Unsatisfactory Evaluations: Hawaii

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.

Nearly meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Unsatisfactory Evaluations: Hawaii results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/HI-Unsatisfactory-Evaluations-10

Analysis of Hawaii's policies

Hawaii requires that a teacher who receives an overall unsatisfactory rating be dismissed; however, teacher evaluations are required only every five years. If a tenured teacher receives a "marginal" evaluation rating, he or she is placed on an annual evaluation cycle.


Recommendations for Hawaii

Require that all teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations be placed on improvement plans.
Although Hawaii has a strategy for exiting ineffective teachers, the state may want to reconsider its aggressive policy and instead require that all teachers who receive a single unsatisfactory evaluation be placed on an improvement plan and given sufficient time to address their deficiencies. In addition, the intent of this policy—to dismiss ineffective teachers—may be undermined by the state's evaluation policy (see Goal 3-B). 

State response to our analysis

Hawaii was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state also asserted that although tenured teachers are evaluated once every five years, a tenured teacher exhibiting performance deficiencies can be formally placed on an annual evaluation cycle and required to improve their performance to a satisfactory level within that year. The state noted that should the tenured teacher fail to improve within that year, he or she would be formally evaluated again the following school year and could be terminated if found to be "unsatisfactory" in that school year.  

Last word

The state's policy does not address consequences for teachers who receive more than one marginal evaluation, aside from the fact that they will be annually evaluated. Thus, teachers could be continuously employed with marginal ratings year after year without having to improve (i.e., achieve a "satisfactory" rating). The state is encouraged to take its policy a step further, providing improvement plans for teachers who receive both unsatisfactory and marginal evaluation ratings, and making dismissal a consequence of two unsatisfactory ratings or for consecutive marginal ratings.

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.