K-12 teacher evaluations are receiving much scrutiny in Utah, including the development of a new evaluation that will ultimately link high-stakes test scores to district pay scales (a “pay for performance” model).
The evaluation will consist of direct observations of instruction, evidence of student learning growth (test scores), and parent and student input. SB 64, the Public Education Employment Reform Act of 2012, mandates that a “valid and reliable education tool” be in place in each school district no later than 2015-16. Districts may use the state evaluation system, adapt the state system, or develop their own system.
Teachers will be categorized into one of four performance levels. By 2016-17, those who rate “not effective” (lowest rating) will be ineligible for pay increases and placed on a written improvement plan. Exceptions will be made for first-year teachers and for those teaching in a new school, grade, or subject area.