What's the use?

See all posts

Last week we highlighted the sea change of policy adoption related to teacher evaluation across the states—more states than ever are requiring annual evaluations for all teachers and are using objective measures of student achievement to assess teacher effectiveness. NCTQ's fifth annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook finds that 24 states now include objective measures of student achievement in teacher evaluations, and in 12 of those states, student achievement is required to be the most significant factor in the evaluations.

States and districts across the country may be moving closer to generating richer and more complete profiles of teacher effectiveness through annual teacher evaluations. But what's the use of that information?

The Yearbook  findings suggest that, for all the effort on evaluation policy, there's still a long way to go on policies to ensure that evaluation results are used to inform teacher practice:

·         The majority of states do not require teachers to receive feedback on their evaluations or simply require only that teachers receive copies of their evaluation results.

·         Seventeen states articulate no consequences (such as improvement plans or other remediation) for teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations. 

·         Only 12 states require that evaluation results inform professional development offerings to teachers.

·         Just three states (Florida, Idaho, Indiana) require performance to determine teacher pay.

·         Only two states (Florida and Tennessee) require evidence of effectiveness to be one of the criteria for assigning cooperating teachers to mentor student teachers.