2011 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require professional development to be based on needs identified through teacher evaluations.
Massachusetts specifies that its new evaluation cycle must include goal setting and development for teachers, who will all receive "Educator Plans." Such plans are designed to "provide educators with feedback for improvement, professional growth, and leadership; and to ensure educator effectiveness." Teachers are to be placed on "Educator Plans" based on the evaluation rating and impact on student learning. However, the state does not specify that professional development activities must be aligned with findings from teacher evaluations.
603 CMR 35.06
Ensure that professional development is aligned with findings from teacher 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. Massachusetts should ensure that districts utilize teacher evaluation results in determining professional development needs and activities.
Massachusetts was helpful in providing facts that enhanced this analysis. The state added that Educator Plans must specify the actions that must be taken to attain specified goals, including but not limited to professional development, self-study and coursework. Plans must be drawn up in accordance with district and school goals. They will result in a much more customized approach to professional development that is aligned to the findings of educator evaluations.