Unsatisfactory Evaluations: Michigan

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

Analysis of Michigan's policies

Michigan requires local districts to put teachers on "individual development plans" if they receive an ineffective or minimally effective rating on the annual year-end performance evaluation. Teachers have 180 days to demonstrate progress toward individual development goals.

The state's new evaluation policy requires that "if a teacher is rated as ineffective on three consecutive annual year-end evaluations, the school district, public school academy or intermediate school district shall dismiss the teacher from his or her employment." 


Recommendations for Michigan

Make eligibility for dismissal a consequence of unsatisfactory evaluations.
Teachers who receive two consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations or have two unsatisfactory evaluations within five years should be formally eligible for dismissal, regardless of whether they have tenure. While Michigan has taken steps in the right direction, the state should adopt a policy that ensures that teachers who receive such unsatisfactory evaluations are eligible for dismissal. 

State response to our analysis

Michigan was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state noted that all teachers rated as ineffective receive individualized development plans and that all probationary teachers automatically have a yearly IDP. The state added that while three ineffective evaluations results in dismissal, "less than three can also result in dismissal." 

Michigan also pointed out that a teacher with one ineffective evaluation must show progress within 180 days and have a mid-year progress report as well as an end-of-year evaluation. The state concluded that "dismissal is definitely a consequence of unsatisfactory evaluations in Michigan."

Last word

NCTQ agrees that Michigan has a strong policy in place that makes dismissal a consequence of unsatisfactory evaluations. However, while the intent of the new legislation might be to stipulate that a teacher can be eligible for dismissal after less than three consecutive ineffective evaluations, the current policy is vague on this front. NCTQ encourages the state to consider clarifying this policy to ensure that two unsatisfactory evaluations make a teacher eligible for dismissal. 

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.