2013 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.
Commendably, Georgia requires annual evaluations for all teachers.
The state requires multiple classroom observations but does not articulate when they should occur.
Evaluators must be appropriately trained and credentialed.
Must include 4 classroom walkthroughs (10 mins) and 2 formative observations (30 mins). May be announced or unannounced (LEA decision)
Mid-year conference required; must be used to inform teacher of progress on TKES components. Will focus on student growth data, 10 standards and survey of instructional practice.
THIS POLICY CHANGE WILL POSITIVELY AFFECT THE STATE'S SCORE.
HB 244 (2013)
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. Georgia 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.
Georgia asserted that part of its Teacher Keys Effectiveness System is completing the formative assessment cycle, which requires credentialed evaluators to conduct two formative observations of each teacher. These observations must be at least 30 minutes in length and may be announced or unannounced based on local districts' discretion. In addition, a minimum of four walkthrough observations of at least 10 minutes must be conducted for each teacher. Building administrators may conduct additional observations as deemed necessary. Georgia added that it strongly recommends that all observations include commentary for all standards rated in the formative and summative assessments and must be recorded within five days of the observation. If the observation is not shared within five days, it will be considered invalid.
Annual evaluations are standard practice in most professional jobs.
Although there has been much progress on this front recently, about half of the states still do not mandate annual evaluations of teachers who have reached permanent or tenured status. The lack of regular evaluations is unique to the teaching profession and does little to advance the notion that teachers are professionals.
Further, teacher evaluations are too often treated as mere formalities rather than as important tools for rewarding good teachers, helping average teachers improve and holding weak teachers accountable for poor performance. State policy should reflect the importance of evaluations so that teachers and principals alike take their consequences seriously.
Evaluations are especially important for new teachers.
Individuals new to a profession frequently have reduced responsibilities coupled with increased oversight. As competencies are demonstrated, new responsibilities are added and supervision decreases. Such is seldom the case for new teachers, who generally have the same classroom responsibilities as veteran teachers, including responsibility for the academic progress of their students, but may receive limited feedback on their performance. In the absence of good metrics for determining who will be an effective teacher before he or she begins to teach, it is critical that schools and districts closely monitor the performance of new teachers.
The state should specifically require that districts observe new teachers early in the school year. This policy would help ensure that new teachers get the support they need early and that supervisors know from the beginning of the school year which new teachers (and which students) may be at risk. Subsequent observations provide important data about the teacher's ability to improve. Data from evaluations from the teacher's early years of teaching can then be used as part of the performance-based evidence to make a decision about tenure.
Frequency of Evaluations: Supporting Research
For the frequency of evaluations in government and private industry, see survey results from Hudson Employment Index's report: "Pay and Performance in America: 2005 Compensation and Benefits Report" Hudson Group (2005).
For research emphasizing the importance of evaluation and observations for new teachers in predicting future success and providing support for teachers see, D. Staiger and J. Rockoff, "Searching for Effective Teachers with Imperfect Information." Journal of Economic Perspectives. Volume 24, No. 3, Summer 2010, pp. 97-118.