10 facts about teacher evaluation policies

6. Professional development (PD): 19 states and DCPS specifically require in their state policy that teacher evaluation results be used to inform and shape PD for all teachers.

7. Punishment and reward: 25 states and DCPS require that teachers with poor evaluations be placed on an improvement plan. And almost as many states (22 and DCPS) have policies that ensure that persistent classroom ineffectiveness is grounds for a teacher to be dismissed. However, there are only five states (Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Utah) states and DCPS directly tie teacher compensation to teacher evaluation results.

“In most professions, performance matters and good performance is rightfully rewarded with promotions and salary increases,” according to the report. “But not in teaching.”

8. Layoffs: Not even half (14 and DCPS) of the states with ambitious evaluations policies require district to use teacher performance to inform staffing decision in the event layoffs are necessary.

“Today, the overwhelming majority of school districts use seniority as the only determinant of teacher layoff decisions,” explains the report.”

9. Sharing data: Just eight states (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania) require that teacher effectiveness ratings must be reported school by school, “an important indicator of how equitably effective teachers are distributed within and among school district,” notes the report.

10. Teacher preparation: Only eight states have adopted policies connecting the performance of students to their teachers and the institutions where their teachers were trained. Only three states (Florida, Illinois, and Tennessee) use information from teacher evaluations to place teaching candidates with effective teacher mentors.

The full report also goes into detail about system structure, state oversight, and specific evaluations in every state; it also details 15 lessons and recommendations for the “vast majority of states” still in the process of designing teacher evaluation systems.

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Meris Stansbury

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