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Anacortes was one of eight districts selected to receive a two-year grant to develop and pilot the new evaluation tools for teachers and principals. In order to develop meaningful, high-quality evaluation tools, the district put together a team of teachers, principals, administrators and education association representatives to create and pilot implement different research-based tools that also aligned with Washington’s law around teacher and principal evaluations.

Their goal was, and continues to be, “To create a comprehensive, systems-linked evaluation model with parallel structures for both principals and teachers that includes a 4-tiered rating system, meets the 8 Washington state criteria, uses student growth data, uses multiple measures of teacher and principal effectiveness, and functions to improve instruction, leadership, and student learning.”

After a lot research and collaboration, Anacortes was able to develop a comprehensive, growth-based evaluation model that provides evidence about teachers’ instructional skill and principals’ leadership skill.  Their robust evaluation model required teachers to collect evidence that demonstrated student growth; the system also had principals collect evidence to demonstrate student growth, too.  This model also supported professional growth and accountability among teachers and principals.

As Anacortes was developing this model, here are some lessons they learned along the way:

  • The single greatest school-based factor in student achievement is the quality of the teacher.
  • The most valid and reliable evaluation includes multiple measures of effectiveness.
  • Perception survey data can help teachers and leaders grow.

Communication must…

  • Must be a transparent, two-way process
  • Involve all stakeholders, garner support
  • Talk about the transition (what’s happening and what’s going to happen)
  • Use multiple modes of communication

Teacher leaders can help…

  • Facilitate, coach, and mentor staff
  • Communicate what’s happening
  • Plan professional development with other facilitators and administrators
  • Keep the focus on student and professional growth
  • Develop positive, authentic collegial relationships

Teacher professional develop should include training on…

  • Teacher observational tool and instructional framework
  • Teacher evaluation system, the process and procedures
  • Use of data
  • Cycle of Inquiry

Principal professional development should include training on…

  • Calibration on the teacher observational tool so that all principals are certified at .70 accuracy
  • Teacher evaluation system, the process and procedures
  • Providing feedback to teachers
  • Use of data
  • Cycle of Inquiry
  • Principal evaluation system and requirements
  • Evaluation Management System

Additional time should be allocated to…

  • Teacher leaders, and they should be compensated for their efforts
  • Principals; differentiated for teachers
  • Gathering evidence for evaluations
  • A continuous growth model to provide time and compensation for helping teachers and principals learn new skills (5 days at a minimum)
  • Teachers/principal conferences around student/professional growth (pre and post observation meetings; 8-10 hours at a minimum)

For more detailed information about Anacortes and their teacher and principal evaluation implementation work, click here.

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