Learning from Leading Efforts: Profiles of New Teacher Evaluation Systems

April 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC, April 18, 2012 – As almost every state and school system wrestles with how to make teacher evaluations more meaningful and more rigorous, the Aspen Institute today releases two new profiles of the work in progress. Given the complexity and the importance of this work, it’s imperative to gather information from the front lines to inform and enrich implementation in other places. That’s the goal of two new profiles from the Aspen Institute Education and Society Program featuring work in Hillsborough County, Florida, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina. These profiles were initially created to support learning within the Aspen Institute network of urban superintendents and chief academic officers, and are now being published for public dissemination.

Hillsborough County Public Schools has launched a teacher evaluation system that has attracted attention from educators and policy makers across the country. The power of Hillsborough’s evaluation system, which relies on observations of instruction and teachers’ value-added scores based on student test results, lies in their centralized, collaborative, communications-driven approach which focuses heavily on an inclusive process of tracking implementation and results and making just-in-time refinements based on feedback and their learning.
Building It Together: The Design and Implementation of Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Teacher Evaluation System

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools’ new evaluation system is noteworthy in its efforts to broadly engage teachers to explore a variety of measures that provide the most holistic assessment of teachers’ practice. It also illustrates how promising local efforts can inform state policy.
Putting the Pieces in Place: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools’ Teacher Evaluation System

These profiles were written by Rachel Curtis, a consultant who works with urban school systems, foundations and education policy organizations on teacher and principal human capital issues. In 2006, as assistant superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, she developed the system’s teaching standards and aligned new teacher induction support and teacher evaluation to them. Her publications include the books Teaching Talent, Strategy in Action, and The Skillful Leader II.

In addition to the Hillsborough and Charlotte case studies, check out earlier case studies on District of Columbia Public Schools and Achievement First along with a synthesis of the learning from the case studies:

The Aspen Education & Society Program provides an informed and neutral forum for education practitioners, researchers, and policy leaders to engage in focused dialogue regarding their efforts to improve student achievement, and to consider how public policy changes can affect progress. Through our meetings, analysis, commissioned work, and structured networks of policymakers and practitioners, the program, for nearly 30 years, has developed intellectual frame-works on critical education issues that assist federal, state, and local policymakers working to improve American education.

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