Teacher Evaluation Guidance

As the end of the school year approaches, school officials should be finalizing year-end teacher evaluations. To assist our clients with the legal stand­ards for teacher evaluations found in Revised School Code Section 1249, we have created a flow chart (at­tached) which summarizes the requirements, including classroom observations, IDPs for probation­ary and tenured teachers, and mid-year progress reports.

Because the Teachers’ Tenure Act specifically references Section 1249, the Tenure Commission has ruled that the evaluation of tenured teachers contin­ues to be a matter properly addressed by the Commission. Copp v Plymouth-Canton (2013). Accordingly, if a tenured teacher is discharged for incompetence, a teacher appealing to the Tenure Commission will likely argue that school officials failed to comply with the legal requirements for teacher evaluation.

Compliance with all legal requirements, particularly for tenured teachers rated minimally ef­fective or ineffective, is essential to establish that the rationale for discharge was not arbitrary or capricious.