Teacher evaluation policies and processes in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1986-87

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Evaluation of employees in any organization is an important task that must be carried out. The public school setting is no exception.

The purpose of this study was to describe the teacher evaluation processes carried out by the public school divisions of the Commonwealth of Virginia during the 1986-87 school year. This study --

  1. Described and analyzed the local divisions' policies and processes of teacher evaluation in Virginia as they compared to the "state-of-the-art."

  2. Classified the evaluation models according to those established by McGreal (1983).

  3. Developed a set of guidelines for use in the development of a “state-of-the-art" teacher evaluation policy and process.

A questionnaire was sent to each local school division's chief personnel officer. The local divisions' written policies and processes were collected as well.

On the basis of the review and analysis of the questionnaire, policies, procedures, and documents, and the comparison of this analysis with the criteria from the literature, the following conclusions may be stated regarding public school teacher evaluation programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia:

  1. The overall quality of personnel procedures in Virginia's public school divisions is good. Their content is consistent with what teacher evaluation experts say should be included.

  2. At the present time, no need exists for the overhaul of the majority of teacher evaluation programs in Virginia.

  3. For the most part, Virginia's public school divisions are conservative in their teacher evaluation programs. This is evidenced by their overwhelming reliance on the Common Law, Common Law/Goal-Setting, and Goal-Setting models of teacher evaluation.

  4. There is no need for the Virginia Department of Education to develop a prototype evaluation process at this time. There is a sufficient number of outstanding processes that are already in place within the Commonwealth from which a division could select.

  5. There is little interest for a statewide teacher evaluation process in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Suggested guidelines for teacher evaluation programs conclude the study.