The State Collaborative on Reforming Education, or SCORE, has released a new report, “Supporting Effective Instruction in Tennessee,” focused on the state’s teacher evaluation system. The report follows a five-month listening and feedback process SCORE led on the evaluation system to identify what is working well, gather input on challenges and concerns, and report back with a range of recommendations to the Tennessee Department of Education and State Board of Education. Tennessee is now completing the first year of implementing a new teacher evaluation system, designed to identify and support effective teaching.
SCORE heard consistent and positive feedback on many aspects of the evaluation, including that the system is improving both the quality of instruction and student results. SCORE also heard challenges related to the implementation of the new system, including perceptions that the evaluation is overly focused on accountability and not enough on improving and supporting effective teaching.
SCORE gathered this feedback and has provided seven specific recommendations to continue improving the evaluation system moving forward:
- Recommendation 1: Ensure current and prospective teachers and leaders receive sufficient training in the evaluation system.
- Recommendation 2: Link the feedback that teachers receive with high-quality, collaborative, and individualized professional learning opportunities so that they can improve their instruction..
- Recommendation 3: Address challenges with the current quantitative and qualitative measures of teacher effectiveness. Many of the issues that have arisen are not due to problems with the First to the Top plan for teacher evaluation, but rather from the remaining gaps in the development and implementation of measures of the evaluation system. For example, [they] recommend the state offer teachers in non-tested grades and subjects (who do not yet have individual student growth, or value-added, data) the option of temporarily increasing the weighting of the qualitative portion of the evaluation.
- Recommendation 4: Support school and district leaders in becoming strong instructional leaders capable of assessing and developing effective teaching – and hold them accountable for doing so.
- Recommendation 5: Re-engage educators in those districts where implementation of the teacher evaluation system has faltered during the first year of work.
- Recommendation 6: Integrate the ongoing implementation of the teacher evaluation system and the Common Core State Standards so that they work together to improve student outcomes.
- Recommendation 7: Drive continuous improvement of the teacher evaluation system at the state, district, and school levels. Leaders and educators must commit to improving the teacher evaluation system on an ongoing basis to maximize its impact on student achievement. [State Collaborative on Reforming Education]
To read the full report, please visit http://thescoresheet.org/2012/06/11/score-releases-report-following-teacher-evaluation-feedback-process/