Special Education Teacher Evaluation

Background

In recent years, school reform efforts have increasingly focused on ways to evaluate and improve teacher performance. This is in part a response to recent research demonstrating that teachers are the most important school-based factor in determining student achievement. But, just as research has confirmed the importance of teachers, several studies of teacher evaluation systems—the primary method of judging how teachers perform—have found that, more often than not, these systems fail to differentiate between effective and ineffective teachers, are unrelated to professional development, and do not incorporate information about teacher impact on student performance. This, coupled with new federal incentives, has led policy makers to shift their focus in the area of teacher quality.

CEC’s InitiativesTeacher Evaluation Pic

In 2009, CEC convened an expert advisory group to consider the current state of teacher evaluation and assist CEC’s policy and advocacy team in developing initial recommendations for including educators who work with children and youth with disabilites into teacher evaluation systems. This group included teachers, principals, and administrators from Denver, Colorado; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Guilford County, North Carolina; and Fairfax, Virginia. CEC incorporated its initial recommendations about teacher evaluation systems into CEC’s ESEA Reauthorization Recommendations and uses these to guide its work.

In October of 2011, CEC again focused on this issue. At that time, the CEC Board of Directors discussed the current state of teacher evaluation systems and determined that, based on the importance of this topic to CEC members and the field, the organization should develop (1) a report on the current state of research, policy, and practice; and (2) a position on special education teacher evaluation. To draft the CEC Position Statement on Special Education Teacher Evaluation, CEC collaborated with a panel of experts who identified research, policy and practice regarding the current state of special education teacher evaluation and identified challenges and recommendations for the field. CEC also spent time working with our members to understand how to address the unique challenges they face and highlight the unique skills they possess in evaluation systems.

Read CEC’s Position on Special Education Teacher Evaluation

Read CEC's Special Education Teacher Evaluation Toolkit

Scroll through CEC’s PowerPoint Presentation on the Evaluation

Tell us your thoughts about teacher evaluation systems.