What Will Happen to Teacher Evaluation
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act?
The impossibly high aim of the No Child Left Behind Act, all students proficient by 2014, paved the way for an era of extraordinary leverage for the U.S. Department of Education. During the Obama administration, states were granted flexibility from the law’s original proficiency goals, but only if they agreed to adopt policies – including teacher evaluation – that replaced test-based accountability with measures designed to improve outcomes from the inside out.
Waiver era teacher evaluation systems measured performance based upon both observation of teacher practice and measured student outcomes and differentiated performance into at least three categories. Some states required consequences for educators who fell into the bottom categories. Others scripted statewide evaluation systems that set the tone of evaluation in every school district. Regardless of the approach, states, districts, schools, principals and teachers struggled with the shifts.