or would be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.



West Virginia

In "Governing the States and Localities"

"Two states in particular, Kentucky and West Virginia, have set an early standard for Common Core implementation. The former undertook a voluntary initiative that saw 100 percent of its school districts commit to the standards at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. The latter introduced the standards to its kindergarten classrooms this school year, the beginning of a planned rollout that will culminate with all grades being entrenched in Common Core by 2014-2015.

Kentucky was uniquely positioned to begin implementation early, Karen Kidwell, director of program standards at the Kentucky Department of Education, told Governing. In 2009, the state legislature passed a bill that outlined an education reform agenda, including an overhaul of the state’s academic standards. That work easily segued into Common Core implementation after the state joined the initiative."

Are teacher evaluations measuring anything useful for students?

New teacher evaluations systems are scaring teachers these days, especially new young teachers, the ones we want to attract to what used to be a great profession. In Tennesee, in the "Elizabethton Star" today, they are saying

"Teachers chafing under the state’s new evaluation system have a lot of friends in the legislature. Nearly 20 bills to change the system were entered before Wednesday’s filing deadline.

State education officials and the governor have urged that the system not be changed now in order to give it a fair trial, but opponents say it’s too unfair and time-consuming.

An even bigger complaint is a common one from teachers and principals alike: The evaluation process is so complicated and time-consuming that it blurs the focus on teaching students and managing schools.

And, we're questioning whether the evaluations even measure what it is we're trying to improve, academic achievement among students. How can a survey and checklist system. To see the official Department of Education stance on the new system and

Teacher Evaluations aren't

Teacher Evaluations aren't going to cost anything to implement, right? Wrong, in Lafayette Indiana, there's a concern about these costs. LSC (Lafayette School Corps) administrators have spent the last several months using iPads in an effort to trim a few hours from their already crowded work days. The district paid about $14,000 for 26 iPads for administrators who conduct evaluations. JCOnline, in an article at the link below, also talks about the time spent by Principals and other administrators as they must triple the number of evaluations performed each year. Read about it here.


As we end the year, (2011) we

As we end the year, (2011) we want to lead you to a couple of articles that are scary and evocative. The first takes a look at predictions for the next years in education. Unions will be under fire as never before, teacher evaluations will be difficult and direct.

and another in "The Nation" looks at how online education companies are becoming a visible and expensive option for schools that are trying to raise their profiles in academic achievement. "Virtual charters", other new online oppotunities are being invented as we speak, is it the future for all of us?

The stakes are high and the profits are too attractive for big business to ignore. The current administration will need to

do something radical this summer to keep teachers voting Democratic. Read about that here:

NY Ed Commissioner Threatens to pull millions in RTTT Funds

In the state of NY, the real sticking point is the degree to which student test scores should be used as a benchmark for evaluating teachers.

In the NY Times, an article at the link below, explains very clearly what's at stake for New York City schools and other districts if they can't come to an agreement on the teacher evaluation systems.

For New York City, it would mean losing roughly $60 million for 33 schools whose graduation rates and test scores put them among the state’s worst. The Race to the Top program requires a new statewide teacher-evaluation system, and the methods used in the struggling schools could shape it, because districts are unlikely to want competing processes. The State Legislature passed a bill last year calling for new evaluation systems, but the unions and the Board of Regents have been battling in court over the role of standardized test scores.

Thanks to   (NY Times 12/27/11) for this review of the issues. 

Teacher evaluations in New Jersey

New Jersey will pilot new teacher evaluations over time with the following concepts in mind (sounds like a fair system)

