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Teacher evaluation systems have changed a lot over the years, just like education. And though evaluations are much more complex than they used to be, they also yield better results. SFS strives to maintain relevant evaluations for current educators while using all the knowledge we’ve gained over the years.

The Development of Teacher Evaluations

In the 1800s, teacher evaluations were simple. Teachers needed to teach the curriculum that the community specified and keep good order in the classroom. Beyond that, they needed to maintain the building and be of good moral character.

In the early 20th century, America experienced an industrial and an immigration boom. Influenced by the standardization that was going on in the workplace, school officials sought to bring that to schools – to their curriculum, teaching methods, and evaluation of teachers. The thought was that students needed to become productive members of the workforce, and that business methods learned in factories could be applied to schools and teacher evaluations.

Then evaluations became connected to student outcomes. Throughout the 20th century, evaluations of teachers shifted back and forth, first as part of a dialogue between principals and teachers, then to measuring teachers against a set of strict criteria, and back again. In the 1970s, evaluations settled into a model that is more familiar, in which principals and teachers analyze several observations of teacher performance.

Where We Are Today

In many ways, teachers are still held to all the same standards that they were in the past, plus more. Today we acknowledge the fact that the relationship between teachers and students is a critical part of the learning process. We also recognize the importance of a teacher’s knowledge of the content and ongoing learning of pedagogy.  

In the 21st century, teacher evaluations further evolved, in rather opposite ways. The emphasis on standardized testing means that most teacher evaluations today include some type of data on student achievement, while at the same time, some districts also incorporate descriptive feedback from parents and the students themselves.

Current evaluations are also geared toward giving highly informative feedback to teachers, so that evaluations can be used more as a tool for ongoing coaching and professional development. To that end, most state departments of education have developed detailed descriptions of what effective teaching looks like, usually called indicators.

Today, teacher evaluations are also understood to play a significant role in school improvement. In addition to helping teachers maintain continuous growth, they have also been shown to improve retention rates and encourage professional development. More than that, they are linked to a better learning environment for students, which creates a better school and world.

In summary,  teachers are expected to demonstrate competency in a greater number of areas, data is collected from a greater variety of sources, and evaluations contain a greater amount of detail. And administrators must collect and manage everything.

Technology Assists in the Process

Fortunately, our ability to create better and better products to manage our complex lives has kept pace. And that is where Standard for Success Evaluation software comes in. The Teacher Evaluation Software makes it possible to store all data in one place – everything from notes to photos and video.

Teacher Evaluation Software was developed by educators who have used many different systems themselves, so they know what works and what doesn’t. The program is robust and easy to use. The software gives schools the capability of custom-building a local rubric, using or customizing a state rubric, or using several nationally-recognized rubrics. Schools can also customize rubrics to evaluate non-teaching staff.

If you’d like to streamline and simplify the evaluation process so that you can focus on what’s really important – helping to grow high quality teachers so that they can help students – check out the Standard for Success website and request a free demo. 


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