New Report Highlights Tennessee’s Strategies for Professional Learning

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On March 7,  New America released a new report, Beyond Ratings: Re-envisioning State Teacher Systems as Tools for Professional Growth, that features Tennessee as one of four states with a highly effective teacher evaluation system.

The report explains how states’ communication, support, and monitoring of evaluation as a tool for professional growth can play a vital role in ensuring that districts capitalize on the information teacher evaluations provide to propel teacher—and student—growth. Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, and Tennessee have used a combination of strategies to strike a better balance between teacher support and accountability.

When it comes to driving teachers’ professional learning, “principals cannot do it alone and need to leverage highly effective teachers.” — Paul Fleming, Tennessee Department of Education Assistant Commissioner of Teachers and Leaders

Strategies highlighted in the report for Tennessee include:

  • Supporting schools through our eight TEAM coaches to increase the accuracy of scoring and feedback for teachers
  • Using annual survey data from teachers and principals to refine the content and process of the TEAM evaluation model
  • Implementing the Instructional Partnership Initiative (IPI), which matches pairs of teachers by specific rubric indicators to collaborate and engage in peer coaching over the course of a school year
  • Revising the administrator evaluation rubric in 2014-15 to assesses how well principals implement the teacher evaluation system to inform professional learning goals, engage staff in differentiated professional learning, and deploy teacher leaders to coach their peers

New America’s Education Policy Program uses original research and policy analysis to solve the nation’s critical education problems, serving as a trusted source of objective analysis and innovative ideas for policymakers, educators, and the public at large