Schools and districts across the U.S. have invested in building new teacher evaluation systems to better identify effective teaching. Still, teachers frequently feel that there is a disconnect between the professional development they receive and the teacher evaluation process. Below is a list of common issues in the evaluation and professional development process—and how to avoid them!
1. Variable Evaluation Results
Year over year evaluation results may change from “highly effective” to “effective” with no evaluator justification and no change to teaching skills or strategies, so why the change at all? The inclusion of specific performance goals developed by the school officials involved in the evaluation are an absolute necessity in ensuring the improvement of the teacher’s effectiveness. It’s essential that evaluators take into account the strategies teachers are implementing to improve classroom performance with the understanding that results may not be immediate and may need time to show through.
2. Relationship Between Test Scores and Teacher Competency
We can’t ignore the fact that teaching quality has an impact on student outcomes. However, assigning all the blame for poor test results to an individual teacher fails to take into account the entire learning community that a student’s success depends on. Administrators must also examine the effectiveness of team teaching and the integration of lesson specialists (think math and reading tutors), and also their own record of providing teachers with the feedback and resources they need to improve.
3. Disconnect Between Professional Development and Evaluation System
An article written by Robyn Jackson in ASCD edge states, “Many teachers are being required to participate in professional development that does not directly address any one of the domains or categories for which they are being evaluated. In some districts I’ve seen, the professional development for teachers has absolutely no connection to the teacher evaluation system or the schedule for salary advancement.” This mismatching of criteria for both the evaluation and the professional development standards has teachers doing cartwheels trying to keep up.
If we want to help more educators become the best teachers they can be, we need an evaluation system that can account for all of the moving pieces within their school and classroom. By providing a consistent, actionable framework for teachers and leaders alike, we’ll be able to build more meaningful connections between teacher evaluations and their professional development, leading to consistent professional growth and improved student performance.
Too often, school and district administrators are not able to take all the steps required to tie professional development and teacher evaluations because their time is fully consumed by the logistics of completing all of those evaluations. Automating teacher evaluations is the best way to win that time back, and improve the entire process. Our playbook gives you all of the information you need to automate teacher evaluations!