“Teacher evaluation systems introduced by states and school systems in the past several years have focused attention on improving the performance of public school teachers, but they have been cost- and time-intensive, placing a significant burden on states’ and districts’ resources. In Tennessee, for example, trained evaluators conducted nearly 300,000 classroom observations during the 2011-2012 school year, prompting administrators to complain that “the amount of time spent to implement TEAM [the state’s new system] was unmanageable. … To address these concerns, Tennessee and other systems have replaced their one-size-fits-all evaluation approaches with more differentiated models, using past performance data to determine which teachers should be evaluated with more or less intensity in subsequent evaluation cycles and, in some cases, what that attention should include. This brief explores differentiation strategies in nine districts, two charter management organizations, and three states, Tennessee, Delaware, and Ohio” (p.1).
Major Findings & Recommendations
“Though it is too soon to quantify the impact these differentiation strategies have had on teacher evaluation systems (most have been in place for less than three years), evidence from the education systems in this study suggests that they have helped districts deploy their resources more strategically. Even where system leaders have added new components (e.g., training for new types of observers) to their evaluation systems, they report that their investment in more adaptable evaluation systems has allowed them to better match teachers with the supervision and support they need” (p.5). (Abstractor: Author)