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TES History

In 1997, the teachers' union contract called for the development of a new teacher evaluation system and the exploration of a skills- and knowledge-compensation system. Work began in earnest in December 1998.

Three committees were formed with representatives from the teachers' union and district administration.

  • The Teacher Evaluation Committee was charged with development of a new teacher evaluation system.
  • The Skills and Knowledge Compensation Committee examined how to develop a pay system that could serve as an incentive for teachers to improve their skills and demonstrate the knowledge valued by the district and the union.
  • The Local Professional Development Committee (LPDC) was a state-mandated committee with responsibility for the re-licensure of teachers. This committee had been meeting since the summer of 1998.

These three committees worked together as a Committee of the Whole and began by exploring the question "What is good teaching and what does it look like?"

The Committee of the Whole was given the work of several national groups that had been examining good teaching including: the standards of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, The Praxis Series: Professional Assessments for Beginning Teachers, Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), and Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching by Charlotte Danielson.

The structure of the new evaluation system emerged from the framework prescribed by Charlotte Danielson's book and was designed to clearly articulate what is meant by good teaching.

Good teaching and its expected result — student learning — require a complex array of skills and responsibilities. This framework divides those skills and responsibilities into four domains. Good teaching was further defined within each domain by a set of standards. Teaching performance for each standard is described in a rubric - a set of criteria used to measure the proficiency level of a teacher. Thus the framework consists of four domains of teaching, composed of standards, with rubrics that describe levels of performance for each standard.

The Teacher Evaluation Committee designed an evaluation system using the standards, determined the frequency of the evaluation, decided how each standard is measured and how the rubric scores for the standards are combined to get a score for each domain, developed rubrics for each of the standards, identified who performs the evaluation, determined where to field test the instruments, and designed the forms to be used in the new evaluation system. The recommendations were reviewed and approved by the Committee of the Whole.

In 1999-2000, the new Teacher Evaluation System was field tested in ten schools. This gave the district and the union the opportunity to refine the system, including the standards, rubrics, forms, and processes. The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) evaluated the field test. Baseline data was established for rubric scores.

The Committee of the Whole met during the summer of 2000 and made revisions to the system based on the information in the CPRE evaluation and recommendations from teachers and principals throughout the district. Additional revisions to the system were implemented in 2001-2002. In the 2002-2003 school year, more revisions were made, including reducing the number of standards from 17 to 16. Revisions were made again in August of 2003.

As a result of 2004-2005 contract negotiations, a group of teachers and administrators were charged with developing revisions to the system that maintained its rigor while strengthening professional development and increasing overall efficiency. They recommended that the system be modified to enhance its practicality, improve assessment tools and increase opportunities for teacher feedback and support.

The Teacher Evaluation System (TES) has been recognized as a leading model for enhancing teacher professionalism and supporting higher student performance.

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