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.