The state should articulate consequences for teachers with unsatisfactory evaluations, including specifying that teachers with multiple unsatisfactory evaluations should be eligible for dismissal.
Alabama does not have a policy regarding teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations.
The state had such requirements under its old PEPE evaluation system, but none have been articulated for the EDUCATEAlabama system.
Require that all teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations be placed on improvement plans.
Alabama should adopt a policy requiring that teachers who receive even one unsatisfactory evaluation be placed on structured improvement plans. These plans should focus on performance areas that directly connect to student learning and should list noted deficiencies, define specific action steps necessary to address these deficiencies and describe how and when progress will be measured.
Make eligibility for dismissal a consequence of unsatisfactory evaluations.
Teachers who receive two consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations or have two unsatisfactory evaluations within five years should be formally eligible for dismissal, regardless of whether they have tenure. Alabama should adopt a policy that ensures that teachers who receive such unsatisfactory evaluations are eligible for dismissal.
Alabama recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that "EDUCATEAlabama is a formative rather than a summative process. Employment decisions are made by local boards of education based on the recommendations of local superintendents of education. School system personnel are advised to use progressive discipline procedures when a teacher's performance is less than acceptable and does not improve."
While hiring and firing of teachers is a local issue, the state can and should send an important message to local districts that there should be meaningful consequences for unsatisfactory evaluations. Teachers should be given the opportunity and support to improve, but those who cannot do so should not be allowed to remain in the classroom.
To review the process and types of personnel evaluations observed in other job sectors, including the problems inherent to some evaluation systems see, for example, Gliddon, David (October 2004). Effective Performance Management Systems, Current Criticisms and New Ideas for Employee Evaluation in Performance Improvement 43(9), 27-36.