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Teachers provide the stable, nurturing, inspiring environment that makes it possible to reach each student individually. Teachers and the classroom environment are the foundation of a solid educational experience. Teachers need and want an evaluation system that strengthens their knowledge, their skills and their practices, and the goal of any teacher evaluation system should be to improve student learning.

CTA believes the following principles are essential to any effective and fair teacher development and evaluation system:

  1. The goal of any evaluation system is to strengthen the knowledge, skills and practices of teachers to improve student learning.
  2. Any evaluation system must be collectively bargained at the local level to ensure the buy-in and trust of all affected parties and to ensure local conditions are considered. This includes policies, assessment standards, timelines, procedures, peer involvement, implementation, monitoring, and review.
  3. Any evaluation system must be developed and implemented with teacher participation to ensure a supportive climate for improving practice and growth and to promote collaboration among educators.
  4. Any evaluation system must be differentiated to support the development of educators through all career stages – from beginning to mid-career to veteran.
  5. Any evaluation system must address the varying assignments of certificated educators, including those who teach core and non-core subject areas, and are classroom and non-classroom educators (i.e., resource teachers, counselors, nurses, and psychologists).
  6. Any evaluation system must include evidence of teaching and student learning from multiple sources.
  7. A comprehensive teacher evaluation system must recognize the different purposes of evaluation and be comprised of both formative and summative methods.
  8. Any evaluation system must provide relevant and constructive feedback and support that informs teaching practices. Feedback must be coordinated with high quality professional development that is continuous; is linked to curriculum standards; and allows for adequate time and resources for coaching, modeling, observation, and mentoring.
  9. Any evaluation system should include opportunities for peer involvement for advisory and support purposes.
  10. Any evaluation system must consider the complexities of teaching and student learning that are outside of the teacher’s control and beyond the classroom walls.
  11. Any evaluation system should be based on a set of standards of professional practice that acknowledge the multiple activities and responsibilities of educators that contribute to the improvement of learning and the success of the school.
  12. All evaluators must have extensive training and regular calibration in all evaluation procedures and instruments.
  13.  All evaluation components and procedures must be clearly defined, explained, and transparent to all educators.
  14.  All evaluation tools must be research-based and regularly monitored for validity and reliability.
  15. Data used for evaluation and improvement purposes must be kept confidential to protect the integrity and utility of information used to improve professional practices.
  16. Any evaluation system must be monitored and evaluated to ensure that it is working as intended and it remains consistent with its purpose.
  17. Any effective evaluation system that supports professional learning requires an ongoing commitment of financial resources, training, and time.


Teacher Evaluation Framework Frequently Asked Questions

Any educator will tell you that the current drive-by evaluation system is not working. The CTA Teacher Evaluation Framework is designed to help educators and CTA to take the lead in our profession, in teacher evaluation discussions nationally, and in California by providing a framework for educators and districts to use when developing and bargaining their own local evaluation programs. It centers on the underlying principle that the goal of any evaluation system is to strengthen the knowledge, skills and practices of teachers to improve student learning. The Framework expands on the Teacher Evaluation Principles adopted by State Council in June 2011 and provides guidance to local educators and their unions, as well as local school districts and the state Legislature in how to approach teacher evaluation.

The Framework comes from the work of the CTA Teacher Evaluation Workgroup, which includes a broad cross section of local educators throughout California, State Council members, chapter presidents, higher education faculty and CTA staff. The Workgroup was created by the CTA Board of Directors upon recommendation of the CTA ESEA Workgroup in February 2010.

The Workgroup’s charge: CTA will research and develop effective educator and administrator evaluation models and teacher licensing models for consideration that improve student learning and advance the teaching profession.

The Workgroup focused on developing an educator evaluation model first. The Framework was written by members of the Workgroup through a series of small and large group meetings and with the support of CTA staff. The next charge of the Workgroup is to provide guidance on teacher licensing and principal evaluation.

The Workgroup was appointed by the CTA Board of Directors. It included a cross section of local educators throughout California, State Council members, chapter presidents, higher education faculty and CTA staff. It also included the Chairs and staff consultants from seven State Council committees to ensure input from all policy committees that have direct work with teacher evaluation and assessment.

