Sea change in teacher effectiveness policies

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In advance of our 2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook (due out in January), we've pulled together an analysis of the new wave of policies adopted on teacher evaluation and effectiveness across the states. Our report released today on the State of the States also provides an in-depth look at a set of 17 states, as well as the District of Columbia Public Schools, that are riding out in front of the rest with some of the most ambitious teacher evaluation policies in the nation—policies that give student achievement a significant, objective and measurable role in teacher effectiveness policies.

Today, half of the states require all teachers to have their performance reviewed every year, and almost as many states are requiring that those teacher evaluations include a review of objective evidence of student learning.  If that doesn't seem like a tidal wave of reform, consider this: Just two years ago, only 15 states required annual teacher reviews and 35 states did not, even in the most cursory way, recognize that student achievement was of any use in assessing a teacher's effectiveness in the classroom.  

We also offer our early observations on the challenges states are facing—and working to overcome—in bringing these complex systems online.  Download the report here.