The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
The District of Columbia does not require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Currently, the District does not have a policy regarding teacher evaluations.
However, the IMPACT system, district-level policy implemented by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), represents significant policy advancements in the area of teacher evaluation. IMPACT requires that a teacher's impact on students' achievement accounts for 50 percent of the evaluation score. Classroom observations are required, and the evaluator must utilize the following multiple evaluation rating categories: highly effective, effective, minimally effective and ineffective.
DCPS: IMPACT http://dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/impact
Require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
The District of Columbia should codify the evaluation requirements articulated in DCPS's IMPACT system, both to support these important policies and to ensure their continuity.
Ensure that evaluations also include classroom observations that specifically focus on and document the effectiveness of instruction.
In addition to codifying the classroom observation requirement in DCPS's IMPACT system, the District should further articulate guidelines that focus classroom observations on the quality of instruction, as measured by student time on task, student grasp or mastery of the lesson objective and efficient use of class time.
Utilize rating categories that meaningfully differentiate among various levels of teacher performance.
To ensure that the evaluation instrument accurately differentiates among levels of teacher performance, the District of Columbia should codify IMPACTS's requirement of multiple rating categories.
The District of Columbia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The District added that Race to the Top LEAs must include a common value-added measure that comprises at least 50 percent of the evaluation rating for reading and mathematics teachers in grades 4-8. There are 31 participating charter LEAs and DCPS, and 91 percent of public school students are enrolled in Race to the Top LEAs.
The District also noted that DCPS is only one LEA in the District, which has about 75,000 enrolled students, with roughly 30,000 in charters and 45,000 in DCPS.
Establishing state-level policy would ensure that these current policies continue even after the Race to the Top grant comes to an end or if circumstances at the district level were to change.