The Workgroup read and reviewed multiple national and state education research reports, reviewed teacher evaluation models from several different states; reviewed evaluation frameworks and guides from NEA, AFT and other leading educational organizations; and heard from leading experts in the teaching and assessment fields including Stanford Professor of Education Linda Darling-Hammond and nationally recognized assessment expert and retired UCLA Graduate School of Education Professor James Popham.

Yes, through several different venues at multiple times. The first discussions started at State Council in June of 2010 when all State Council committees were asked to discuss three questions regarding quality evaluation systems. Each State Council member was also given the opportunity to respond to an individual written survey to provide further input. The Workgroup then moved outreach beyond State Council and created an all-member, online survey that launched in February 2012. The survey was sent to members through CTA email, from Chapter Presidents and Service Center Council Chairs and was promoted in the California Educator. More than 3,100 educators responded. The greatest concentration of responses, 2,600, occurred February-April 2011. The Workgroup received and reviewed all of that input before beginning to draft the framework. In addition, a draft of the Framework was reviewed by all seven State Council committees represented on the Workgroup at the March 2012 meeting. The committees reviewed CTA policy specific to the content of the Framework and provided in-depth feedback to the Workgroup.

Yes. State Council members were involved since the very beginning and every step along the way. The chairs of seven State Council Committees are on the Workgroup:
Assessment and Testing
Credentials and Professional Development
Curriculum and Instruction
Professional Rights and Responsibilities
Special Education
Teacher Evaluation and Academic Freedom

State Council reviewed and adopted the Guiding Principles in June 2011, which are the basis of the Framework. The seven State Council committees reviewed the entire Framework through a first reading at the last State Council meeting in March 2012 to ensure that the Framework is aligned to CTA policy. It is.

Yes. The Framework was built upon the Guiding Principles which were adopted by Council in June 2011. The Framework was reviewed by seven State Council Committees in March and is aligned to CTA policy.

The Framework is divided into nine core sections, which include Guiding Principles, Reciprocal Accountability, Standards, Formative and Summative Assessment, Multiple Measures, Evaluation Process, Systems of Support, Training of Teachers and Evaluators, and Collective Bargaining.

Formative assessment focuses on the process of increasing knowledge and improving professional practice. Summative assessment focuses on outcomes, summarizes the development of teachers’ practice at a particular point in time based on professional standards and multiple sources of evidence about teaching and learning, and is used to make employment decisions.

The Framework is used in a few ways. CTA must help California develop sound and fair teacher evaluation legislation. Nationwide, there have been many proposed changes in how educators are evaluated. CTA is calling for assessment systems that are comprehensive, fair, useful and productive. The goal of any evaluation system should be to strengthen the knowledge, skills and practices of teachers to improve student learning. CTA will use this Framework to guide our work with the Legislature. Local educators and chapters throughout the state need and are requesting bargaining guidance and support. This Framework will be used as a guide for local chapters to bargain local evaluation systems with school districts. The Framework will also enable CTA and its members to be proactive in taking the lead of our profession. It is time that we define what is important in a quality evaluation system based on our beliefs on what the profession is about and how to move it forward.

No. Research shows that Value-Added Measures (VAM) based on student test scores are highly unstable, are significantly affected by the differences in the individual students assigned to a teacher, and do not accurately reflect the many influences on student progress. (p. 19-20) The Framework recognizes that a teacher’s knowledge in how to use test scores is important. Test scores may be part of the formative evaluation process used to make decisions around professional development and to enhance teaching practices. A Teacher’s knowledge on how to analyze and use student data may be part of summative evaluation.

No. There are no numbers or percentages attached to multiple measures included in the Framework. The Framework provides various options for chapters to consider (p 18-34). Decisions regarding the types of measures and amount of measures are to be locally bargained.

Peer Assistance and Review information is found in the Systems of Support section of the Framework (p. 29-30). For additional information and bargaining assistance, chapters should contact the CTA Instructional and Professional Development, and Negotiations and Organizational Development departments.

Yes. The Framework is designed to be flexible and meant to provide guidance to local educators and chapters on all the components in a comprehensive teacher evaluation system. It is a guide for local chapters to use when developing and bargaining local teacher evaluation systems. Each local chapter will decide how to best use the different provisions of the Framework depending on their needs.