Teaching Profession Opinion

Grading Recent State Teacher Effectiveness Legislation

By Sara Mead — August 09, 2011 1 min read
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Over the past 2 years, several states have passed legislation to create new teacher evaluation systems linked to student learning, and to require results from those evaluations to be used to inform key personnel decisions--particularly teacher layoffs.

Some of these bills have received considerable press attention, particularly for their higher profile provisions. Bellwether Education Partners recently analyzed recently passed legislation in 5 states--Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee--against a scoring rubric to help provide the public with a better understanding of what each of these states’ laws do and do not do, how they stack up against one another, and their relevant strengths and weaknesses.

Two caveats here: First, the scorecard rates the content of the states’ laws, not their implementation--which will have a major impact in determining the ultimate impacts of any of these laws, but is too early to judge in most of these states. Second, we know that not everyone will agree with the criteria included in our rubric, and we welcome feedback.

As additional states enact teacher effectiveness legislation in the near future, we hope that this document can provide a tool to help policymakers identify the strongest provisions or language to incorporate into their legislative proposals--and highlight areas for improvement in states that have already passed teacher effectiveness evaluation.

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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.