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 remained consistent between 2017 and 2019.
Evaluation Feedback: Oklahoma requires that its evaluation system provides feedback to "improve student learning and outcomes." This is in addition to the requirement that teachers must receive copies of their evaluations upon completion.
Professional Development: Recent legislation in Oklahoma requires "the development of a focused and individualized program of professional development for the teacher or administrator that is consistent with the qualitative component of the TLE."
Improvement Plans: Oklahoma requires comprehensive remediation plans and instructional coaching for all teachers who receive ratings of needs improvement or ineffective.
Evaluation Rating Categories: Oklahoma requires five rating categories: superior, highly effective, effective, needs improvement and ineffective.
Oklahoma Statute Section 70-6-101.11, -.16 HB 2957 http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2957%20ENR.PDF
Due to Oklahoma's strong policies this area, no recommendations are provided.
Oklahoma was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts necessary for 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.