Unsatisfactory Evaluations: California

Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy


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

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

Analysis of California's policies

California requires local districts to make specific recommendations for areas of improvement and provide assistance in those areas to teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations. The state also permits districts to require such teachers to participate in improvement programs related to teaching methods or instruction.  In addition, if a district participates in the California Peer Assistance and Review Program (PAR) for teachers, the district must provide peer assistance to teachers with unsatisfactory evaluations.

After an unsatisfactory evaluation, a permanent teacher is reviewed annually until he or she receives a satisfactory evaluation or is separated from the district. The state gives no limit to the number of times a teacher can be re-evaluated and does not mandate eligibility for dismissal for teachers who do not improve. 


Recommendations for California

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. California should ensure that teachers who receive such unsatisfactory evaluations are eligible for dismissal. 

State response to our analysis

California 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.