A national effort has been underway to make teacher evaluations more effective even though the Every Student Succeeds Act leaves the design of those systems up to states and districts. Some rating systems now indicate levels such as “developing” or “needs improvement.”
In some districts, teacher evaluations are tied to bonuses and raises. But such a system was partially blamed for triggering the teacher’s strike in Denver Public Schools last year. Principals play a significant role in whether or not these pay-for-performance systems work by making sure that the feedback is actually useful to a teacher’s practice.