TEACHER EVALUATION INSTRUMENTS: THE PROCESSES AND PROTOCOLS IN WASHINGTON STATE
Webb, Andie Shane
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This study provides a descriptive analysis of teacher evaluation documents used in the state of Washington in 2010-2011. The purpose of the research was to understand what documents were used, differences and similarities from district to district, and the extent to which they conformed to state administrative rules and what the literature argues are best practices for teacher evaluation. Documents were collected from 203 of the 295 Washington school districts, either from responses to telephone or email requests for from district websites. Missing data (70 of 92) came predominantly from very small school districts serving less than 1,000 students. Each form was analyzed and coded based on specific parameters such as the size length of the form, whether it contained formative as well as summative evaluation language, whether work samples and test scores were part of the evaluation, whether the forms addressed seven mandatory state criteria, and whether they contained specific sections on such teaching skills as classroom management and student engagement. The forms showed considerable differences in length and complexity. Of the seven state required criteria, only three had a compliance rate of 70%. Over 90% of the documents did provide space to evaluate specific teaching skills. There were no systematic differences between larger and smaller districts (although medium-sized districts had the most detailed forms), between high and low poverty schools, and between those that had made district-wide Adequate Yearly Progress and those that had not. The degree of variation suggests that Washington's legislation having initiated an effort to provide standardized instruments in the years following 2010 served a significant policy need.
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