The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Nebraska does not require that objective evidence of student learning be the preponderant criterion of its teacher evaluations.
State policy requires local school districts to develop teacher evaluation instruments that must include basic criteria established by the state. The evaluation instrument must be approved by the state. The criteria include professional and personal conduct, classroom management and organization as well as instructional performance. Although the guidelines imply that classroom observation should be included, the state does not direct districts to include objective measures of student achievement.
Nebraska Department of Education Title 92, Chapter 10, 007.06
Require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Nebraska should either require a common evaluation instrument in which evidence of student learning is the most significant criterion, or it should specifically require that student learning be the preponderant criterion in local evaluation processes. Whether state or locally developed, a teacher should not be able to receive a satisfactory rating if found ineffective in the classroom.
Ensure that classroom observations specifically focus on and document the effectiveness of instruction.
Although Nebraska commendably requires classroom observations as part of teacher evaluations, the state should articulate guidelines that focus classroom observations on the quality of instruction, as measured by student time on task, student grasp or mastery of the lesson objective and efficient use of class time.
Utilize rating categories that meaningfully differentiate among various levels of teacher performance.
To ensure that the evaluation instrument accurately differentiates among levels of teacher performance, Nebraska should require districts to utilize multiple rating categories, such as highly effective, effective, needs improvement and ineffective. A binary system that merely categorizes teachers as satisfactory or unsatisfactory is inadequate.
Nebraska was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis.