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Keeping an Eye on State Teacher Eval Implementation: Michigan

By Sara Mead — September 28, 2012 1 min read

Per this, new analysis from EdTrust Michigan finds that 99% of teachers in the state’s largest districts were rated “effective” or “highly effective” even after the passage of recent legislation making changes to the state’s evaluation system. To be fair, these results reflect only partial implementation of the 2011 law reforming Michigan’s teacher evaluation systems: Although districts have implemented annual evaluations using a 4-tiered evaluation system, student learning gains don’t factor in annual evaluations until 2013-14, phasing in over time to 50 percent of the evaluation in 2015-16, and the Michigan Department of Education is still working on a state evaluation model for launch in 2013-14. All that said, it’s an important reminder that new evaluation systems and laws are probably not going to accomplish everything their supporters have promised they will in many states. There are also going to be variations across states in the percentage of teachers receiving “highly effective,” “effective,” “needs improvement,” and “ineffective,” and these variations--and their causes--are worth keeping an eye on. We don’t have consensus on even common expectations on what percentage of teachers would be in each of these tiers in a well-functioning system.

The opinions expressed in Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.