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Teacher Evaluation

Teacher evaluation consists of two primary components:

  • Teacher Practice - measured primarily by classroom observations; and
  • Student Achievement  - measured by Student Growth Objectives, and, additionally, Student Growth Percentiles for teachers of students who take state tests.

More information is available in Teacher Evaluation and Support.

What are the components of Teacher Evaluation?
Components of Teacher Evaluation

Teacher Practice: Based upon a minimum of three classroom observations for non-tenured teachers and a minimum of two for tenured teachers using a State-approved, research-based practice Instrument. For more details click here.

Student Growth Percentile: A measure of how much a student improves his or her NJ ASK score from the previous year as compared to academic peers across the state. Applicable to 4th-8th grade Language Arts and 4th-7th grade Math teachers only.

Summative Rating: A calculation using component scores and State-defined weightings to produce the final evaluation score for a given school year. For more details click here.

How is a teacher evaluation scored?

Teacher evaluation scores result from the combination of teacher practice ratings and student achievement measures. Student achievement is measured by SGOs for all teachers in addition to median SGPs (mSGPs) for qualifying teachers of 4th-8th-grade Language Arts and 4th-7th-grade Math. Teachers receive a 1-4 score for each component that is multiplied by the state-determined weighting assigned to it. For more information, please see the Teacher Evaluation Overview and the Evaluation Scoring page.

How is the summative rating linked to tenure, recognition, and professional support?

Under AchieveNJ, teachers must consistently demonstrate that they are effective instructors through multiple observations of their practice as well as student growth. Non-tenured teachers hired and Board-approved after August 6, 2012 must be rated Effective or Highly Effective at least twice in their second, third, and fourth years of teaching in the district to be eligible to earn tenure. Likewise, to maintain tenure, teachers must consistently earn ratings of Effective or Highly Effective.

Even though earning and retaining tenure for demonstrated effectiveness is built into the new tenure law, districts are encouraged to recognize teachers who consistently demonstrate high levels of performance in other ways, too. Providing these teachers leadership opportunities, asking them to build professional development teams, and supporting their growth inside and beyond the classroom are some ways that districts can recognize and value these educators.

In order to provide a targeted support system that will help all teachers increase their effectiveness, AchieveNJ requires that a teacher's professional development be linked to the results of annual evaluations. Teachers with Partially Effective or Ineffective summative ratings must receive more intensive supervision through a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). Once these teachers have increased their summative ratings to at least the Effective range, they no longer require a CAP. However, in circumstances where a tenured teacher's rating does not improve despite extra professional support, they may lose their tenure. Please view this TEACHNJ Guide for more information.

How can the evaluation system inform a teacher's professional learning goals?

AchieveNJ provides substantially more information about a teacher's performance than was typically available before. By reflecting on data from multiple observations and student achievement measures, educators can focus professional learning goals to improve instruction, as explained below.

Observations:  High quality State-approved teacher practice instruments used during observations provide a basis for deep discussion about teaching. During post-observation conferences, supervisors can provide more tailored feedback to help identify areas to develop throughout the year. These goals and plans can then be incorporated in each educator's Professional Development Plan (PDP).

Student Growth Objectives (SGOs): Developing and tracking SGOs provides a structured way to think about academic standards, assessing what students know and can do, and adjusting instruction to help students meet short and long term learning goals. Working alone, with a supervisor, and/or in PLCs, educators can continually improve throughout the year by reflecting on the SGO process. At the end of the year, data from SGOs and observations can inform PDP goals for the following year.

For more information on SGOs click here.

Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs):  By examining SGP results, teachers and their supervisors can examine patterns of students' academic growth.  These patterns can, in addition to the other measures of teacher effectiveness, inform professional learning goals.

For more information on professional development click here.

If someone teaches only a portion of the school year, how is the evaluation affected?

The Department has published guidance on the evaluation of teachers with extended leaves or absences in 2013-14. This guidance applies to teachers on family leave, those hired part-way through a school year, long-term substitutes, and others. You can access the guidance here.

Are there differentiated evaluation options for teachers who are rated Highly Effective?

The Department has published guidance regarding evaluation options for tenured teachers who have been rated Highly Effective on their most recent summative evaluations.

The Reflective Practice Protocol provides an overview of the parameters and components related to one such option, as well as approaches related to each component.

There are also options that are specific to Highly Effective teachers who are:

Research supporting the use of New Jersey's practice protocol and research-based guidance for its successful implementation can be found in the Reflective Practice Investigation.

Research supporting the use of reflection to grow teacher practice can be found in the Reflective Practice Rationale.

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