The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.
Regrettably, Texas does not ensure that all teachers are evaluated annually.
Nonprobationary teachers are required to be evaluated annually; however, they may be evaluated less frequently if the teacher agrees in writing and the teacher was rated proficient on his or her most recent evaluation. In this case, teachers must be evaluated at least once every five years.
New teachers in Texas must be formally evaluated at least once a year. The state's policy does not include any guidelines on when these evaluations should occur.
Texas Education Code 21.352
Require annual formal evaluations for all teachers.
All teachers in Texas 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, Texas 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. Texas 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.
Texas asserted that probationary teachers and candidates in an alternate certification program (teacher of record) must be contacted within the first three weeks of placement, and the first evaluation must be conducted during the first six weeks of placement. Probationary teachers must be observed a minimum of three times: twice in the first semester and once in the second semester. Observations must be a minimum of 45 minutes and be followed by an interactive conference. Observations are conducted by a field supervisor hired by the preparation program, and results are shared with the campus principal. Districts will require additional evaluations conducted by the principal and other certified evaluators on the campus.
These observations are conducted as part of "on-going educator preparation program support," and it is unclear how the information gleaned from these observations is utilized by the principal and/or district.