Smart Teacher? Hard Teacher? Passionate Teacher? | Educate Texas | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions |

The discussion on teacher appraisal is heated because states and districts are linking student test scores to teacher performance and using the data to make decisions on pay, promotion, and retention of teachers. These high-stakes consequences can limit useful conversations on the pros and cons of these tools and how they could best be used in practice. There is real pressure, because of legislation in many states and new federal funding streams like Race to the Top, for states and districts to quickly develop and implement appraisal systems that measure teacher effectiveness. The notion that teachers should be held at least partly responsible for how their students achieve makes sense, but what is the best way to do this?