The National Council on Teacher Quality, with funding from the Gates Foundation, issued a report last month on the status of teacher evaluation across the nation.
Of the report’s 15 nationwide recommendations, I find these three most applicable to the implementation efforts here in Massachusetts:
1. Differentiating teacher performance isn’t going to happen just because states and districts have a new evaluation rubric. Some policymakers have naively assumed that because states and districts have adopted new evaluations that put a much stronger emphasis on student outcomes, evaluation results will inevitably look much different. But that assumption has proven incorrect.
2. Training is a huge undertaking. The majority of states recognize that evaluator training is needed. But fewer are implementing practices that could help ensure the quality of the training evaluators receive. For example, there are just 13 states that require a certification process for their evaluators.
3. States must develop data systems with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness. To ensure that data provided through the state data system is actionable and reliable, states must have a clear definition of “teacher of record” and require its consistent use statewide. States and districts also must have in place a process for roster verification.