The state should articulate consequences for teachers with unsatisfactory evaluations, including specifying that teachers with multiple unsatisfactory evaluations should be eligible for dismissal.
Mississippi has a policy addressing unsatisfactory evaluations only for teachers in "Schools At-Risk" that have been identified as needing improvement. A School At-Risk designation is based on performance according to annual yearly growth targets and the percentage of students performing below grade level. Mississippi requires that teachers identified as needing improvement in such schools be placed on a professional development plan. If, after one year, a teacher receives a second unsatisfactory evaluation, the plan is adjusted and re-implemented. If the teacher still receives an unsatisfactory evaluation after the second year, then the teacher is eligible for dismissal.
Require that all teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations be placed on improvement plans.
Mississippi is commended for requiring that in schools identified for improvement, teachers who receive an unsatisfactory evaluation, regardless of whether they have tenure, be placed on an improvement plan and for making dismissal a consequence of unsatisfactory evaluations. However, the state should consider applying this policy to teachers in all schools throughout the state.
Mississippi recognized the accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it is currently in the process of validating an evaluation system that links student performance with teacher effectiveness. This system has been in the process of development throughout the 2010-2011school year and will be piloted in the 2011-2012 school year. The Mississippi Department of Education will post a website in the future.
NCTQ looks forward to reviewing Mississippi's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.
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.