Executive Summary


Understanding the Complexities

Key to any new or reformed evaluation system will be the development or creation of ways to assess the performance of every teacher, including those for whom student assessment results are not available. Student performance and growth can be calculated for teachers of commonly assessed subjects like English, math and science in grades 4-8 and high school. But the majority of educators teach other subjects or grades, which will require states to develop separate assessments for the non-tested grades and subects (NTGS) that are fair and comparable to the tested grades and subjects.

The list of NTGSs is typically long but will differ state to state.  An effort should be made at the outset to identify which educators do not have relevant student assessment data.  Generally, most states have more teachers without assessments.  Everything from foreign languages to the arts will need an assessment to measure student growth. Once this detailed list is complete, states can organize it into categories of educators, such as fine arts, physical education and computer technology and align these categories with state certification areas. Instructional coaches who teach the teachers should be included in the effort to identify who does not have relevant student assessment data.

Tennessee has 12 categories of educators in untested subjects and grades:

  • Career Technical Education
  • Caseloads (social workers, counselors, psychologists, etc.)
  • Computer Technology
  • English Language Learner Specialists
  • Fine arts
  • High School Courses in English, Math, Science and Social Studies without State Tests
  • Library Media Specialists
  • Physical Education/Health Education/Wellness
  • Pre-kindergarten – Grade 3
  • Special Education Specialists
  • World Languages

Delaware created assessments across all grades, subjects, and non-teaching occupations:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Social Studies
  • Music
  • World Languages
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Health
  • Physical Education
  • English as a Second Language
  • Agriculture
  • Business, Marketing, & Finance
  • Engineering & Technical Education
  • Driver's Education
  • Health Science
  • School Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Physical & Occupational Therapy
  • Education Diagnostician
  • School Counselor
  • School Nurse
  • School Librarian

Helpful Definitions (Used by Tennessee)


  • Having features in common with something else to permit or suggest comparison
  • Usable for comparison; similar

Growth Measure

  • Any measure that can be used to assess growth in student learning between two points in time; value-added models produce growth measures, as can pre- and post-tests, performances, or portfolios.

Level of Growth

  • The minimum amount that students must learn in a year to maintain progress toward college and career readiness


Additional information on  measuring growth in Tennessee


The Federal Government and Teacher Evaluation

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