Making Democracy Work

LWVSC Study: Evaluating and Retaining Effective Teachers in Our Public Schools

This two-year study was adopted by delegates at the 2011 state League Convention in Sumter. The study's focus was on the growing movement toward "results based" 
evaluation of teachers, nationally and in South Carolina. Across the nation, school districts and states are instituting new evaluation systems that hold teachers accountable for the academic growth of their students. Not surprisingly, the change is quite controversial. As part of the study, LWV members explored what makes a teacher effective, and examined "best practices" in teacher evaluation and compared them with current practices employed by school
districts in South Carolina. The Study Committee included: Jon Butzon (co-chair), Paula Egelson and Peggy Huchet (co-chair), LWV Charleston Area; Paula Appling, LWV Clemson Area; Pat Borenstein and Jan Welch, LWV Greenville County; Pamela Hollinger, LWV Hilton Head-Bluffton Area. Following a member consensus process in early 2013, the following position was adopted at the April 2013 LWVSC Convention in Spartanburg County:

Recognizing that the teacher is the most important school-based component of academic achievement, school districts should implement a comprehensive teacher evaluation. The fair and comprehensive evaluation system should:

- Assure that all teachers are evaluated on a regular basis;
- Include three or more qualitative rating categories to identify and retain effective teachers (for example, categories of: Highly Effective, Effective, Needs Improvement, rather than letter grades);
- Include student progress as one of the factors used for rating teacher effectiveness;
- Use clearly defined, widely accepted standards, and consistent, well-trained evaluators;
- Use teachers in developing and implementing the evaluation system;
- Provide feedback to teachers to help them develop skills and support decisions for retention, dismissal and assignments;
- Be equitably and fully funded across the state's public school systems.
From LWVSC Agenda for Action, 2013-2015, p. 7 (link to http://lwvsc.org/files/leaguepositions20132015.pdf)

Study Documents