Supporting Effective Teaching in Tennessee:
Listening and Gathering Feedback on Tennessee’s Teacher Evaluations
Key themes from feedback collected across the state
Positive changes surfaced through our feedback process:
The feedback process revealed a number of promising developments that have resulted from the
implementation of the teacher evaluation system. These developments include:
• Educators have much clearer and more rigorous performance expectations, along with an understanding of
what constitutes effective teaching.
• Educators are receiving more regular and specific feedback on their performance.
• Clear expectations and regular feedback are leading to more self-reflection and collaboration among
• New kinds of conversations have been generated about the improvement of instruction and outcomes for
• The evaluation system has encouraged more intentional use of student data by individual teachers and has
driven school-wide collaboration around student growth.
• The evaluation system is highlighting the importance of individualized professional learning for teachers.
• The system also is establishing new expectations for principals to serve as instructional leaders who understand and support effective teaching in their schools.
• ost principals and other evaluators feel that the system is having positive impacts on student achievement
in their schools.
• Highly promising and diverse sets of practices have emerged across the four different models.
Educators have much clearer and more rigorous performance expectations, along with an
understanding of what constitutes effective teaching.
During the feedback process, many teachers said they appreciate the evaluation system’s definition of clear, high, and
specific expectations of what constitutes effective teaching. When asked to select up to three attributes of the new system
they liked best, 28 percent of teachers who responded to SCORE’s questionnaire indicated the system “gives me a much
clearer understanding of my school’s expectations for effective teaching.”12
Teachers told us the evaluation system outlines exactly what is expected of them and what they need to demonstrate,
whereas “in the past, it was hit or miss.”13 One roundtable participant from a district using the TEAM model said,
“Never before have teachers known what the expectations were. Now
they have a list and great guidance about what good teaching looks
“Never before have teachers
like.”14 Teachers consistently acknowledged that the qualitative rubrics
known what the expectations
are rooted in best practices, and many reflected that they and their
were. Now they have a list and
colleagues have already been striving to incorporate more of these
great guidance about what
best practices into their instruction this year. Several district supergood teaching looks like.”
intendents echoed these sentiments and said th