  • Teachers should never be evaluated on the basis of a single consideration, such as test scores much less a single test, but on the basis of multiple measures that include both learning outcomes and effective practices, with approximately 50% associated with each.
  • Where applicable, the component of the evaluation based on “learning outcomes” should include, but is not limited to, progress on objective assessments such as NJ ASK.  In untested grades and subjects, for example, student achievement might include a focus on student work or locally determined criteria.
  • To avoid penalizing teachers who work with our highest need students, evaluation criteria should favor student progress and not absolute performance.
  • To give teachers meaningful information to help them develop, the prior system of binary ratings (either “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory”) will be replaced by a four tiered system, including “ineffective,” “partially effective,” “effective” and “highly effective.”
  • Districts should provide a direct link between the results of the evaluation and professional development opportunities to help teachers at all levels continuously improve.
  • To assure consistency and fairness, plans should address inter-rater reliability – solving for the problem of differences in how individual evaluators review teachers across schools and districts.
  • Any personnel consequences connected with evaluations remain a matter of local decision and applicable state law and are not an element of the pilot program.

More about teacher evaluations in the states

Take a look at ways the teacher evaluation systems can be administered:

And one caveat we hope all administrators take to heart

Be sure teachers know what the evaluation looks like, all the factors being looked at in an observation.

You never want a teacher to be able to say that they were not aware of the teacher evaluation procedures in your district. It is important to not only give your teachers this information, but to document it as well. Should you ever need to dismiss a teacher, you want to cover yourself in making sure that all the district’s expectation were made known to them. There should not be any hidden elements to the teachers. They should be given access to what you are looking for, the instrument used, and any other pertinent information dealing with the evaluation process. Some items that might be evaluated, Dr. Marzano's system:


Value Added and Student Growth Models are being used to craft teacher evaluation systems. it's all a controversial process.

The Los Angeles teacher  Kyle Hunsberger, is quoted here:

 While no evaluation system will ever be perfect, this should not keep us from moving forward to develop one that actually serves the teaching profession. As teachers, we know the importance of giving our students meaningful feedback on their work -- not as judgment, but as opportunity for improvement.


In Houston, school district officials introduced a test score-based evaluation system to determine teacher bonuses, then — in the face of massive protests — jettisoned the formula after one year to devise a better one.

In New York, teachers union officials are fig
hting the public release of ratings for more than 12,000 teachers, arguing that the estimates can be drastically wrong.

In LA, they are adopting an "added value" model for teacher evaluation, All value-added methods aim to estimate a teacher's effectiveness in raising students' standardized test scores. But there is no universal agreement on which formula can most accurately isolate a teacher's influence from other factors that affect student learning — and different formulas produce different results. Value-added analysis involves looking at each student's past test scores to predict future scores. The difference between the prediction and students' actual scores each year is the estimated "value" that the teacher added — or subtracted.

This article is informative and found here:,0,3903343.story

Teachers, however, can't help but feel they are pawns in a never ending experiment. Kids are not widgets, they cannot be manufactured, they come to classrooms with complex issues, some challenges we have not seen before Teachers in general, are middle class folks that grew up in stable home environments. Not so for many of our students.

And, in New Jersey


Evaluation systems requirements

The Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union opened negotiations earlier this month on a state-mandated requirement about what should–and should not–be included in teachers’ performance evaluations.

As revised teacher performance evaluations are implemented following a new state law, some teachers and students are pushing for student feedback to be taken into account.

Read about the Illinois law here:

And see a map that links to all state departments of education and their policies on teacher evaluations.

Teacher's accountability book.

The proactive teacher will want to start documenting success in the classroom. Start a binder with test scores, classroom formative assessment results, student portfolios, anything that can show you are succeeding in your efforts to raise academic achievement. The binder at the link below, gets you off to a great start, it contains a teacher's manual, shows how to use technology to collect and analyze student information, it is set up to help you document your success.


NY Teacher evaluations protested

New York Times has a section in its online version called "SchoolBook" there are articles about schools in the New York city area. There's a protest brewing among school Principals. They're signing letters (1,483 at last count) protesting new state evaluation system that will rate teachers and principals based on student scores on standardized tests. The letter (in case you're looking for a model for your own state) is here: 

As important, there's research behind the letter drive to support the inefficiency of using tests

as a measure of teacher and principal evaluations being guided by testing. Read about it here;

The evaluations have their own acronym (helpful when you want to search for more information, APPR Annual Professional Performance Review) Read the New York Times here:


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