Frequency of Evaluations : Alaska

Identifying Effective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.

Does not meet
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Frequency of Evaluations : Alaska results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/AK-Frequency-of-Evaluations--8

Analysis of Alaska's policies

Regrettably, Alaska does not ensure that all teachers are evaluated annually.

Although Alaska requires at least annual evaluations for all teachers who "met the district performance standards during the previous year," the state allows districts to limit the evaluation of nonprobationary teachers who consistently exceed the district performance standards to one evaluation every two years.

Annual evaluations for probationary teachers in Alaska must include two classroom observations. However, there appears to be no indication from the state when these observations should occur or if teachers are offered any immediate feedback regarding their performance.

Citation

Recommendations for Alaska

Require annual formal evaluations for all teachers.
All teachers in Alaska should be evaluated annually, even those who consistently exceed district performance standards. Rather than treated as mere formalities, these teacher evaluations should serve as important tools for rewarding good teachers, helping average teachers improve and holding weak teachers accountable for poor performance.  

Base evaluations on multiple observations.
To guarantee that annual evaluations are based on an adequate collection of information, Alaska should require multiple observations for all teachers, even those who have nonprobationary status. 

Ensure that new teachers are observed and receive feedback early in the school year.
It is critical that schools and districts closely monitor the performance of new teachers. Alaska should ensure that its new teachers get the support they need and that supervisors know early on which new teachers may be struggling or at risk for unacceptable levels of performance.

State response to our analysis

Alaska recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

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 Highlands 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." The Journal of Economic Perspectives. (24:3) American Economic Association (2010).