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While in a discussion with several different school districts across the United States, I was asked to discuss the “best practices for evaluation plans” and what “good things” are other districts doing with their evaluation plans. In other words, what makes an evaluation system one that can better teachers to foster better students for a better world?

Ask Yourself

The following are some things to consider when reviewing your evaluation plan:

  1. Are there changes needed in your rubrics?
    • Are there areas that are not marked in observations?
    • Are there indicators that can be removed, or combined with other indicators?
    • Are your rubric indicators evidence-based?
  2. Are additional rubrics needed for additional positions to make the evaluation more meaningful?
  3. Are you utilizing self-assessments?
    • If so, are self-assessments used at both beginning and ending of school year?
  4. Do your teachers set personal goals for the year?
  5. Are you utilizing student growth data in several different ways?
    • What are things that you can look at for student growth and learning?
  6. Are you using pre- and post-observation forms for teachers?
    • Are your forms too cumbersome?
    • Do you need new questions?
  7. Are you utilizing artifacts to the fullest extent?
    • What are some guidelines to artifacts that are true and strong evidence?
    • What is a good timeline for artifacts?
  8. Do you need to make changes in what is included in your summative rating?
  9. How are you having those conversations after observations?
    • Are you providing a way by which to have meaningful feedback?
  10. Are professional development tasks included as part of your evaluation plan to provide ongoing information in best practices?
    • Have you been developing a library of professional development tasks?
  11. How are you using Analytics to help your evaluation plan go beyond compliance?
    • Have you provided a format for instructional coaching?
  12. Do you use some type of informal walk-through tool for additional information?
    • If so, what is included on that tool?
  13. Do you need to consider Peer Reviews?
  14. Do you have an online platform that will include all of the above items?

Now that school districts have been utilizing staff evaluations for a few years, it is time to review your plan and make needed adjustments. First and foremost, remember that an evaluation is not a “Gotcha!” plan, but rather a tool to create Better Teachers, Better Students, Better World!

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