State of the States: Trends and Early Lessons on Teacher Evaluation and Effectiveness Policies

Given recent sea changes to teacher-evaluation-policy—thirty-two
states have updated policies in the last three years with much
of this movement occurring
in 2011—the National Council on Teacher Quality
offers up this teaser to its annual State
Teacher Policy Yearbook
. It offers a comprehensive appraisal of each
state’s teacher-evaluation policies, and also explains what eighteen states with
the most ambitious evaluation plans (some Race to the Top winners, others not)
are up to, ranking each against NCTQ’s ten elements of comprehensive teacher
policy. What’s most interesting about the paper are the early lessons it draws
from these states’ initiatives. As the authors explain, “teacher effectiveness
measures don’t have to be perfect to be useful.” They should, however, include
classroom observations, entail third-party evaluations, and incorporate
student-growth measures for non-tested subjects. And they don’t need to be the
same for teachers of all grades and all subjects. Two words: Read it.

National Council on Teacher Quality. “State
of the States: Trends and Early Lessons on Teacher Evaluation and Effectiveness
Policies
” (Washington, D.C.: National Council on Teacher Quality, October
2011).

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