The number one determinant for the quality of education a child receives is the effectiveness of the teachers and leaders in that child’s school. District schools, both DCPS and charter schools, have been at the forefront of evaluating teacher and leader effectiveness. Race to the Top is the city’s opportunity to continue improving the evaluation systems and build the supports necessary for our teachers and leaders to make sure all District children have an effective teacher and leader preparing them for their future.
Through Race to the Top, the District will accelerate its work on improving teacher and principal effectiveness and addressing inequities in the distribution of highly qualified teachers across schools. The District has taken a comprehensive approach to increasing the number of highly effective teachers and principals in its classrooms and schools, evaluating all teachers and leaders, building targeted support and professional development for them, and increasing the pipeline of teachers, particularly targeting teachers for our neediest schools and in the hard-to-staff areas:
- Every LEA is committed to having an annual teacher and principal effectiveness measure, based in large part on student performance and student growth, and to using the results for hiring, compensation, and dismissal decisions.
- LEAs will support teacher effectiveness by providing professional development to teachers and principals in their schools, tailored to respond to particular needs identified by evaluation results, promoting professional growth and identifying specific contributions teachers have made to student growth.
- The District will continue to support new alternative educator preparation programs for teacher and principal licensure, maximizing the number of available teachers and principals for our schools. Providing additional high-quality pathways for aspiring teachers and principals is key to filling school needs, particularly in hard-to-staff areas such as special education, math, science, early childhood, bilingual education, and foreign languages.
- OSSE will evaluate all teacher preparation programs to ensure the teachers coming out of the programs are highly effective or, if not, that the program has a plan to address its shortcomings. We will create and publish a teacher prep program scorecard so that PARENTS and the PUBLIC know how well each program is doing in providing highly effective teachers.
- Using improved data from the teacher and leader evaluations, the District will work with all LEAs to improve the equitable distribution OF effective teachers, for hard-to-staff areas, grades, and subjects, engaging in recruitment, selection, retention, and placement strategies, and targeting professional development.