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National Council on Teacher Quality

State of the States: Trends and Early Lessons on Teacher Evaluation and Effectiveness Policies

Nationwide, a growing group of supporters is encouraging policy makers to integrate performance evaluation into teachers' job reviews and make performamce an important factor in decisions about pay, tenure, promotion, and dismissal. The Joyce Foundation along with grantee the National Council on Teacher Quality saw a need to examine teacher evaluation policies among every state and the District of Columbia. Through a Joyce grant, and additional funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NCTQ released “State of the States: Trends and Early Lessons on Teacher Evaluation and Effectiveness Policies.”

The NCTQ report aims to provide an understanding of what individual states’ policies are as well as an in-depth analysis of states with some of the most ambitious teacher evaluation policies. NCTQ also offers its observations on policy implementation.

The report found that 32 states and D.C. have made at least some changes to their teacher evaluation policy within the last three years. Twenty four of these states and D.C. require annual performance evaluations; two years ago, only 15 states had this requirement. Within the past two years, the number of states requiring test scores and objective observations of student learning be included in a teacher’s performance has increased from 15 to 23.

Published in October 2011, the report immediately made headlines across the country in the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Baltimore Sun, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, among other news outlets. "We've seen a major policy shift away from [teacher] evaluations that tell us little about whether kids in a particular teacher's classroom are learning, to evaluations designed to actually identify our most outstanding teachers and those who consistently underperform," Sandi Jacobs, NCTQ vice president, told the Wall Street Journal in an article published October 26, 2011.

 
 

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