(2016/2017) Danielson or FIT: Perceptions of West Ada's Evaluation Model

Danielson or FIT: Which Evaluation Model is best for the West Ada School District

Bret Heller

March 24, 2017 

Boise State University

The teacher evaluation process has the opportunity to be one that focuses on growth and teacher improvement, but all too often is a process that feels managerial, restrictive, and formulaic.  Is there a model for evaluating teacher performance that teachers and administrators can embrace concerning its focus on teacher growth and leadership?  In conversation with teachers, there is a concern that we now have an instructional model that focuses on growth and leadership, while we also have an evaluation tool that focuses on “distinguishing” teachers from those that are “just” proficient.  There is a large difference between asking teachers to become leaders within their buildings and to help their peers to grow and the idea of making sure you have checked off enough boxes in the distinguished column for your evaluation.  Incongruity between the instructional model and the evaluation instrument may cause difficulty for teachers in understanding the expectations. More often than not, in this type of situation, teachers will revert to human nature focusing on the evaluation tool criteria, as they perceive their evaluation as a judgement on their professional practice.