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teacher evaluation

State legislation, local culture, industry thought leaders and other factors influence the approach a school district takes in defining evaluation frameworks for teachers, leaders and staff. These variables give rise to an ever-changing set of policies, standards and evaluation rubrics that add to the complexity of educator effectiveness programs.

A fourth grade teacher at Cornelius Elementary School in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is evaluated by video.

As states try to bring new rigor and accountability to their teacher evaluation systems, digital video is emerging as one tool for standardizing and enhancing the sometimes perfunctory ritual of classroom observation.

Administrators can use this web-based tool to observe and sustain effective instructional practice and classroom culture. Using an observation template on any laptop or tablet, data is collected during an evaluation and can be shared with teachers and other administrators via email. observe4success identifies trends by storing, sorting and analyzing data by teacher, grade level, department and school.


Administrators can use this web-browser tool or native iPad app to conduct classroom observations, foster collaboration between teacher and evaluator, and identify professional development opportunities. TeachPoint is forms- and process-agnostic, allowing users to build all approved forms into its system.

Lisa Todd is deputy superintendent of schools at Greenbrier Public Schools in Arkansas.

Greenbrier Public Schools in Arkansas has always had a strong focus on using classroom observation to encourage positive growth within our schools. When I joined Greenbrier Schools about 12 years ago as the deputy superintendent, I had spent almost 20 years as a classroom teacher and district administrator.

Teachers are the single most important factor in student learning. Yet, our field as a whole spends little time ensuring that only the best teachers enter our classrooms—and even less time ensuring that the best teachers feel supported.

Chris Belcher, superintendent of Columbia (Mo.) Public Schools, recognizes an outstanding teachers as part of the district’s educator of the year recognitions in 2012.

Teacher evaluation may be the hottest—and most divisive—topic in education right now. From Florida to Missouri and Nevada to Minnesota, state legislatures are debating bills that would tie teacher assessment to student achievement. Meanwhile, school districts are revamping their systems, and superintendents are trying to balance the often-conflicting demands of teachers, unions, state-imposed rules, and good educational practice.


As districts transition into the digital age, technology certification programs are growing in number to meet the needs of tech-savvy students.

Students’ state test scores can accurately identify good teachers, but aren’t the only piece of the puzzle.A teacher’s rating is most reliable when test scores are combined with classroom observations and student surveys, according to a study of 3,000 teachers from seven U.S. public school districts.