Creating Coherence: Connecting Teacher Evaluation and Support Systems to the Common Core

Sheri Frost Leo
Jane Coggshall

In recent decades, American teachers have endured wave after wave of education reforms that were intended to bolster the quality of instruction in America’s classrooms. The two latest reform surges have come in quick succession and loom large: teacher evaluation reform and the widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards for student learning. A quieter, but no less important, swell of activity has been around the growing use of job-embedded professional development for teacher learning.

This Special Issues Brief (and related materials) from the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) aims to help state and regional staff engage districts to create coherence between the Common Core State Standards, teacher evaluation, and professional learning. The process of making meaning builds an understanding of the reforms and increases district capacity to support high-quality implementation.

The brief begins with a broad overview of these reforms and their intersections. Next, it lays out a step-by-step approach to improve coherence that is centered on a review of the connections between the Common Core and professional practice frameworks. Then, this approach is illustrated with three nationally recognized professional practice frameworks used for teacher evaluation: Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument, Robert Marzano’s Teacher Evaluation Model, and Robert Pianta’s Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Rubric. Finally, the brief describes the implications of this work for professional learning.