Unsatisfactory Evaluations: Arizona

Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should articulate consequences for teachers with unsatisfactory evaluations, including specifying that teachers with multiple unsatisfactory evaluations should be eligible for dismissal.

Meets a small part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Unsatisfactory Evaluations: Arizona results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/AZ-Unsatisfactory-Evaluations-10

Analysis of Arizona's policies

Arizona provides "assistance and opportunities" for teachers whose evaluation identifies them as needing improvement, but it is unclear how structured this remediation plan must be. Arizona does not address whether a particular number of unsatisfactory evaluations would make a teacher automatically eligible for dismissal.

Citation

Recommendations for Arizona

Require that all teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations be placed on improvement plans.
While Arizona provides opportunities for improvement to all teachers identified as needing assistance, the state's policy does not clearly articulate that formal remediation plans will be utilized for teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations. The state should, therefore, clarify and expand its policy to require 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. Arizona should adopt a policy that ensures that teachers who receive such unsatisfactory evaluations are eligible for dismissal. 

State response to our analysis

Arizona recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

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.