Evaluation is one critical element of an Opportunity Culture, used primarily to guide development and career opportunities.
- supports on-the-job and long-term development for great teaching
- helps identify teachers for advanced roles in which they are likely to succeed
- prepares teachers for advanced roles that help their peers and more students succeed; and
- matches teachers to long-term paths in which they can best succeed.
See the related State Policy Brief covering the laws and policies needed to support evaluation and accountability in an Opportunity Culture
But previous teacher evaluation reforms were built for the one-teacher-one-classroom model, and few districts have provided a robust, sustainably funded way to connect teacher evaluation with career opportunities. In contrast, in an Opportunity Culture, few teachers work alone most of the time. Instead, when schools implement the models fully, most teachers and paraprofessionals work in teams on which each person does what he or she does best, and a team of leaders supports the principal. Because most Opportunity Culture teachers collaborate with colleagues in teams, they see one another’s thinking and actions up close. These colleagues and team leaders are in the best position to give one another valuable and accurate feedback to support their improvement throughout the year. They can support one another’s career advancement, too. Advancing their careers simultaneously means helping more students succeed.
All of this changes both the content and process of teacher evaluation—for the better. But districts and states must deliberately change evaluation to match the team, team leader, and extended-reach roles that are common in schools using Opportunity Culture models.
This guide will help education leaders align evaluation and its uses with an Opportunity Culture and similar school models and career paths—successfully and at a low cost.
Begin by reading Step 1, an overview that further explains the vision and models of an Opportunity Culture, and explains how to use the guide as a toolkit to walk school, district, and state leaders through the design and implementation steps of teacher evaluation.
That is followed by: