Making Time for Observation in Teacher Evaluation


It’s been almost two years since the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act was unanimously approved, and now the New Jersey Educational Policy Forum has released its report, “The Opportunity Costs of Evaluation,” detailing the current and projected impacts of the legislation on the state’s educators. Among other areas, the report addresses the impact of the new evaluation and observation regulations on administrators’ workloads and time.

The report predicts, “On average, the minimum amount of time dedicated solely to classroom observations will increase by over 35%. It is likely that the other time requirements for compliance with the new evaluation system, such as pre- and post-conferences, observation write-ups, and scheduling will increase correspondingly.”

The increase in time spent on observations was deliberate; the TEACHNJ Act was heavily influenced  by the New Jersey Educator Effectiveness Task Force, which recommended 50-95% of teacher evaluations be based on data gathered from a classroom observation tool.

The benefits of meaningful feedback have been well established, and New Jersey is certainly not alone in its effort to increase and enhance teacher evaluations. States across the country are revamping the way they evaluate and support teachers to ensure students have the best instruction. However, as the Forum’s report highlights, many school leaders will likely struggle to find enough time in their already full schedules.

Because they understand both the importance of high-quality observations and the realities of time, many administrators have turned to solutions like ADVANCEfeedback, Insight’s video-based observation and feedback platform. Harnessing the power of video in the classroom, school leaders can save time by reducing paperwork and conducting all observations in one place.


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