Frequency of Evaluations : Hawaii

Identifying Effective Teachers Policy


The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.

Does not meet goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Frequency of Evaluations : Hawaii results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Hawaii's policies

Regrettably, Hawaii does not ensure that all teachers are evaluated annually.

The state allows tenured teachers who receive satisfactory ratings to be formally rated every five years. New teachers in Hawaii must be formally evaluated once a year. However, the state's policy does not include any guidelines on when these evaluations should occur.


Recommendations for Hawaii

Require annual formal evaluations for all teachers.
All teachers in Hawaii should be evaluated annually, regardless of their previous performance. 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.  

Base evaluations on multiple observations.
To guarantee that annual evaluations are based on an adequate collection of information, Hawaii should require multiple observations for all teachers, even those who have nonprobationary status. 

Ensure that new teachers are observed and receive feedback early in the school year.
It is critical that schools closely monitor the performance of new teachers. Hawaii 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.

State response to our analysis

Hawaii asserted that its statute requires annual evaluations for all teachers. The state added that ZSI schools (Zones of School Innovation) have moved to common observation protocol as a first step toward statewide implementation. 

Last word

Although the state's statute articulates annual evaluations for all teachers, Hawaii's Professional Evaluation Program for Teachers (PEP-T) Manual allows a five-year cycle for tenured, satisfactory teachers. 

Research rationale

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 Highlands 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." The Journal of Economic Perspectives. (24:3) American Economic Association (2010).