Aligning Evaluation: How Much Do Teacher Evaluation Rubrics Emphasize Common Core Instruction?

Matthew Welch, Sokoni Davis, Ruth Isaia, Will Johnston, Laura Stein, Hannah Jenuwine, and Kellie Macdonald

Two efforts that have impacted teachers across the country in recent years are state-mandated teacher evaluation and support systems and statewide adoption of new, more rigorous and focused student learning standards based on the Common Core State Standards. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AIR explored the level of alignment that exists between these two policies. In particular, this brief contributes to the discussion of whether teacher evaluation rubrics contain specific instructional guidance to teachers that will help them teach the things they have been asked to teach (Common Core State Standards) in the manner they have been asked to teach them.

Findings detailed in the brief suggested the following three key ways to revise teacher evaluation rubrics to more closely align with the new
student learning standards:

  • Increase emphasis on instruction in general in teacher rubrics, and in particular in underrepresented instructional practices.
  • Include additional details on desired practices already included in teacher rubrics, allowing instruments to provide teachers with more specific feedback on their practice.
  • Add additional subject-specific content, such as specific indicators or even separate instruments, to allow for unique and in-depth feedback for instruction in different subject areas.