Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.
Regrettably, South Dakota does not ensure that all teachers are evaluated annually.
New legislation now requires that nonprobationary teachers be evaluated once every two years. New teachers in South Dakota will be evaluated annually. However, the state's policy does not include any guidelines on when this evaluation should occur.
Require annual formal evaluations for all teachers.
All teachers in South Dakota 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, South Dakota should require multiple observations for all teachers, even those who have nonprobationary status.
Ensure that new teachers are observed and receive feedback early in the school year.
It is critical that schools and districts closely monitor the performance of new teachers. South Dakota should ensure that its new teachers get the support they need and that supervisors know early on which new teachers may be struggling or at risk for unacceptable levels of performance.
South Dakota recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.