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. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Evaluation Feedback: New York requires that local districts develop performance evaluation review plans that provide teachers with "timely and constructive feedback on all criteria evaluated." This feedback should include data on student growth and feedback as well as training on how the teacher can use this data to improve his or her instruction.
Professional Development: New York requires performance reviews to be a "significant factor" in professional development for teachers.
Improvement Plans: New York requires that teachers rated both developing and ineffective have teacher improvement plans, which are developed by the district in cooperation with the teacher.
Evaluation Rating Categories: New York requires four rating categories: highly effective, effective, developing and ineffective.
Rules of the Board of Regents Section 30-3 https://govt.westlaw.com/nycrr/Browse/Home/NewYork/NewYorkCodesRulesandRegulations?guid=I84 5d14902b0d11e59e19bc2457105bfb&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=Default&contex tData=(sc.Default) New York Education Law Section 3012-d http://codes.findlaw.com/ny/education-law/edn-sect-3012-d.html
As a result of New York's strong policy linking evaluation to professional growth policies, no recommendations are provided.
New York was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced 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.