SCORE report suggests tweaks to teacher evaluation system

Monday, June 11, 2012 at 6:41pm
Staff reports

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released a report Monday that offered several recommendations for the state’s recently implemented teacher evaluation system.

The report, titled “Supporting Effective Instruction in Tennessee,” suggests that the state address challenges with the current system and also be open to tweaks in the future.

The state revamped its teacher evaluation system last year, requiring that all teachers receive yearly evaluations — and that those evaluations can be used in personnel decisions.

SCORE surveyed teachers and educational leaders across the state and found educators believe the new system set clearer, more rigorous goals, but also had several flaws.

The report recommended that the state provide more professional education opportunities for teachers, hold school and district leaders more accountable and commit to improving the system on an ongoing basis.

SCORE also suggests tweaking the qualitative and quantitative aspects of evaluations, especially for teachers in non-tested subjects. Currently, teachers in subjects like music and art are evaluated on how students perform in subjects with standardized tests.

Gov. Bill Haslam released a statement Monday afternoon applauding SCORE’s efforts.

“We will review these recommendations along with the state Department of Education’s internal review of the process, which is expected to be completed in the coming weeks,” Haslam said.

“If we want to improve education in Tennessee, that starts with an effective teacher leading each Tennessee classroom. This report is part of a comprehensive review of the teacher evaluation process. We want to support and reward effective teachers and are committed to making the evaluation system as strong as it can be.”

The full report can be viewed here.

Other specific recommendations listed in SCORE’s release include:

• Ensure current and prospective teachers and leaders receive sufficient training in the evaluation system.  

• Link the feedback that teachers receive with professional learning opportunities so that they can improve their instruction. Tennessee’s teacher evaluation system needs to balance accountability for results with a focus on improving instruction.

• Support school and district leaders in becoming instructional leaders capable of assessing and developing effective teaching as well as hold them accountable for doing so.

• Re-engage educators in those districts where implementation of the teacher evaluation system has faltered during the first year of work.  

• Integrate the ongoing implementation of the teacher evaluation system and the Common Core State Standards so that they work together to improve student outcomes.

• Drive continuous improvement of the teacher evaluation system at the state, district and school levels.

3 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 6/12/12 at 6:21

Noted that the head of the State Teachers Union is the person being
questioned most by the TV stations and other media for comments!
Imput by teachers and principals is certainly important, but what must
be understood is that after receiving tenure accountability is something
that is never appreciated and will be forever contentious!

By: BigPapa on 6/12/12 at 7:30

I'd like to hear how teachers think they should be evaluated. They dont like student achievement tests because each teacher doesnt have the same type of students, they dont like observation because principals play favorites (or teachers do their best when they know they're observed and then slack the rest of the time), they dont like this new system because some teachers don't have classes dont have standarized test.

I'd think there's got to be one way to evaluate who's doing what.

By: rbrady42 on 6/12/12 at 2:33

Speaking from a self-contained teacher's POV, I suggest testing our students on week1, on week 9, on week 27, and on week 35. If progress is shown by each student, not at the same rate across the board because none of us learn at the same rate, but if progress is shown by at least one grade level per year, that should prove success. Some students will far surpass one grade level, some may not. It must be altered for Special Ed. students. For the students who don't progress at least a grade level, intervention classes should be required. Now, who determines grade level requirements is a whole different matter. It's hard for me to believe that elected/appointed officials who have either not taught or have burned out should determine requirements.