In a recent Educational Leadership discussion forum, the discussion thread focused on teacher evaluation. The initial article, “Overcome Obstacles to Teacher Evaluation: High-Reliability Practices,” addressed the issue by proposing ways to defeat everyday challenges in implementing teacher evaluation systems along with some recommendations to avoid implementation snags. We know this topic is ever-present and ever-challenging.
Here are the common obstacles that need to be tackled and resolved in some way in order for implementation to be successful: develop a consistent definition of educator effectiveness; create a district-wide approach to instruction; provide adequate training for evaluators; and set and monitor standards for system implementation. So, what does Tony Davis, Consulting Director, The Center for Educator Effectiveness (McREL), suggest?
1. Fidelity, intensity, and consistency are critical. Effectiveness cannot be measured until we know
what it looks like; everyone has to be
evaluated using the same definition and objectives;
2. A district-wide approach to instruction ensures consistency in language and practice; this is
necessary both within and across schools.
(According to OECD in 2008, there was a 2.6 times
great variation in student achievement across classrooms in the same schools than from
3. All evaluators must be properly trained to use the evaluation system and provide the appropriate
feedback to educators; they must offer ways
to strengthen practice;
4. Successful implementation of an evaluation system is a process and requires ongoing support
and consistency to make it valuable.
As instructional coaches, you are in the position to help provide consistency, ubiquity, and fidelity to an instructional coaching process that builds teacher capacity, increases student engagement and improves student learning, all pieces of an effective evaluation system.
What are some of the strategies you implement to ensure consistency in practice and language in your coaching work?