Frequency of Evaluations : Washington

Identifying Effective Teachers Policy


The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.

Meets goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Frequency of Evaluations : Washington results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Washington's policies

Commendably, all teachers in Washington must be evaluated at least annually. 

Nonprobationary teachers are required to be evaluated once a year, with a minimum of two classroom observations.

New teachers in Washington must also be formally evaluated once a year. However, to gather information for this evaluation, the state mandates a minimum of two observations, with the first one occurring within the first 90 days of the school year. Within three days of each observation, teachers receive written results of their performance. Teachers in their third year of teaching must be observed at least three times.


Recommendations for Washington

State response to our analysis

Washington recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state noted that the provisional status for new teachers was increased in the 2010 legislative session from two to three years. Therefore, a teacher in his or her third year of provisional status must be observed at least three times, for a total of 90 minutes' observation time.

Research rationale

For the frequency of evaluations in government and private industry, see survey results from Hudson Employment Index's report: "Pay and Performance in America: 2005 Compensation and Benefits Report" Hudson Highlands Group (2005).

For research emphasizing the importance of evaluation and observations for new teachers in predicting future success and providing support for teachers see, D. Staiger and J. Rockoff, "Searching for Effective Teachers with Imperfect Information." The Journal of Economic Perspectives. (24:3) American Economic Association (2010).