The latest twists and turns in the Washington Teachers' Union's battle with DCPS over teacher evaluations got us thinking: Just how unique is D.C. in keeping evaluation standards out of its collective bargaining agreement? After all, as Bill Turque points out in his recent piece on WTU's court challenges to DCPS's IMPACT teacher evaluation system, DCPS had to appeal to Congress in the mid-1990's to gain the right to unilaterally devise the terms for teacher evaluation.
The above chart, drawn from NCTQ's Tr3 database gives a breakdown on what state law says — or does not say — about negotiating teacher evaluation with unions. It excludes 15 states that lack either collective bargaining for public employees or statute addressing scope of bargaining.
Though a couple of states require collective bargaining of evaluation — the standards, the process, or something altogether unclear — in most states, districts are either prohibited from negotiating the terms of teacher evaluation, or the issue is not addressed in law or code. District leaders around the country may come to realize, as DCPS's did several years ago, that all that is preventing them from instituting evaluation systems more rational than those deeming up to 99 percent of teachers effective is a misplaced concern about shaking up a longstanding, "friendly" consensus.