A recent paper from the University of Washington's CRPE reports that charter school principals claim to be observing their teachers on average eight times a year, which struck us as well above the norm.
We dug into some data from our TR3 database to see how that self-reported number of observations compares to the number required by policies in non-charter public schools, admittedly not quite an apples to apples comparison.
We found that the majority of public school districts in our sample requires new teachers to be observed only two to three times in a year. While teachers in these districts may very well be observed more than the minimum requirement specified in policy, we haven't found that to be the case in any of the large districts where we've dug deeper.
So even in what seems like the unlikely event that charter school principals are inflating their self-reports by as much as 100 percent and they are actually only observing their teachers four times a year on average, they are probably still doing more observations than the majority of their peers in non-charter public schools.
Maybe having principals do more observations really is possible...