Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should ensure that teachers receive feedback about their performance and should require professional development to be based on needs identified through teacher evaluations.
Evaluation feedback: North Carolina requires that teachers are provided with feedback following a classroom observation and at the end of the school year in the summary evaluation conference. During the summary evaluation conference, the principal and teacher discuss "the teacher's self-assessment, the teacher's most recent Professional Growth Plan, the components of the North Carolina Teacher Evaluation Process completed during the year, classroom observations, artifacts submitted or collected during the evaluation process and other evidence of the teacher's performance on the Rubric."
Professional development: North Carolina requires that professional development be connected to teacher evaluation results. Teachers who are rated at least proficient must develop individual growth plans designed to improve performance on specific standards and elements.
Improvement plans: North Carolina requires that teachers rated developing who are not recommended for dismissal are placed on monitored growth plans; they are given one year to achieve proficiency. Teachers rated not demonstrated and those rated developing for two consecutive years, and who are not recommended for dismissal, are placed on directed growth plans and given one year or less to achieve proficiency.
Evaluation rating categories: North Carolina requires five ratings: distinguished, accomplished, proficient, developing and not demonstrated.
Teacher Evaluation Handbook http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/effectiveness-model/ncees/instruments/teach-eval-manual.pdf
As a result of North Carolina's strong policy linking evaluation to professional growth policies, no recommendations are provided.
North Carolina recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
7D: Linking Evaluation to Professional Growth
Professional development should be connected to needs identified through teacher evaluations. The goal of teacher evaluation systems should be not just to identify highly effective teachers and those who underperform but to help all teachers improve. Even highly effective teachers may have areas where they can continue to grow and develop their knowledge and skills. Rigorous evaluations should provide actionable feedback on teachers' strengths and weaknesses that can form the basis of professional development activities. Too often professional development is random rather than targeted to the identified needs of individual teachers. Failure to make the connection between evaluations and professional development squanders the likelihood that professional development will be meaningful.
Many states are only explicit about tying professional development plans to evaluation results if the evaluation results are bad. Good evaluations with meaningful feedback should be useful to all teachers, and if done right should help design professional development plans for all teachers—not just those who receive poor ratings.
To further increase the utility and validity of evaluation systems, states should require that evaluation instruments differentiate among various levels of teacher performance rather than only giving binary satisfactory/unsatisfactory ratings. Binary rating systems often offer little meaning because virtually all teachers receive satisfactory ratings. More rating categories allow for more nuanced distinctions between levels of teacher performance.