Professional Development: Idaho

Retaining Effective Teachers Policy


The state should require professional development to be based on needs identified through teacher evaluations.

Meets a small part of goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Professional Development: Idaho results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Idaho's policies

New legislation in Idaho requires that state-approved evaluation systems include the method through which results of evaluations will be communicated to teachers and also procedures for providing remediation when remediation "is determined to be an appropriate course of action."


Recommendations for Idaho

Require that evaluation systems provide teachers with feedback about their performance.
Although Idaho requires that results of evaluations are communicated with teachers, this only ensures that teachers will receive their ratings, not necessarily feedback on their performance. Idaho should specify that teachers should receive specific feedback on identified strengths and areas that need improvement.  

Ensure that professional development is aligned with findings from teachers' evaluations.
Professional development that is not informed by evaluation results may be of little value to teachers' professional growth and aim of increasing their effectiveness in the classroom. Idaho should ensure that districts utilize teacher evaluation results in determining professional development needs and activities.

State response to our analysis

Idaho recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

For evidence of the benefits of feedback from evaluation systems, and the potential for professional development surrounding that feedback, see T. Kane et al, "Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness." Education Next. Vol 11, No. 3 (2011); E. Taylor and J. Tyler, "The Effect of Evaluation on Performance: Evidence from Longitudinal Student Achievement Data of Mid-Career Teachers." National Bureau of Economic Research (2011).

Much professional development, particularly those that are not aligned to specific feedback from teacher evaluations, has been found to be ineffective.  For evidence see M. Garet, "Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study: Findings After the Second Year of Implementation." Institute of Education Sciences (2011).

For additional evidence regarding best practices for professional development, see "The Deliver, Financing, and Assessment of Professional Development in Education: Pre-Service Preparation and In-Service Training." The Finance Project (2003).