What are charter schools doing in the area of teacher evaluations? How are charter schools responding to the increased focus on teacher effectiveness? We were curious and conducted a survey on charter school teacher evaluation activity at the National Charter School Conference (NCSC) attended by over 4,500 on June 21-24 in New Orleans, LA. The survey was completed by 58 (over 1%) conference attendees, with 74% of responses representing individual charter schools and 24% representing charter school management organizations. Here is what we learned from the four questions we surveyed.
What are you currently using to implement your teacher evaluation system? Over 50% of charter schools surveyed use an online tool and 31% use a paper-based system. For those using an online tool, 22% have developed an internal tool they are currently using for their online teacher evaluation system.
What are the components of your current teacher evaluation system (check all that apply)? Classroom observations/walk-throughs are used by 91% of charters schools as a component of their teacher evaluation system. This is followed by teacher goals (79%), summative evaluation (71%), and teacher self-assessment (68%). Using student growth objectives/goals is a highly discussed topic these days as to whether they are an effective measure of teacher performance. Yet, 64% of charter schools use this as a component of their teacher’s evaluation. Parent and student surveys are used by 41% of charter schools.
If you do not have an online system in place, when do you plan to implement one at your school? Over half (53%) were not sure, while 30% will implement an online system for Fall 2015, 3% for January 2016, and 13% for Fall 2016. Charter school management organizations appear to be moving online sooner as 38% will implement for Fall 2015 and 13% for January 2016.
Do you track your teacher professional development activities and events? We learned that overall 78% of charter schools track their teacher professional development activities and events. For charter school management organizations, 86% tracked their teacher professional development activities and events.