Technical Assistance Toolbox: Tools to Support Systemic Change Along the Educator Career Continuum

Techical Assistance Toolbox Preparation

Evaluation Overview

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A high-quality educator evaluation system can help schools and districts identify effective teachers and leaders, which research shows is the most important school-based factor that affects student achievement. As nationwide policy trends move toward identifying, supporting, and rewarding highly effective teachers, schools, districts, and states have started to recognize the importance of having a rigorous and comprehensive teacher evaluation system. Because teaching is a complex profession, designing an evaluation system that addresses this complexity is important. To capture a complete picture of a teacher's contributions to student learning, rigorous evaluation systems should:

  • Be developed with teachers and other stakeholders.
  • Establish a set of high and consistent expectations.
  • Measure teacher and student growth.
  • Use multiple measures to determine teacher performance.
  • Provide meaningful feedback.
  • Provide multiple opportunities for teachers to grow in their profession.
  • Provide structured support to teachers.

Interactive Online Tools

The TQ Center has five interactive, online tools that provide planning guides, examples of evaluation practices, state-level evaluation policies, and links to resources related to the components for designing and implementing high-quality educator evaluation systems.

Policy-to-Practice Brief

This TQ Center Policy-to-Practice Brief introduces five ideas for alternative measures to teacher performance, beyond classroom observations. As states look to overhaul their evaluation systems using multiple measures of performance, this brief provides examples and considerations for policymakers.

Research & Policy Brief

The following TQ Center Research & Policy Briefs examine specific areas of concern for states and districts considering revising their educator evaluation systems.

Tips & Tools Key Issues

Key Issues provide research-based strategies regarding a variety of issues related to measures of educator effectiveness. Each of the following Key Issues includes a summary of the research that identifies key areas of concern, as well as links to real-world strategies that the states and districts currently implement to address the topics.

The TQ Center has developed a significant number of resources related to teacher evaluation in the past six years. For a more comprehensive list, visit:

The Need:

Several regional comprehensive centers (RCCs) have requested support, content expertise, and opportunities to collaborate in the design and the development of evaluation systems.

Our Response:

The TQ Center provided support to several RCCs, including the following:

  • The TQ Center collaborated with the Southwest Comprehensive Center in organizing a quarterly convening of its states to discuss the design and the implementation of comprehensive educator evaluation systems. The TQ Center’s Practical Guide to Designing Comprehensive Teacher Evaluation Systems became the organizing framework for the meetings. The TQ Center presented information and provided additional resources on components of comprehensive evaluation systems and measuring effectiveness for teachers in nontested grades and subjects.

  • The Great Lakes West Comprehensive Center requested the TQ Center’s ongoing support for the Wisconsin Forum on Advancing Educator Effectiveness as the forum worked to develop the state’s educator evaluation system. The TQ Center provided support by attending and presenting at meetings, providing expert information and resources, and participating as a critical thought partner. During this time, Wisconsin made decisions about selecting multiple measures of educator effectiveness, developed a communication strategy, combined multiple measures of effectiveness into a summative evaluation score, and ultimately developed the Wisconsin Framework for Educator Effectiveness.

  • The TQ Center collaborated with the Southeast Regional Comprehensive Center and the Texas Comprehensive Center in planning and presenting a two-day institute focused on designing comprehensive teacher evaluation systems. State teams from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas attended the meeting. TQ Center staff presented on methods for measuring teacher effectiveness in tested and nontested grades and subjects and provided information about the progress and the challenges in other states involved in this work. In addition, the TQ Center engaged with participants in state working sessions to answer specific questions and engage in problem solving.

  • Great Lakes West requested that the TQ Center participate in council meetings with the Illinois Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, where members worked to develop a “default” educator evaluation system model. To best assist the council, the TQ Center developed the Guide to Evaluation Products, a user-friendly, online database of models, frameworks, rubrics, and instruments for both teacher and principal evaluation.

The Need:

The TQ Center recognized a need to provide facilitation and content expertise support to state education agencies (SEAs) as they develop and implement new comprehensive educator evaluation systems.

Our Response:

The TQ Center provided support to several SEAs, including the following:

The Need:

The TQ Center received a request from WestEd to assist in developing and hosting a series of webinars on teacher and principal evaluation as part of the School Turnaround Learning Community for School Improvement Grant schools, school districts, and states.

The Response:

The TQ Center hosted a webinar series that explored different topics on teacher evaluation and principal evaluation. The archived webinar recordings can be accessed through the following links:

Additional Events, Webcasts, and Presentations

In addition to the previous examples of technical assistance provided by the TQ Center, we have been involved in providing numerous events, webcasts, and presentations on educator evaluation systems, including topics such as measuring student growth for nontested subjects and grades and students with disabilities, and exploring the various measures and models for evaluating teacher effectiveness. To learn more, please visit the Events/Webcasts/Presentations section of our website.

The GTL Center supports Regional Comprehensive Centers (RRCs) through explicit technical assistance efforts; in addition, the GTL Center can provide assistance in Evaluation by:

  • Working collaboratively with RCC and state education agency (SEA) teams to utilize existing tools and resources.

  • Providing technical expertise and support for ongoing webinars for RCC and SEA teacher effectiveness working groups.

  • Identifying challenges and solutions regarding student growth for the evaluation of special education teachers.

  • Identifying challenges and solutions for the evaluation of teachers of English language learners.

  • Collaborating to develop policies and practices to create and implement quality systems that support teacher effectiveness.

  • Providing information about federal requirements and opportunities for the support of teacher effectiveness.

Learn more about how Evaluation affects Mentoring & Induction, Professional Development, Compensation, and Leadership.

Techical Assistance Toolbox Professional Development Mentoring & Induction Professional Development Compensation Leadership

Teacher evaluation is an essential component to a systemic approach to improving teacher effectiveness and the equitable distribution of effective teachers. Evaluation works in collaboration with three other components of the educator career continuum: professional development, compensation, and leadership.

Evaluation can link to mentoring and induction—teachers identified as highly effective can serve as mentors and coaches for a school or district mentoring and induction program. Learn more about how the GTL Center supports mentoring and induction activities.

In a comprehensive teacher evaluation system, results from evaluation should align with targeted, job-embedded professional development. Learn more about how the GTL Center supports professional development activities.

Data collected from evaluation systems should be used to help make decisions about teachers, including compensation for performance and differentiated roles, as well as providing opportunities for teacher leadership in the school. Learn more about how the GTL Center supports compensation and leadership activities.

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