Educator Feedback

Now What-

By now, most educators should have received their Formative or Summative Reports for the year.  What should you do next?

    • Sign your evaluation.  Signing your evaluation does not mean that you agree with it, only that you have received it.
    • If you have questions or concerns about your evaluation, make sure to schedule an appointment to talk with your evaluator. If your overall performance was rated Unsatisfactory or Needs Improvement, your evaluator should have reached out to you already to schedule an appointment.  If you feel that there are inaccuracies, misinterpretations, or flat-out errors in your evaluation, make sure that you schedule an appointment to discuss them with  your evaluator.  These reports go into your personnel file and ignoring errors now could lead to bigger issues later.
  • Fill out an Educator Response form to put into writing any comments, concerns, or additional information that you feel is needed to more accurately reflect your job performance.

This is a good time to start thinking about next year.

    • Consider filling out your Self Assessment¹ (which includes reflection on incoming students and curriculum) now while your evaluation and current year of teaching is still fresh in your mind.
  • Plan your Professional Practice and Student Learning Goals¹ now.  You can think about your Educator Plan¹, which includes the actions you’ll take over the course of the next evaluation cycle and what resources or support you will need to accomplish your goals, over the summer or when you plan for next year’s activities.


¹Forms for these activities will be provided by your evaluator at the start of the 2015-2016 year.  The linked documents are advance copies.

New Page – Resources


In response to a number of queries as to where to find the professional standards rubric and other documents, I have created a new page on this blog, “Resources.”  Click on the link in the menu bar to access copies of rubrics, quick reference guides about the evaluation process, and more.

Please let me know what other resources you would like to see added.

Mid-Cycle Formative Assessments

Have you set a date for your Mid-Cycle Formative Assessments?

The time is coming up when Educators on 1-year Educator Evaluation Plans will go through the mid-cycle formative assessment process with their Evaluator.  This typically occurs in January but the specific date is set by mutual agreement between the Educator and Evaluator.  (See table of dates at the bottom of this post.)  Educators on 2-year Self-Directed Plans also engage in a mid-cycle review close to the end of the year, the Formative Evaluation.

For clarification, Educators on 1-year plans are primarily Educators in their first three years and/or who do not yet have Professional Teacher Status (PTS).  These Educators are on Developing Educator Plans.  One-year Directed Growth Plans are written when an Educator has received a rating of Needs Improvement.

Through the Formative Assessment, as with the overall evaluation process, evaluators are expected to give targeted constructive feedback to Educators based on their observations of practice (announced and unannounced), examination of artifacts, and analysis of multiple measures of student learning, growth and achievement in relation to the Standards and Indicators of Effective Teaching Practice (the Rubric).  The Formative Assessment Report should also provide written feedback to the Educator about his/her progress towards attaining the goals set forth in the Educator Plan.

“No less than two weeks before the due date for the Formative Assessment Report, which shall be collaboratively agreed upon by the Educator and the Evaluator, the Educator shall provide to the Evaluator evidence of family outreach and engagement, fulfillment of professional responsibility and growth, and progress on attaining professional practice and student learning goals.” (Memorandum of Agreement)

It is not required for the Educator and Evaluator to meet unless one party requests to do so.  This meeting can be either before or after completion of the the Formative Assessment Report.

The Evaluator is responsible for providing a signed copy of the Formative Assessment Report to the Educator.  The Educator is required to sign the report within 5 school days of receipt.  The signature indicates that the report was received in a timely fashion and does not indicate agreement or disagreement with its contents. The Educator may also reply in writing to the report within 10 school days of receipt.  The Educator’s reply will then be attached to the report in the Educator’s personnel file.

The assumption is that the ratings in the Formative Assessment Report will, in most cases, reflect no change from the last Summative Evaluation.  If the rating differs, the Evaluator may place the Educator on a different Educator Plan, appropriate to the new rating.  Also, as a result of the report, the Evaluator may change the activities in the Educator Plan.  This is a good time for Educators to reflect upon Professional Practice and Student Learning Goals and discuss any adjustments that both feel are appropriate.

As always, I am available to discuss this process as well as any feedback with you.  Contact me at or book an appointment online using the widget at the top of the sidebar to the right.

Time Line

Timing Action
2 Weeks before Report Educator provides evidence of family outreach, professional, practice, and progress on goals.
Formative Assessment Report Date set by Educator and Evaluator (usually January)
5 School Days after receipt Educator signs report to indicate timely receipt. Signature does not indicate agreement or disagreement.
10 School Days after receipt Educator submits a written response to filed with the report. (Optional)

Teachboost – October Update


I met with Kate Cohen from Teachboost earlier this week to discuss concerns raised by Burlington educators and evaluators and plans for rolling out the next set of capabilities to support the evaluation process.

  • A field in the Educator Plan labeled “Teacher” is internally tagged for the Evaluator and outputs as Evaluator.  When Teachers submitted the name of the Evaluator and saved, ownership of the form transferred to the Evaluator and the Teacher was unable to view the form.
  • Unannounced Observation Feedback forms required a rating (Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement, Unsatisfactory) in order to be saved.
  • Educators need to have access, even if it is only view-only access, to all documents submitted to the Evaluator.
  • Information entered when creating Goals does not flow into the Educator Plan.  The functionality of fields in the Goals screen are superior to the text boxes in the Educator Plan.

I reviewed with Kate the entire evaluation process from Self-Assessment through Teacher Response to Feedback.  Over the next week, we will see proposed updates and you should see new functionality and forms over the next month.

What should we do now?

My recommendation to Educators and Evaluators for the time being is to focus on creating goals, including activity steps.  The information in these fields should remain intact.  Hopefully, we will soon see them become part of the Educator Plan.

SMART Goal Writing – Professional Practice Goals


Many teachers are still working to craft their goals.  Remember that you will need at least one Professional Practice Goal (how you teach/improve your practice) and at least one Student Learning Goal (an area the students will improve upon over the course of the year).  It is up to you if you would like to have more than one goal in each of these areas.

In creating a Professional Practice Goal, start with a Self-Assessment.  Some teachers know immediately in which areas they would like to extend their practice.  Others, faced with a blank piece of paper, may have difficulty.  I find it helpful to start with the Educator Rubric and read through the definitions for Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement and Unsatisfactory and then rate which of the elements describe areas where I have the most room for improvement.  I may not necessarily believe that I deserve to be rated Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory in these areas, but there are certainly some areas where I am stronger than others.

Educator Evaluation Rubric     SISP Evaluation Rubric     School Nurse Rubric Adaptation

I like the following step-by-step guide from MA DESE that shows the process taken by one teacher to craft a Professional Practice Goal.  Your goal may or may not take wording directly from the rubric, but the rubric can be helpful in crafting your goal.

SMART Goals Step by Step DESE

Remember that your goal should meet the S.M.A.R.T. framework.

Specific and Strategic:  Outline the behaviors and/or products that will be the outcome of your goal.  Be sure to narrow the scope of your goal – it is better to focus on a specific skill or behavior and do well than to attempt to make great leaps in too many areas.  (See Attainable, below)  This is a good place to make sure you link to one of the elements from the rubric.

Measurable: How will you and the evaluator know that you have met your goal?  This does not need to be a quantitative measurement.

Action-Oriented and Attainable:  You need to DO something as part of your goal – implement a new strategy, create a product, etc.  Set reasonable expectations.  You are working on continuous improvement toward a rigorous standard. 

Relevant:  Your goal should be related to your core practice.  Again, take a look at the appropriate rubric to see that your goal aligns with your responsibilities as an educator.

Timely / Time-bound:  Set target dates and benchmarks or determine how frequently the action will occur.  Depending upon the nature of your goal and educator plan (1-year or 2-year), you may decide to stretch your actions over two years with a review of your progress at the mid-cycle formative assessment.

