Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Frequency of Evaluations: Nevada requires that all teachers are evaluated annually. However, for teachers who receive a highly effective rating for two consecutive years, the final summative evaluation requirement is waived the following year. During that subsequent school year, teachers who have met this criterion will continue to participate in the observation cycle for formative evaluation and professional growth purposes.
Multiple Observations: Nevada requires that nonprobationary teachers who receive a developing or ineffective evaluation rating are observed three times during the next school year, with a schedule similar to that of probationary teachers outlined below. Nonprobationary teachers who receive effective or highly effective ratings must receive one observation, which must occur within the first 120 days of school. Evaluations for teachers in their first year of teaching must be based on three observations. The first scheduled observation must occur within the first 40 days of instruction; the second must occur after 40 but within 80 days of the first day of instruction; and the third must occur after 80 but within 120 days after the first day of instruction. If a probationary teacher is rated effective or highly effective during the first year, then the evaluation during the second year must be based on two observations, with one occurring during the first half of the school year. If a probationary teacher is rated effective or highly effective during the first two years, then the evaluation during the third year must be based on one observation, which must occur within the first 120 days of school. Probationary teachers rated developing or ineffective must receive an annual evaluation based on three observations.
Feedback for New Teachers: Nevada's observation schedule ensures that new teachers will receive feedback early in the year.
NRS 391.465, -.680, -690 A.B. 320 (2017)
Require annual formal evaluations for all teachers.
All teachers in Nevada should be evaluated annually. 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.
Base evaluations on multiple observations.
To guarantee that annual evaluations are based on an adequate collection of information, Nevada should require multiple observations for all teachers, even those who have nonprobationary status as well as probationary teachers who are rated effective.
Nevada was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.
7C: Frequency of Evaluation and Observation
Observations serve several purposes, including to provide actionable feedback to teachers and to provide a summative rating that can be used in staffing decisions. Observations can be a rich source of information for teachers, giving them useful feedback to improve their practice.
Multiple data sources should be used in teacher evaluation, including multiple observations by more than one observer. Teacher observations conducted by principals that occur once or twice a year and consist of rating teachers on observable behaviors and characteristics have not proved valid. Research widely finds that the nature of their role as both instructional leaders and summative judges inhibits principals' ability to reliably serve as evaluators. In contrast, observations conducted by peers and other observers with subject knowledge are valid and reliable. Additionally, teacher observations are more effective when they occur in tandem with aligned professional development.
Observations are especially important for new teachers. 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. States should specifically require that new teachers receive an observation early in the school year. Early feedback may be especially essential for new teachers, given that teachers' performance in their first year is a strong predictor of their performance in later years.
Student reports of teacher quality are a unique and largely untapped source of rich data. Research finds that student input on teacher quality adds value to teacher evaluation systems. Research also finds teachers prefer evaluation systems that include student survey data. Students' first-hand reports of classroom elements (e.g., textbooks, homework, instruction), teacher-student communication, assignments, and daily classroom operations may provide teachers with credible information about their impact in the classroom, as well as serve as a tool for formative evaluation. Student perceptions of learning environments can be reliable and predictive of learning. Including student surveys in teacher evaluation systems strengthens the ability to identify teachers' effects on outcomes beyond standardized test scores. In addition, teacher evaluation systems that include student survey data, which are somewhat correlated with teachers' student growth measures, are stronger, more reliable, and more valid than those that rely solely on administrator reports and observations.