Evaluation and Professional Learning for Educators of Disadvantaged Students

A high-quality educator evaluation and support system can help disadvantaged schools and districts identify effective teachers and leaders and support their ability to reach all students. Because teaching and leading are complex jobs, designing an evaluation system that addresses this complexity is important. To capture a complete picture of a teacher's or leader’s contributions to student learning, rigorous evaluation systems should:

  • Be developed in cooperation with teachers, leaders, and other stakeholders.
  • Establish a set of high and consistent expectations.
  • Measure both educator effectiveness and growth.
  • Use multiple measures.
  • Provide meaningful feedback and support.

What Can I Do to Support Equitable Access to Great Teachers and Leaders?

Strategies to Consider

  • Build Capacity of Principals and Coaches to Connect Evaluation to Professional Learning

    Build the capacity of principals and coaches in high-need schools to use evaluation frameworks and results to provide actionable feedback and tailor professional learning for individual teachers. Help them leverage educator evaluation results to identify targeted, job-embedded professional development. 
  • Enhance Effective Teaching and Leading Through Evaluation Systems

    Leverage principal evaluation systems to enhance leadership for effective teaching and leading in high-need districts and schools.

  • Expand and Evaluate Professional Growth Opportunities

    Evaluate and consider expanding the professional development opportunities that colleges of education provide specifically to strengthen teaching in high-need schools:

    • Assess the staffing needs of high-need schools in the area served by the college, and develop programs for current teachers that help them gain or strengthen content and pedagogical knowledge in high-need subjects.
    • Assess the pedagogical needs of teachers in the area’s high-need schools, and develop programs and resources to help address areas for growth.
    • Enhance preparation programs that help principals and teachers become effective administrative and instructional leaders in high-need schools. 
  • Implement a Comprehensive Educator Evaluation System

    Reliably implement a comprehensive educator evaluation system to help determine whether the access to great teachers and leaders is equitable in your school, across your district, and across your state.

  • Use Evaluation Results to Identify Professional Growth Opportunities

    Leverage teacher and principal evaluation results to identify targeted, job-embedded professional development.


  • Changing Teacher Beliefs and Instructional Practices: High-Quality Professional Learning Opportunities for High School Teachers

    Drawing on research for a doctoral dissertation, this report examines the design of the Center for Educational Leadership’s professional development coaching program. The multiple layers of a coaching cycle are outlined, and the conditions that result in instructional improvement are described.

  • Coaching Teachers to Help Students Learn

    To create a support system for teachers, Adams 12 School District in Thornton, Colorado, introduced “student-achievement coaches.” This article describes the initiative's coaching, considerations in starting a teacher-coaching program, and some of the experiences of Adams 12 and other districts that have implemented coaching policies. 

  • Critical Issue: Building a Collective Vision

    This resource defines what it means to have a vision and presents different points of view related to goals, action options, and implementation pitfalls that may be encountered when building a collective vision. It can be a useful tool for school leaders interested in defining school culture. 

  • Fair to Everyone: Building the Balanced Teacher Evaluations That Educators and Students Deserve

    This report from The Education Trust provides recommendations to improve teacher evaluation policies in a way that fairly and comprehensively measures performance and provides a focus on professional growth.