Improving Instruction for All Students Through Meaningful Support in Educator Evaluation

Accountability systems do not move schools out of improvement status; educators do. Assessing educator performance and using that data to guide their professional growth and development holds the potential to build and sustain an educator workforce driven by continuous improvement so that instructional practice is improved, and each student is afforded access to highly effective teachers. Assessing educators’ performance and using that information to understand how best to support growth and development has the potential to build and sustain a workforce that continuously improves practice so that all students have equitable opportunity to learn and achieve.

Schools identified as needing improvement simply cannot exit their identified status unless the educators within are provided the knowledge, skills, and supports to successfully engage all learners. Educator evaluation and professional learning systems can provide state, district, and school leaders with essential data to ensure that all students have access to effective teachers and therefore strengthen school improvement efforts. States are in a unique position to build and implement educator evaluation and professional growth systems that districts and schools can then implement at scale focusing on their specific school improvement needs and context.

This resource from the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders details what six states consider essential for the continuous improvement of educator effectiveness systems. Based on lessons learned as they worked to solve their own problems of practice and improve systems, the six guiding principles and vignettes presented here offer both inspiration and knowledge for other states and districts interested in stronger systems to support educators.