Frequency of Evaluations

2013 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy

2013 Goals for Frequency of Evaluations

The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.

Best practices

NCTQ is not awarding "best practice" honors for frequency of evaluations but commends Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee and Washington. These states not only require annual evaluations and multiple observations for all teachers, but they also ensure that new teachers are observed and receive feedback during the first half of the school year. 

Best practice 0

States

Meets goal 12

States

Nearly meets goal 15

States

Meets goal in part 8

States

Meets a small part of goal 5

States

Does not meet goal 11

States

Progress on this goal since 2011

  • Improved
  • Stayed the same
  • Regressed

Do states require districts to evaluate all teachers each year?

2013
2011
Add previous year
Figure details

Yes: AL, AZ, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IN, LA, MD, MS, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, PA, RI, TN, UT, WA, WI, WV, WY

No : AK, AR, CA, DC, IA, IL, KS, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NH, OH, OR, SC, SD, TX, VA, VT

Do states require multiple classroom observations?

2013
Figure details

Yes. State requires all teachers to be observed multiple times. : AL, AR, CT, GA, HI, ID, IN, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NY, RI, TN, WA

Partially. State requires some teachers to be observed multiple times. : AK, AZ, CO, DE, FL, IL, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, NE, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, VA, WI, WV

No. State does not require multiple observations for any teachers. : CA, DC, IA, MA, ME, MO, MT, ND, NH, SD, TX, UT, VT, WY

Do states require districts to observe new teachers early in the school year?

2013
2011
Add previous year
Figure details

Yes : AL, DE, HI, ID, KS, KY, MN, MS, ND, NE, NJ, NV, OK, RI, SC, TN, WA, WV

No : AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MT, NC, NH, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WY

How we graded

Research rationale

Annual evaluations are standard practice in most professional jobs.

Although there has been much progress on this front recently, about half of the states still do not mandate annual evaluations of teachers who have reached permanent or tenured status. The lack of regular evaluations is unique to the teaching profession and does little to advance the notion that teachers are professionals.

Further, teacher evaluations are too often treated as mere formalities rather than as important tools for rewarding good teachers, helping average teachers improve and holding weak teachers accountable for poor performance. State policy should reflect the importance of evaluations so that teachers and principals alike take their consequences seriously.

Evaluations are especially important for new teachers.

Individuals new to a profession frequently have reduced responsibilities coupled with increased oversight. As competencies are demonstrated, new responsibilities are added and supervision decreases. Such is seldom the case for new teachers, who generally have the same classroom responsibilities as veteran teachers, including responsibility for the academic progress of their students, but may receive limited feedback on their performance. In the absence of good metrics for determining who will be an effective teacher before he or she begins to teach, it is critical that schools and districts closely monitor the performance of new teachers.

The state should specifically require that districts observe new teachers early in the school year. This policy would help ensure that new teachers get the support they need early and that supervisors know from the beginning of the school year which new teachers (and which students) may be at risk. Subsequent observations provide important data about the teacher's ability to improve. Data from evaluations from the teacher's early years of teaching can then be used as part of the performance-based evidence to make a decision about tenure.

Frequency of Evaluations: Supporting Research

For the frequency of evaluations in government and private industry, see survey results from Hudson Employment Index's report: "Pay and Performance in America: 2005 Compensation and Benefits Report" Hudson Group (2005).

For research emphasizing the importance of evaluation and observations for new teachers in predicting future success and providing support for teachers see, D. Staiger and J. Rockoff, "Searching for Effective Teachers with Imperfect Information." Journal of Economic Perspectives. Volume 24, No. 3, Summer 2010, pp. 97-118.