Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.
Regrettably, Arkansas does not ensure that all teachers are evaluated annually.
The state recently passed new legislation establishing its new evaluation system — the Teacher Excellence and Support System. Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, nonprobationary teachers must only have summative evaluations once every three years. During the two school years that an evaluation is not required, schools may conduct evaluations that are lesser in scope and that use portions of this framework. However, annual evaluations for veteran teachers are not mandated by the state.
Probationary teachers must be evaluated annually.
For all summative evaluations, both formal (announced) and informal (unannounced and/or shorter) observations are required. Post-observation conferences to discuss the evaluator's observations and presented artifacts are required after all formal observations. However, the state does not specify when these observations should occur.
Act 1209 of 2011
Require annual formal evaluations for all teachers.
All teachers in Arkansas should be evaluated annually. 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.
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. Arkansas 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.
Arkansas was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.