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State Requirements for Teacher Evaluation Policies Promoted by Race to the Top

Written by Featured Organization on 30 April 2014.

This brief describes the extent to which states required teacher evaluation policies aligned with the Race to the Top (RTT) initiative as of spring 2012. Although teacher evaluation policies appear to be rapidly evolving, documenting policy requirements in the early years of RTT implementation can help inform policymakers about the pace of policy innovation nationally. This brief examines the presence of state-level requirements for certain practices but not the actual district- or school-level implementation of such practices. Key findings, based on interviews with administrators from 49 states and the District of Columbia (12 Round 1 and 2 RTT states, 7 Round 3 RTT states, and 31 non-RTT states), include the following:

  • States, on average, reported requiring less than half of eight teacher evaluation policies aligned with RTT priorities, although the number of policies required by RTT states was higher than non-RTT states (3.7 policies for Round 1 and 2 RTT states, 3.6 for Round 3 RTT states, and 2.2 for non-RTT states).
  • States' reported teacher evaluation policies were most aligned with RTT priorities focused on using multiple measures to evaluate teacher performance (30 states); using multiple rating categories to classify teacher performance (31 states); and conducting annual evaluations (25 states).
  • States' reported teacher evaluation policies were least aligned with RTT priorities focused on using evaluation results to inform decisions regarding career advancement (1 state) and compensation (6 states for annual salary increases, and 5 states for performance-based compensation).

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