Later this week, North Carolina will publish data from their new teacher evaluation system, giving parents and communities a fresh insight into how their children are being taught across the state's public schools.
While it won't go as far as to spell out how individual teachers rated, the state will publish school-by-school numbers on teacher evaluation results in five categories, which range from subject knowledge to ability to deal with diversity, writes Ann Doss Helms at the Charlotte Observer.
North Carolina Chief Academic Officer Rebecca Garland said that the numbers aren't there to give a straight-forward black-and-white judgement on the best teachers. Rather, they're there to help parents understand how teachers are evaluated and how the state is trying to improve schools and teacher performance.
"What it should tell the public is there are some good teachers in every school, and in every school there are some that need to improve in certain areas."
However, parents of students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) may be perturbed by the report, as they received teacher ratings for their schools last week. At the last minute, CMS officials learned that their calculation is significantly different from the more detailed approach the state will use.
The CMS method crunches five ratings into one average per teacher and one percentage for each school, and while their approach is not considered wrong by the state, CMS families just have two different ways to view the ratings, said Garland.
Tenured teachers were not evaluated in 2010-11 and therefore these results will not give a full picture on teacher quality in North Carolina. However, from next year's report onwards, all teachers will be evaluated annually.