Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

Education

What’s the Future of Teacher Evaluation in the ESSA Era?

By Alyson Klein — November 28, 2017 2 min read

Back during the Obama administration, many states were working to tie teacher evaluation to student test scores, in part to get a piece of the $4 billion Race to the Top fund, or to get flexibility from the No Child Left Behind Act.

Then Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the feds were totally barred from monkeying around with teacher evaluation. So have a ton of states dropped these performance reviews? And what has happened in the ones that didn’t?

So far, six states—Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oklahoma—have dropped teacher evaluations through student outcomes, according to the National Council of Teacher Quality. And other states have kept performance reviews, but made some modifications. Florida, for instance, has kept the student-growth measures, but allows districts to decide how they are calculated. More in this story from Liana Loewus.

Half a dozen states ditching teacher evaluation through test scores may not seem like a lot. But the number could climb after the 2018 gubernatorial and state legislative elections.

One state potentially ripe for a big shift: New Mexico. It has either the toughest or the most accurate teacher evaluation system in the country, depending on who you talk to. About a quarter of teachers in the Land of Enchantment are rated as “ineffective” or “minimally effective.” In most other states, about 95 percent of teachers get satisfactory ratings.

But New Mexico’s governor, Republican Susana Martinez, is term-limited. And many in New Mexico suspect her successor—GOP or Democrat—won’t continue with the current system, which has faced serious opposition from teachers’ unions and many educators.

Want more? Check out this story.

Here’s a taste of the conflict: On the one hand, there’s state Democratic Sen. Mimi Stewart, a former elementary teacher who is now vice chairwoman of the Senate education committee. She said she’s counting the days until Martinez leaves office, in part so that she can push through big changes to the evaluation system.

“We’re running teachers out of the state,” she said. “It’s terrible. I have to go around and tell teachers, ‘Hang on, hang on.’ It’s only another year. We will change things.”

On the other hand, Christopher Ruszkowski, the state chief, said he doesn’t understand how the state will ensure that every student has access to an effective teacher without a meaningful evaluation system.

And Ruszkowski thinks that states that step away from teacher evaluation tied to student outcomes are doing children a big disservice.

“I see states and other districts that have turned their back on decades of research about teacher quality as a black mark upon their records,” Ruszkowski said. “Policymakers have essentially said this is too hard. And I don’t think too hard should ever be a reason we don’t do what’s right for kids.”


Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
The 4 Biggest Challenges of MTSS During Remote Learning: How Districts Are Adapting
Leaders share ways they have overcome the biggest obstacles of adapting a MTSS or RTI framework in a hybrid or remote learning environment.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Human Resources Manager
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Communications Officer
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hamilton County Department of Education
Special Education Teacher
Chicago, Illinois
JCFS Chicago

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read