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Teacher Evaluation Model Selection

Teacher Evaluation Model Selection

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, students explore the rationale behind teacher evaluation selection.

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And in today's video lesson, we'll dive into the lesson titled, Teacher Evaluation Model Selection. As we learn about this topic, we'll work towards one main learning objective. And together, we'll use the following question to guide our learning in this lesson. What is the rationale behind teacher evaluation selection? In this lesson, we'll explore teacher evaluation model selection.

First, we'll discuss the similarity among the models. Evaluation models that are used within the field of education to evaluate teachers, are very similar across schools and districts. We have explored both Marzano and Danielson, and their teacher evaluation models, in past lessons. These two frameworks are the starting point for many teacher evaluation models across the US.

There are several reasons for the use of these two frameworks in particular. One reason is that they are built on the INTASC professional teaching standards. They also meet the requirements for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESEA. There are strict requirements for both evaluating and reporting on teacher quality under ESEA and Title II. And No Child Left Behind, as well as Title I, include a provision for all students to have access to highly qualified teachers. When you put all of these requirements together, it makes sense to have teacher evaluation models that are alike, and created from frameworks that meet these requirements.

Another factor in the move towards evaluation models that are similar, is the set of grants put into place by the Obama Administration. These grants are the Race To The Top. And they have much impact on the decision to move toward consistent models. Race To The Top grants have several goals. Including designing and implementing rigorous standards and high quality assessments. Both attracting and retaining teachers that are highly qualified. Supporting data systems in order to inform decisions, and make improvements on instruction. Using innovative and effective approaches to turn around ineffective schools. And demonstrating and substaining education reform, including provisions to identify, and monitor, report, recruit, and retain, highly qualified teachers.

Because of the goals of Race To The Top, many states that were able to use these funds set aside a portion of the grants for teacher evaluation systems. Some chose to use the money to help adopt an effective system. And some chose to adapt a framework and evaluation system to meet their needs. Many of these systems incorporated the INTASC professional teaching standards, developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Which are the standards upon which the Marzano and Danielson the models are developed. Some states began to publish their own systems. States that had not yet developed systems soon followed suit. Many times adapting these models available, or adopting them completely. Because of this, state evaluation models are very similar.

Let's talk about model selection at the school and district levels. It's generally up to the district, not the school itself, what teacher evaluation model is adopted and put into place. This is due to many state and federal requirements for evaluations. Some states have issued limitations on which evaluation models can be used by districts. In Rhode Island, for example, one state-adopted model for teacher evaluation is mandatory in every school and district. In other states like Colorado, these districts have the choice between selected models. In this state there are three to choose from that are approved by the state.

Let's talk about model selection considerations. We've talked about the fact that there are many different criteria and requirements when choosing evaluation models that may affect what models are available, and how much choice is given to schools and districts in selecting a model. Now let's review some considerations in this model selection process, if there is in fact some choice in the matter.

Here are our list of questions to consider when giving options in teacher evaluation models for the selection process. Is there an analytic tool that will allow the district or school to track teacher performance? Is there an analytical tool that will allow the district or school to review trends to make decisions about professional development needs? Is there a reporting tool that will allow the district or school to meet the federal reporting requirements? Is the model aligned to the professional teaching standards used by the school or district? What is the required frequency of the evaluation? Does the model include pre and post conferences, announced and unannounced observations, professional growth goals, student growth and/or achievement data, tools for data analysis and feedback, and an improvement plan process for struggling teachers? How is student growth measured?

It's important to consider the digital platform compatibility. Digital platforms are very important when making this decision. States look for systems that will work easily within a digital platform. This is mainly done to ensure that the number of teacher evaluations that occur annually are managed properly. Both Danielson and Marzano meet all of these requirements. Which is just one of the many reasons that the two of these specific evaluation frameworks are commonly used. Leading to models across the US that look very similar. Some states also choose to use additional systems-- such as Teachscape-- as a platform to house the evaluation tool, and assist in the reporting process.

There are benefits to this. Trend reports can be run to find strengths and weaknesses within components of the evaluation models, for both individual teachers and groups of teachers. States and districts then have access to these reports. And from this data, districts and schools can guide professional development by identifying needs, and offering support where it's needed for teachers.

Let's talk about the best practice considerations in defining district and school models and process. Evaluation teams are essential in this process. It would be extremely beneficial for a district or school to develop such a team, regardless of the tool that was selected for evaluation. The job of this team would be to consider and develop district and school specific guidelines, timelines, and communication plans.

It's a possibility that these teams can also help by refining and adding to the evaluation models, in order to meet the unique needs of the specific school and the specific teachers. Many states allow some flexibility to do this. These teams should seek guidance from the district or school on how much, if any, flexibility is given in their situation. Evaluators must be trained extensively on the model that will be used. And they must also be trained and guided on giving effective teacher support. On the other hand, teachers should receive training on professional teaching standards that they will be using.

So let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the question, what is the rationale behind teacher evaluation selection? In this lesson, we explored the selection process for teacher evaluation models. In some states and districts there's no choice at all. In others there's some flexibility or choice. We talked about the fact that many evaluation models for teachers are very similar when we look across the United States. Some of this is due to the fact that many models use the two main evaluation frameworks, Marzano and Danielson, to develop their own models.

Now that you are more familiar with these concepts, let's reflect. Do you think that individual schools and districts should have more choice in the evaluation model that they use? Why, or why not? Thanks for joining me today in discussing the lesson, Teacher Evaluation Model Selection. I hope you found that in this video lesson, and are able to apply these ideas and resources to your very own teaching. For more information on how to apply what you've learned in this video, please see the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks useful for application of the course material, including a brief description of each resource.

Notes on “Teacher Evaluation Model Selection”


(00:00- 00:20) Introduction/Objectives

(00:21- 01:31) Similarity Among Models

(01:32- 03:05) Race to the Top

(03:06- 03:45) School/District Model Selection

(03:46- 05:02) Model Selection Considerations

(05:03- 06:08) Digital Platforms

(06:09- 07:11) Best Practices

(07:12- 07:45) Recap

(07:46- 08:26) Reflection 

Additional Resources

The Two Purposes of Teacher Evaluation

In this article, Robert Marzano argues that a teacher evaluation model that supports teacher growth is different than one that measures teacher effectiveness.

Selecting Growth Models for School and Teacher Evaluations 

This report from American Institutes for Research outlines three models of measuring growth. The report finds that Value Added Models that correlate student growth with school and teacher growth are the most effective teacher evaluation models.