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Bretton Hritz

Dr. Charles Kokiko


EDU 218A
November 30, 2015
Teacher Evaluation Systems across the United States
Although states are a small portion of a much larger country, each one has a different
evaluation system for its educators. Each state requires different standards that need to be met in
order to ensure that the future of America are receiving the best education possible. While seeing
and researching the different states, there is one conclusion that I found; many states have the
same requirements for their teachers. My group did our evaluation research on the state of West
Virginia. West Virginia has many different factors that go into a teachers final grade, but many
are set in place for the teachers to broaden their knowledge. In the state, teachers are given a
different progression based on how long they have been in the education field. Each of these
three progressions (initial, intermediate, and advanced) have been shown to help teachers grow
in their field. It is important to support growth, rather than expecting a first-year teacher to be at
the same level as someone who has taught for twenty years, but it also does not hold a veteran
teacher to the same standards as a new one. The individualism shown in their evaluation system
is encouraging.
The first state that we saw a presentation from was Michigan. Out of all of the excellent
factors that goes into the evaluation system, the one that stood out the most was about their state
standardized tests. Not all students in the state are tested at the same level; it depends on their
own personal level. The test is tailored to their level of knowledge and that is important. All
students should be given an equal opportunity to thrive. If one student does not learn the same as
another, they should not be given the same test. If they are a grade level ahead in reading, their

test is based on that level, rather than testing them in theirs and showing a significant difference
between that student and the others in their grade. Their high level would make the others look
low, which can be discouraging to a student. Another point that I thought was interesting was that
in Virginia, the special education teachers are not told when they are going to be evaluated. It is
often heard on the news that special ed. teachers may abuse their children when they misbehave
and often times, the children are not believed when they come forward. The teachers being
unaware of the evaluation has shown many teachers being abusive towards their students. This is
a way to ensure that the students with special needs are given the nurture that they need and that
they are in a safe environment when they come to school.
In Pennsylvania, your in-classroom observation is half of your final grade. One thing that
I disliked about this states evaluation system is that over a quarter of it is out of your control.
They base portions of the teachers evaluation on other workers in the building, such as janitors
and bus drivers. It is not fair for their work to be included in each of the teachers evaluation, as
many of them have little to do with what goes on in the classroom. Maryland, often regarded as
the state with the number one teacher evaluation system, has two different levels that educators
are evaluated from, which are local and the state.
Ohio has a similar evaluation to West Virginia. They base a majority of a teachers grade
on the growth students have shown throughout the year. In Ohio, students are given a survey
about their teachers. While letting the students have a say in their teachers can be seen a good
thing, it can also have bad consequences. If a few students do not like a grade that a teacher
fairly gave them, they may make the teacher seem horrible on their survey, even if they are not.
Considering this goes into their evaluation, a few bad surveys may cost a teacher their job.

The last state that we saw a presentation on in class was Colorado. Out of all of the states,
they were the only one that mentioned that they wanted their students to master the subject rather
than just memorize and pass. This lets the students know that their teachers truly do care about
them and that they are there to help them grow and learn. The students are only tested on certain
subjects in certain grades, rather than every year. This gives students time to retain information
and use it to the best of their abilities.
The states may be similar in many ways, but each one having a different evaluation
system is crucial to making sure that future generations are given the best educators possible.
Differences are important and many states may look to the others to see how they can grow as
well. Growth is important in education, as a teacher can never stop learning something new.