Policy Analysis | June 2015

Southern States' Evaluation Methods for Teacher Effectiveness

Mikko Lindberg

Trends in Teacher Evaluation: How States are Measuring Teacher Performance, a report from the National School Boards Association's (NSBA) Center for Public Education, provides a thorough state-by-state analysis of state government approaches to teacher evaluation regulations. Out of the 15 SLC member states, nine (Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) practice high to medium state involvement, meaning that the state mandates the requirements and components of the evaluation system (high) or provides model evaluation systems that districts can either adopt fully or adapt to some degree (medium). Of these nine SLC member states, six (Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee) recommend or require that quantifiable student achievement indicators comprise half of a teachers' evaluation.

NSBA identified two common approaches to quantitative teacher evaluations: the value-added model (VAM), which attempts to measure the impact a teacher has on students' academic growth in relation to other causal variables, and student growth percentiles (SGP), a measure of how much progress a student has made relative to other students, each with particular advantages and disadvantages. Of the six SLC member states with similar quantitative teacher evaluation methods, only three (Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee) practice the VAM method for linking teachers and student achievement.

Teacher Evaluation Practices in SLC Member States

(click on headers to sort by column)

State State's Level of Involvement in Evaluation Systems Student Achievement as Measure of Teacher Effectiveness Statistical Model for Evaluation
Alabama Low Not specified Not specified/other
Arkansas Medium 50 percent Student Growth Percentiles
Florida Low 50 percent Value-Added Model
Georgia Medium 50 percent Student Growth Percentiles
Kentucky Low Not specified Student Growth Percentiles
Louisiana High 50 percent Value-Added Model
Mississippi High 50 percent Student Growth Percentiles
Missouri Low Not specified Not specified/other
North Carolina High Not specified Value-Added Model
Oklahoma High 50 percent Value-Added Model
South Carolina High 35-49 percent Value-Added Model
Tennessee High 50 percent Value-Added Model
Texas Medium Not specified Not specified/other

Source: Center for Public Education, National School Boards Association's