Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Frequency of Evaluations: Kentucky does not ensure that all teachers are evaluated annually. Tenured teachers in Kentucky are required to receive summative evaluations just once every three years. Nontenured teachers in Kentucky must receive annual evaluations.
Multiple Observations: Kentucky does not require multiple observations for all teachers. The state requires first-year teachers to participate in its Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP), which mandates at least three classroom observations by three members of the KTIP committee: the school principal, a resource teacher (mentor), and a teacher educator assigned by an approved teacher preparation program.
Feedback for New Teachers: Kentucky state policy does not include a requirement that new teachers be observed and receive feedback early in the year.
Kentucky Administrative Regulations 704 KAR 3:370 Kentucky Revised Statutes 156.557 KTIP http://epsb.ky.gov/internships/
Require annual formal evaluations for all teachers.
All teachers in Kentucky should be evaluated annually. 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, Kentucky should require multiple observations for all teachers, even those who have nonprobationary status. While it may be practical to reduce the number of observations for the highest-performing teachers, all other teachers—not just those with an ineffective rating—deserve more feedback that can help them grow and excel.
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. Kentucky 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 failing to meet minimum standards of performance.
Kentucky recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis, was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis. The state added that details related to observations and conferences will be defined by administrative regulations regarding new Kentucky legislation, SB 1 (2017). These regulations are currently under development and/or will be included as part of district certified evaluation plans.
7C: Frequency of Evaluation and Observation
Observations serve several purposes, including to provide actionable feedback to teachers and to provide a summative rating that can be used in staffing decisions. Observations can be a rich source of information for teachers, giving them useful feedback to improve their practice.
Multiple data sources should be used in teacher evaluation, including multiple observations by more than one observer. Teacher observations conducted by principals that occur once or twice a year and consist of rating teachers on observable behaviors and characteristics have not proved valid. Research widely finds that the nature of their role as both instructional leaders and summative judges inhibits principals' ability to reliably serve as evaluators. In contrast, observations conducted by peers and other observers with subject knowledge are valid and reliable. Additionally, teacher observations are more effective when they occur in tandem with aligned professional development.
Observations are especially important for new teachers. 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. States should specifically require that new teachers receive an observation early in the school year. Early feedback may be especially essential for new teachers, given that teachers' performance in their first year is a strong predictor of their performance in later years.
Student reports of teacher quality are a unique and largely untapped source of rich data. Research finds that student input on teacher quality adds value to teacher evaluation systems. Research also finds teachers prefer evaluation systems that include student survey data. Students' first-hand reports of classroom elements (e.g., textbooks, homework, instruction), teacher-student communication, assignments, and daily classroom operations may provide teachers with credible information about their impact in the classroom, as well as serve as a tool for formative evaluation. Student perceptions of learning environments can be reliable and predictive of learning. Including student surveys in teacher evaluation systems strengthens the ability to identify teachers' effects on outcomes beyond standardized test scores. In addition, teacher evaluation systems that include student survey data, which are somewhat correlated with teachers' student growth measures, are stronger, more reliable, and more valid than those that rely solely on administrator reports and observations.