The Mind Shift in Teacher Evaluation: Where We Stand—and Where We Need to Go

The Mind Shift in Teacher EvaluationState teacher evaluation policies have undergone sweeping changes since 2008, spurred forward heavily by federal competitive funding opportunities like Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation. Currently, 49 states and the District of Columbia have changed legislation or regulations to improve the consistency and quality of teacher evaluation. After five years of feverish design and implementation, where do we stand? What have been the successes and what challenges remain to be addressed?

The Mind Shift in Teacher Evaluation”  takes stock of state efforts to improve teacher evaluation and offers recommendations for moving forward. Despite the technical and practical challenges of evaluation reform, the most important lessons come from the fundamental mind shifts that are the foundation for the effort’s success. These mind shifts include:

  • Developing a common understanding of effective practice
  • Acknowledging the importance of professional conversations for honing practice
  • Determining better evaluation measures that serve multiple purposes
  • Ensuring that the evaluation design process offers opportunities for teachers to contribute

To guide states and districts in designing and implementing effective evaluation systems, the article offers an overview of 10 common missteps to avoid and identifies two major challenges that states will need face to keep reforms on track.