The Impact of Teacher Evaluation: Part 4

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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What is the quantity of time a teacher spends dealing with paperwork, versus working with students?

A research project on education reform states that “evaluations based on frameworks and rubrics have resulted in wasting far too much time. This is damaging the very work evaluation is supposed to improve, as valuable time is diverted to engage in related compliance exercises and paperwork.

In this blog, the key question asked is: what form of accountability is driving teachers out of the classroom?

 In a Network for Public Education survey, “84% of respondents reported a significant increase in teacher time spent on evaluations.”

Evaluating Impact:

teacher Evaluation.

The Network for Public Education – an advocacy group (in Arizona, USA) whose goal is to fight to protect, preserve and strengthen the school system – commissioned a study and survey to learn more about the impact of teacher evaluation on the education profession.

The survey asked educators about the impact of evaluation on their work, their students, and the culture of their schools.

Over the course of a few weeks, 2,964 teachers and principals from 48 states responded.


In the report, the fourth of six headlines recommends:


 … that evaluations require less paperwork and documentation so that more time can be spent on reflection and improvement of instruction.” (Source)

Report Findings:

In a series of six posts, this being the fourth, I’d like to share the key findings and consider the implications and/or differences to the system in the United Kingdom.

“There is substantial evidence that new evaluation practices require teachers and administrators to spend significant amounts of time on completing forms and paperwork, with scant evidence of a positive impact on instruction or student outcomes.”

shutterstock_387900820 Swim in the bureaucracy paperwork workload

 It can feel as though you are swimming in paperwork!

Image: Shutterstock


In the fourth recommendation, this quote from a teacher is highlighted:

“In the past, the principal would evaluate you once a year. Now, you get an evaluative piece five times a year. I don’t have a problem with my admins coming in to evaluate me. Sadly, my principal is in my room LESS now because she is buried in paperwork. This year, it is so bad; she doesn’t even know my students. She has always known all 500 kids by name.” 

Another teacher says:

“Our professional development days are no longer about sharing ideas within our teams or disciplines. We now spend almost every professional development meeting or day (approximately 4 times a month) completing paperwork to justify our lesson plans, unit plans, preparation and data. In the past five years, only three times did we actually work on curriculum for our students.” (Source)


  1. How much time do you spend on appraisal? Targets set ‘of you’ by someone else and targets for others?
  2. How much time do you spend, gathering evidence for appraisal?
  3. Name one paperwork process that you feel is a waste of your time?
  4. How much of your school day/week is used for paperwork and evaluation?
  5. What proportion of your school year is assigned to appraisal and evaluation?

Please leave your answers in the comments section below.

The Series:

  1. Part 1: What form of accountability is driving teachers out of the classroom?
  2. Part 2: How often are teachers given the time to work collaboratively for professional development?
  3. Part 3: How often are teachers improving after observation, as a result of reflection and dialogue?


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One thought on “The Impact of Teacher Evaluation: Part 4

  1. How Feedback Can Help You Advance Teacher Evaluation Process in Your School

    The value of well-collected feedback as a powerful instrument for individual and institutional growth is rarely disputed. However, while there are many sectors where stakeholder feedback has been incorporated in the evaluation process for decades, education is still lagging back in this sense. Teachers have been evaluated mostly based on standardized student test scores, which often overlook their true contribution to students’ development and achievements.

    Research conducted in the education sector is way ahead of the actual practices implemented in schools. A number of research projects have explored the importance of student feedback in assessing teachers and improving the classroom practices. “Students know an effective classroom when they experience one,” mentions a MET project report, a part of the Melinda & Bill Gates foundation. The experiences that fill the school year stay with students, as they come to the class to grow, to gain new knowledge, and likewise, teachers spend the year planning for them, setting expectations for them and watching them grow. The goal of a student feedback survey is to key in on these joint experiences to gain data about the specific nuances that create an effective learning environment.

    Using an efficient feedback collection and evaluation framework and deep-diving into student data can give a whole new dimension to what is actually important in the teaching and learning processes. It indisputably contributes to the fairness and validity of teacher evaluation and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the teacher work that simply cannot be observed by only using the test scores. It helps assessing how teachers contribute to student motivation, comprehension and overall development like no other tool.

    However, the daunting task of finding the most efficient framework, preparing questions, organizing the data and looking for conclusions is stressful no matter how experienced the teacher.

    Edurio has set out to help teachers and schools fix the way evaluation is done and increase the understanding of the factors that should be taken into account when assessing teachers and learning environment. Working with teachers, students, school heads and research institutions globally, Edurio has built Edurio Solo – a comprehensive yet easy-to-use toolkit for teachers to help efficiently manage feedback from students.

    Edurio helps school heads to collect meaningful data from students, teachers and parents thus assisting them with school evaluation processes, improvement strategies, teacher professional development plans and accreditations.

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