The state of principal and teacher evaluations

Districts grapple with the practical realities of teacher and principal evaluations
By: | Issue: January, 2016
January 4, 2016

The vast majority of states require student growth and achievement to be factored into teacher and principal evaluations.

But most states and districts are now grappling with the practical realities of implementing those policies, according to the October report “State of the States 2015: Evaluating Teaching, Leading and Learning” from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

In many cases, states are transitioning to new standards-aligned testing systems while also trying to determine teacher effectiveness in evaluations.

Only five statesÑCalifornia, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska and VermontÑstill have no formal policy requiring that teacher evaluations take objective measures of student achievement into account.

Three statesÑAlabama, New Hampshire and TexasÑhave evaluation policies that exist only as a part of ESEA waiver requests to the federal government.

Over the last five years, almost every state that redesigned its teacher evaluations also changed principal evaluation policies, according to the report.

Thirty-four states require an annual evaluation for all principals, and 19 states require student achievement and/or growth to be the largest part of principal evaluations. An additional 14 states require student growth to be significant in principal ratings.