Supporting Effective Teaching in Tennessee:
Listening and Gathering Feedback on Tennessee’s Teacher Evaluations
Across the models, the different ways in which observation and scoring are conducted leads to different expectations
in some cases. For example, in the TEM and TEAM models, evaluators assess teachers on separate sections of the rubric
– such as planning or environment – during different observations. Final scores are calculated as an average of scores on
these different domains. While teachers said this approach gave them a clear sense of where their performance fell on the
rubrics, some said they felt like they were expected to demonstrate an unrealistic number of indicators in every lesson.
Many educators also said that evaluators had different interpretations regarding how they observe and score lessons.
For example, teachers said there was disagreement as to whether they are being observed at the indicator or the descriptor
level on the TEAM rubric. For example, for the “grouping students” indicator, some teachers said they were being assessed
on all of the descriptors – meaning they would be penalized if their students were not in small groups – rather than
at the indicator level which stipulates that “the instructional grouping arrangements…consistently maximize student
understanding and learning efficiency.”56 Additionally, educators said that the TEAM rubric itself left a lot of room
for subjective interpretation. For exampl