Frequency of Evaluations : Maryland

Identifying Effective Teachers Policy


The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.

Meets in part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Frequency of Evaluations : Maryland results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Maryland's policies

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

Although teachers holding standard certificates in Maryland must be evaluated annually, those holding advanced certificates must only be evaluated twice during the five-year validity period of their license, with the first evaluation occurring during the initial year of the certificate. All evaluations must be based on at least two observations. 

Maryland requires new teachers to be evaluated at least twice a year. Probationary teachers must be formally evaluated, including a conference, at least once a semester.

**Take out reference to 1973-49
New teachers are evaluated once a year, with two observations. 
Annotated Code of MD


Recommendations for Maryland

Require annual formal evaluations for all teachers.
All teachers in Maryland should be evaluated annually, regardless of the type of license they hold. 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.  

Consider feasibility of multiple evaluation ratings in a single year for new teachers.
As evaluation instruments become more data driven, it may not be feasible to issue multiple formal evaluation ratings during a single year.  While multiple observations with feedback are critical, applicable student data will likely not be available to support multiple ratings.  

State response to our analysis

Maryland recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that 22 of 24 local school systems have agreed to the terms of its Race to the Top application, which articulates the following: "Every teacher and principal shall be evaluated at least once annually."  

Maryland noted that it is under continuing discussion by the Educator Effectiveness Council as to how this should be accomplished. Pilot projects in seven school systems in 2011-2012 from which data will be collected will be followed, with full no-fault implementation in all Maryland districts in 2012-2013, and full implementation in 2013-2014. The state's intent is for all local school systems to commit to annual evaluations.

How we graded

Annual evaluations are standard practice in most professional jobs.

Although there has been much progress on this front recently, about half of the states still do not mandate annual evaluations of teachers who have reached permanent or tenured status. The lack of regular evaluations is unique to the teaching profession and does little to advance the notion that teachers are professionals.

Further, teacher evaluations are too often treated as mere formalities rather than as important tools for rewarding good teachers, helping average teachers improve and holding weak teachers accountable for poor performance. State policy should reflect the importance of evaluations so that teachers and principals alike take their consequences seriously.

Evaluations are especially important for new teachers.

Individuals new to a profession frequently have reduced responsibilities coupled with increased oversight. As competencies are demonstrated, new responsibilities are added and supervision decreases. Such is seldom the case for new teachers, who generally have the same classroom responsibilities as veteran teachers, including responsibility for the academic progress of their students, but may receive limited feedback on their performance. 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.

The state should specifically require that districts observe new teachers early in the school year. This policy would help ensure that new teachers get the support they need early and that supervisors know from the beginning of the school year which new teachers (and which students) may be at risk. Subsequent observations provide important data about the teacher's ability to improve. Data from evaluations from the teacher's early years of teaching can then be used as part of the performance-based evidence to make a decision about tenure.

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).