Resources: This is not included in the SMART goal framework but is part of the goal report.  Think about what you might need to be successful.  Is there a conference or professional development class that would help you develop needed skills?  A book or other materials that would help you accomplish your task?  These should go in the Resources section of the goal form.

Final Thoughts

The start of the school year is a hectic time and it may be difficult to put aside time for reflection on your professional practice at this time.  While the deadline for professional practice and student learning goals is October 1st, I hope to schedule time for reflecting and building my next set of professional practice goals at the end of this school year for the start of next year as it will be easier to reflect on my professional strengths as this school year comes to an end.

Educator Evaluation Support Comes to Burlington

Tree banner (1)

No matter where I meet and talk with educators, they are amazed to learn that Burlington Public Schools has dedicated a half-time position to supporting teachers in implementing the new Massachusetts Educator Evaluation System.

I will continue to serve as a resource to the 400+ Burlington educators and evaluators this year.  I am available to meet with individuals or teams on planning, goals, evidence collection, and feedback analysis.  You can arrange to meet by using the “Book Me” link in the sidebar or by emailing me at

This blog will also be maintained as a resource for information, materials, and FAQ’s over the course of the year.  The viewable and downloadable 2014 Evaluation Calendar has a listing of the activities and deadlines for the upcoming year and is also available below.

September 1

  • Superintendent, principal or designee meets with evaluators and educators to explain the evaluation process.

October 1

  • Evaluator meets with first-year educators to assist in self-assessment and goal setting process. (Or within four weeks of the Educator’s date of hire.)
  • Educator submits self-assessment and proposed goals.

October 15

  • Evaluator meets with Educators in teams or individually to establish Educator Plans. (Educator Plan may be established at Summative Evaluation Report meeting in prior school year.)
  • For Educators new to the school, meeting with the Evaluator must occur by October 15 or within six weeks of the start of their assignment to that school.

November 1

  • Evaluator completes Educator Plans
  • Educator signs Educator Plan within 5 school days of receipt

November 15

  • Evaluator completes first observation of each Educator

Mid-Cycle (Plans of 1 year or less)

2 weeks before Formative Assessment Report date established by Evaluator

  • Educator provides evidence of family outreach and engagement, fulfillment of professional responsibility and growth, and progress on attaining professional practice and student learning goals.
  • Evaluator completes mid-cycle Formative Assessment Reports for Educators on plans of 1Year or less

January 31

  • 1 Announced Observation completed for Educators on 1-Year Directed Growth Plans and Improvement Plans

February 1

  • Evaluator should have all mid-cycle Formative Assessment Reports completed for Educators on a1-Year Educator Plan.

February 15

  • Evaluator completes Formative Assessment Meetings if requested by either Evaluator or Educator
  • Within 5 School Days of receipt of Formative Assessment Report Educator signs and returns the report. This signature does not indicate agreement or disagreement with the report.
  • Within 10 School Days of receipt of the Formative Assessment Report Educator may reply in writing to the Formative Assessment Report.End of Year Activities

April 15

  • Year 2, 2-Year Self-Directed Plans: Educator provides evidence of family outreach and engagement, fulfillment of professional responsibility and growth, and progress on attaining professional practice and student learning goals.

May 1

  • Year 1, 2-Year Self-Directed Plans: Educator provides evidence of family outreach and engagement, fulfillment of professional responsibility and growth, and progress on attaining professional practice and student learning goals.

May 15

  • All observations required by the Educator Plan completed
  • Evaluator completes Formative Evaluation Reports for Educators in Year 1 of a 2-year Self-Directed Plan
  • Evaluator completes a Summative Evaluation Report for all other Educators
  • Within 5 School Days of receipt of Formative Assessment Report Educator signs and returns the report. This signature does not indicate agreement or disagreement with the report.