New Haven’s path demonstrates that it is possible to hold teachers accountable without crushing morale and wrongfully dismissing good teachers.
The New Haven system rates teachers individually and gives them the specific help they need. To do that, it focuses on three areas.
- It considers growth in student learning, as measured by progress on state and local tests and attainment of academic goals.
- It examines the teacher’s instructional abilities, as measured by frequent observations by principals and other instructional managers.
- It rates teachers on professionalism, collegiality and whether they have high expectations for all students.
Perhaps most important, the system gives teachers almost constant feedback, so that they are fully aware of where they stand and what they need to do to improve.