Working from the premise that teacher evaluations are a meaningful part of ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality education, Hope Street Group’s policy team developed the following recommendations and principles for teacher evaluations:
- Objective measures of student achievement gains must be a major component of teacher evaluation.
- Clearly defined standards of quality instruction should be used to assess a teacher’s classroom performance.
- Teachers, teacher groups and unions should be included in developing and implementing teacher evaluation systems.
- Teacher evaluation systems themselves must be periodically evaluated and refined.
- Teacher evaluation systems should reflect the importance of supportive administrators and school environment to effective teaching.
- Components of teacher evaluation that rely on observation and discussion must be in the hands of instructional leaders who have sufficient expertise, training and capacity.
- Evaluations must differentiate levels of teaching efficacy to identify opportunities for professional growth, and drive rewards and consequences.
- Information from teacher evaluations should be comparable across schools and districts, and should be used to address equity in the distribution of teaching talent.