A report from the New Teacher Project offers states and districts a series of standards to help them overhaul their teacher-evaluation instruments.
According to the report, school leaders should evaluate teachers at least once a year against performance standards that are precise, detailed, and leave little room for different interpretations by teachers and leaders. Also, the report suggests, they should incorporate multiple measures of teacher performance, and the measures should be weighted most heavily on objective evidence that students are learning.
Teachers should garner one of four or five possible ratings at the end of the year, the report adds, but they should be engaged in conversations throughout the year about their performance. And evaluation results should factor into decisions about tenure, compensation, promotion, and dismissal.
The report also recommends districts survey teachers regularly to determine whether teachers feel they are receiving useful feedback in their evaluations and whether they are confident that the system is fair and accurate.
A version of this article appeared in the October 13, 2010 edition of Education Week as Teacher Evaluation