Education advocacy group ConnCAN, in partnership with 50CAN and research group Public Impact, has released a new and extremely comprehensive review of 10 different teacher evaluation systems operated by states, school districts, charter schools, and one teacher preparation program.
You'd be forgiven for getting tired of reports on teacher evaluation, but this one's well worth hanging on to (and not only because it cites some of my reporting on New Haven, Conn.). It gives an rundown of 10 different districts' evaluation systems, including all of the detailed, often-glossed-over components, such as whether observations are announced or unannounced, how frequently they occur, whether the results can be used to trigger higher pay or dismissal, and how "student achievement" is gauged as part of the systems. Perhaps best of all, it's mostly free of value judgments on how well or poorly the systems work.
Of course, that doesn't mean politics are totally out of the picture. It's probably no coincidence that ConnCAN, which played a major role in shaping a recently passed education bill in Connecticut, is releasing it today. After all, now the hard work of figuring out how to implement these systems in the state begins, and there is already squabbling afoot.