The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Commendably, Tennessee requires that objective evidence of student learning be the preponderant criterion of its teacher evaluations.
New legislation now requires that 50 percent of evaluations must be based on student achievement data. Thirty-five percent of a teacher's yearly evaluation must rely on student growth data from the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) or other comparable growth measure. The remaining 15 percent must be based on other measures of student achievement.
Teachers with TVAAS who teach grades 4-8 may choose among the following achievement measures: state assessments, schoolwide TVAAS, ACT/SAT suite of assessments, "off the shelf" assessments and completion/success in advanced coursework. In addition to the measures already listed, secondary teachers with TVAAS may also choose the following: AP/IB/NIC suites of assessments, graduation rates, postsecondary matriculation and grade 9 promotion to grade10.
For each evaluation, the person being evaluated must mutually agree with the person conducting the evaluation on which such measures are employed. If the teacher or principal being evaluated does not agree with the measures used, then the person responsible for conducting the evaluation will choose the evaluation measures.
Classroom observations are required, and teachers must be rated using the following multiple rating categories: significantly below expectations, below expectations, at expectations, above expectations and significantly above expectations.
Tennessee was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis.