Superintendent's Memo #267-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

October 29, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia Department of Education Teacher and Principal Performance Evaluation Division Survey

The Virginia Department of Education is collecting information regarding teacher and principal performance evaluation systems as mandated by federal reporting requirements pursuant to the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF). To meet these requirements, a statewide survey will be conducted. The survey will serve two purposes: to gather division-level information needed to meet the reporting requirements for SFSF as well as provide information to assist the Department of Education's Teacher Evaluation Workgroup currently studying teacher evaluation and developing new evaluation models.

The Department of Education has contracted with the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) to conduct the survey. The link to the survey will be sent via e-mail to school division human resource contacts on Monday, November 1, 2010. The survey must be submitted on or before Friday, November 19, 2010. All school divisions must respond to this survey.

Information gathered to comply with SFSF requirements will include descriptive information regarding how teacher and principal performance is evaluated and how the results of performance evaluations are used in decisions regarding teacher and principal development, compensation, promotion, retention, and removal. Divisions also must indicate how student achievement outcomes or student growth data are used as evaluation criteria for both teachers and principals. Divisions are required to provide a description of the performance rating or levels used in each evaluation system for teacher or principal evaluation. This information will be used to develop a data-collection tool. At the end of the 2010-2011 school year and each subsequent year, each division will be required to provide the number and percentage (including numerator and denominator) of teachers and principals rated at the rating or level. The Department of Education is required to collect and report these data to the U.S. Department of Education, and generate reports from the information to post to the Department of Education's Web site by September 30, 2011.

Information gathered to assist the Teacher Evaluation Workgroup will include information regarding when your evaluation systems were last revised, the frequency of teacher observations and summative evaluations, the components of a summative teacher evaluation and the personnel who conduct summative evaluations, and training provided regarding the evaluation systems. In addition, the survey will request information on current division practices regarding pay-for performance. Divisions will be asked to explain how teacher evaluation is used for comprehensive school improvement and what additional training and resources the state might provide to assist in the evaluation process.

Questions regarding the survey should be directed to Dr. James Lanham, director of teacher licensure and school leadership, via e-mail at or by phone at (804) 371-2471.