Superintendents: effectiveness, student engagement important in evaluation of teachers

Education Week commissioned Gallup to survey K-12 school district superintendents to help track and understand their opinions on important topics and issues facing education like teacher evaluations. 

More than 96 percent of those polled said teacher effectiveness and the level of student engagement are very important factors in evaluating a teacher's performance. Only 6 percent considered the number of years of experience in the classroom as a key factor in teacher evaluations. Ranking lowest in their impact on evaluations is student test scores and principal feedback according to the superintendents polled.

The findings are interesting considering Michigan is still waiting Senate action on HB 5223 and HB 5224, establishing statewide standards for teacher and administration evaluations. Already passed by the House, those bills incorporate 50 percent of student growth into evaluations if they go into effect for the 2015-16 school year.

The full report, "Understanding Perspectives on American Public Education," also provides insight into superintendents' opinions on issues of Common Core State Standards, barriers high school students face in going to college, selecting and developing talent within their school district, and technology in the classroom. 

Gallup surveyed 1,801 superintendents across the country during May 2014 for its report.