Dallas is not Lake Wobegon, reports the National Council on Teacher Quality. The district’s new evaluation system did not declare that nearly all teachers are satisfactory.
Among the system’s seven possible teacher effectiveness ratings, about a third of the district’s 11,000 teachers were assigned to one of the three lowest. Around 40 percent received a middle-of-the-road rating. Only 22 percent received one of the highest three ratings.
Turnover was typical for an urban district and the lowest-rated teachers were the most likely to quit. “Only a small percentage of higher performing teachers chose to leave.”
Most districts use four or five ratings categories. Using seven allowed “for more fine-grained distinctions among teachers,” observes NCTQ.
The district also field-tested a rubric that measures a teacher’s performance across nearly 20 different performance indicators.
School leaders conduct at least 10 spot observations –10 to 15 minute drop-ins — per year to provide teachers with instructional feedback.
An “Exemplary” teacher now earns a minimum of $74,000, compared to $56,000 for a teacher rated “Proficient 1.”