• Teacher Evaluation System (TES)

    Cincinnati Public Schools' Teacher Evaluation System (TES) has been nationally recognized as a leading model for enhancing teachers' professionalism and supporting higher student achievement. The district continues to enhance the TES program, maintaining its rigor while strengthening professional development and increasing overall efficiency.

    Our TES is designed to ensure a high quality teaching staff for every student.

    All CPS teachers participate in a Comprehensive Evaluation at defined intervals — the first year as a new hire, the fourth year, then every five years after that point. The Comprehensive Evaluation consists of an orientation meeting to learn about the evaluation process, a readiness conference with the evaluator to share details about the teaching assignment, followed by at least four classroom observations.

    An Annual Assessment — one classroom observation conducted by the teacher's administrator — occurs during the years a teacher is not scheduled for a Comprehensive Evaluation.

    Teacher Evaluation System (TES)

    The Tool

    The district's Teacher Evaluation System (TES) was developed based on the framework prescribed by Charlotte Danielson in her book "Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching." This framework divides skills and responsibilities into four domains: Planning and Preparing for Student Learning, Creating an Environment for Student Learning, Teaching for Student Learning, and Professionalism.

    Good teaching is further defined within each domain by a set of standards. Sixteen standards describing quality teaching serve as the foundation of the Comprehensive Evaluation. These standards articulate the skills and responsibilities integral to good teaching and establish clear expectations for performance and professional development in the Cincinnati Public Schools.

    Teaching performance for each standard is described by a rubric (scoring guide). These standards and rubrics also have been adapted for specialists in the field (librarians, counselors, social workers, school psychologists, etc.).

    Help & Support

    Cincinnati Public Schools and the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers recognize that just evaluating teachers was not enough. Instead, it was important to improve the quality of teaching and help teachers refine teaching skills. As a result, the Peer Assistance and Evaluation Program (PAEP) was developed to help new hires, as well as experienced teachers, with instructional deficiencies.

    In addition, it was recognized that many quality experienced teachers were leaving the profession. As a result, the Career-In-Teaching Program was developed to provide incentives to attract and retain quality teachers in the profession, to improve and encourage teachers' professional growth opportunities, and to give teachers broader roles and responsibilities that improve student achievement and provide better schools for children and teachers.

    Peer Assistance and Evaluation Program (PAEP)

    The Peer Assistance and Evaluation Program has two major roles. First, through its Apprentice Component, it assists teachers in their first year in the Cincinnati Public Schools by helping them refine their teaching skills and orienting them to the district, including its goals, curriculum and structure. Through this component, each teacher is evaluated and assisted by a consulting teacher.

    Second, through the Intervention Component, the program assists experienced teachers who exhibit serious instructional deficiencies. When a teacher's principal has concerns about a teacher's performance, or when a teacher has not met the expected performance standards, the teacher can be referred for intervention. A joint panel of teachers and administrators reviews the referrals and assigns consulting teachers to work with those teachers to improve instructional skills and the teachers' levels of performance. In cases where improvement does not occur, the panel may recommend a second year of intervention or the non-renewal of a teacher's contract.


    The Career-In-Teaching program identifies five teaching levels, based on a teacher's evaluation scores. Teachers work toward achieving lead teacher status, which in turn can lead to broader roles and responsibilities, as well as a stipend.

    • Level One, Apprentice — An apprentice is a teacher without previous teaching experience. This level prepares teachers to pursue a career in teaching.
    • Level Two, Novice — A novice is a teacher who has met licensure requirements and is working to develop the skills required for a career in teaching.
    • Level Three, Career — A career teacher has demonstrated the skills needed to have a career in teaching.
    • Level Four, Advanced — An advanced teacher is continuing to master the art of teaching, demonstrating a distinguished level of teaching.
    • Level Five, Accomplished — An accomplished teacher is a teacher who has demonstrated outstanding teaching.
    • Lead Teacher — A Lead Teacher helps another teacher improve classroom skills.

    The primary and most important role of a Lead Teacher is to support quality instruction. A Lead Teacher must receive advanced and/or accomplished scores and must demonstrate leadership in the teaching profession, effective communication skills, a consistent pattern of professional growth, cooperation and collaboration skills, and a commitment to teaching as a career.

    Teachers apply for Lead Teacher status through a three-phase application process. A joint board/union panel grants Lead Teacher status. After earning Lead Teacher certification, the teacher may apply for Lead Teacher positions around the district. Lead Teachers serve in schools and in the Central Office in various roles (i.e., consulting teachers, teacher evaluators, curriculum specialists, subject leaders, team leaders and program facilitators, etc.).


    Ohio Senate Bill 230 transferred the responsibility of licensure from the state to the local school district through the Local Professional Development Committee. Cincinnati Public Schools' Individual Development Plan process is based on the standards in the Teacher Evaluation System. It helps educators reflect upon their practice and take responsibility for continued professional development through university course work, professional development activities, participation in professional school district initiatives, etc.