Teacher evaluations are not the end-all in improving student outcomes, but with careful implementation and adaptability, educators can use these tools to ensure all students have access to effective teachers.
The National Council on Teacher Quality has published a study, Making a Difference, highlighting four school districts and two states that are pioneers in the field of effective teacher evaluation. These systems improve student learning, provide valid measures, and improve overall teacher quality by recognizing strong teachers, removing weak teachers, and recruiting better teachers. They include: Dallas Independent School District, Denver Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools, Newark Public Schools, New Mexico, and Tennessee.
A key feature of their success is how evaluations are then used to inform leadership roles, raises, and teacher retention. Tying such decisions to evaluations results in educators taking them more seriously.