Supporting Effective Teaching in Tennessee:
Listening and Gathering Feedback on Tennessee’s Teacher Evaluations
Drive continuous improvement of the teacher evaluation system at the state, district, and school levels.
7(a) upport ongoing assessment and continuous improvement of teacher evaluation across districts.
I. he Department and leaders from each of the evaluation models should ensure the right processes are in place to
drive improvements to the evaluation system on an ongoing basis. Where there appears to be a misapplication of a
teacher evaluation system (for example, where student performance may remain consistently low, but the teacher
and principal evaluations are not reflecting the need for improvement), the Department should work with district
leaders to explore solutions to identified implementation challenges. This should be done on a limited and judicious
basis, and with an eye towards building trusting and collaborative relationships. Patterns should be observed in
the evaluation results and, where the relationship with student outcomes appears to break down and appropriate
differentiation of teaching is not occurring, the state should work collaboratively with districts to develop solutions.
As the regional field service centers fully develop, they could be an impactful venue for this engagement.
II. he Department should coordinate the collection of promising practices and lessons learned across the multiple
models being implemented, given its overview of all approved models. Through its tracking and reporting of the
contributions different models make to teacher effectiveness and student outcomes, the Department is in an excellent position to identify best practices.
7(b) Support ongoing assessment and continuous improvement of teacher evaluation across schools.
I. istrict leaders should assess and improve the relative quality of teacher evaluations across schools by taking into
account the following: student outcomes and teacher evaluations and the correlation, or lack thereof, between them;
teachers’ perceptions of the validity, reliability, and overall impact of the evaluation system; and evaluators’ perceptions of the validity, reliability, and overall impact of the evaluation system.
II. hrough ongoing assessment, district leaders should drive continuous improvement and refinement of teacher evalT
uation practices, with significant opportunity for educator input and feedback into those refinements. Each district
should develop a plan for how it will continuously improve and refine teacher evaluation practices to ensure learning
is taken into account and used to drive improvement. Districts should use the Department’s annual flexibility
application as necessary to pursue the refinements they seek. Districts should serve as the clearinghouse of practices
and experiences of their schools and should draw upon best practices both within and beyond their boundaries.
III. ith district support, principals and other evaluators should review and refine their approach to evaluation at the
school-level, in light of the correlation, or lack thereof, between the qualitative, observation-based assessment of
teacher performance and the quantitative assessment of student achievement.
IV. eachers have a critical role to play in ongoing refinements and improvements to the evaluation system. Therefore,
they must take ownership over the collective improvement of instruction, and seek both meaningful feedback on
their performance as well as high-quality opportunities for professional learning and growth with colleagues and
other experts both within and beyond their schools. Where they are not receiving the feedback and professional
growth opportunities that they need to improve their practice and their students’ learning, teachers should be proactive advocates to school and district