Rating a Teacher Observation Tool: Five ways to ensure classroom observations are focused and rigorous

In this practical guide, The New Teacher Project outlines critical
components for an effective teacher evaluation system. It comes at a crucial
time when states, including Ohio, are in the middle of rethinking their teacher
personnel and evaluation policies. Drawing on its publication, Teacher Evaluation
2.0
, TNTP names six characteristics for rigorous evaluations:

  • Teachers should be evaluated annually;
  • Evaluations should be based on standards of
    excellence;
  • Multiple measures should be taken into account
    when evaluating teachers;
  • Multiple rating levels should be created to
    differentiate one teachers performance from another;
  • Frequent observations and constructive feedback
    are crucial;
  • Evaluation outcomes must play a significant
    factor in decisions about teacher employment.

Rating a Teacher Observation
also points out that objective data such as student learning measurements are
important to a successful observation, but subjective judgments by
administrators must also play a role. They suggest what a sample observation
might look like: 50 percent based on objective student learning measures, 30
percent drawn from classroom observations, and 20 percent based on other
measures of student learning. 

The New Teacher Project goes on to outline specific examples of metrics
that might factor into a rigorous evaluation (e.g., ways to measure the quality
of lesson delivery, instructional content, or the physical learning
environment) and therefore offers a practical tool for districts seeking to
revamp teacher evaluations. States around the country and particularly Ohio
would do well to tap into TNTP’s vast knowledge base when it comes to teacher
evaluation systems. 

Rating
a Teacher Observation Tool: Five ways to ensure classroom observations are
focused and rigorous

The New Teacher Project
February 2011

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