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Improving Your Teacher Evaluation Rubrics

As the Director of Research for Standard For Success, I have had the opportunity to work extensively with individual districts’ teacher evaluation rubrics.  In 2017, SFS conducted a study on the state of teacher evaluation in Indiana.  Our study represented 20% of Indiana schools, and our findings can be found here.

But the purpose of this blog is not to analyze the data, or even the ultimate conclusions from the study on teacher evaluation.  The purpose of this blog is for this author to give a shout out to our schools for their continuous efforts in improving feedback to their teachers.

Mapping Rubrics

Let me explain, the study began with myself and other members of the SFS team mapping common indicators by school district.  For example, a school evaluating a standard stating “3/4 of students are engaged” and another evaluating that “more than half of the students are engaged”are evaluating the same thing, just utilizing different language. Therefore, a commonality exists in the standard being evaluated, and our team wanted these to be matched in our data analysis.

When districts change up the language of their rubrics each year, does it make my job more difficult?  Yes!  But is it best practice for administrative teams to review, revise, and improve their rubrics annually?  Absolutely!  Administrative teams and teacher committees should be reviewing their evaluation rubric  language and incorporating local norms and expectations into their districts’ rubric to meet their individual needs. This helps foster professional growth that is more personalized and relevant to your specific school district.

So as I continue to analyze rubrics,  because yes, we are constantly reviewing our data to make sure our product is helping teachers and administrators to improve professionally, I am actually happy when a district has an updated rubric every year! This means that they are taking the time to identify their districts’ needs and foster teacher growth.  Keep those changes coming…

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