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Educator Evaluation

Refining the Model Rubrics

Regulations require that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) update the educator evaluation model system as needed. Since the release of the model system in 2012, DESE has been collecting feedback from teachers and leaders about the utility and effectiveness of the model rubrics. In 2016, DESE began partnering with teachers and leaders to identify, draft, and pilot refinements to the model rubrics that would streamline content, clarify language, ensure that the rubrics align to and reinforce the important day-to-day work of teaching and leading.

Updated Model Rubrics for Classroom Teachers and School-Level Administrators

In 2018, DESE released updated model rubrics for classroom teachers and school-level administrators. The updated rubrics reflect the following refinements:

  • Streamlined content. Updated rubrics have fewer elements due to the consolidation or removal of redundant content.
  • Clarified descriptors. Language is clearer. This makes it easier to develop a shared understanding of performance expectations and provide meaningful, actionable feedback to educators about their practice.
  • Stronger alignment to teaching and leading. Updated descriptions align the model rubrics more closely together and strengthen connections to critical instructional practices in Massachusetts (e.g. standards-based instruction, social-emotional learning, and culturally responsive teaching and leading).

Districts may adopt or adapt the new model rubrics, or use a comparably rigorous and comprehensive rubric.


  1. Are districts required to use the new model rubrics for teachers and school-level administrators?

  2. If my district has already adopted or adapted the DESE Model System for educator evaluation, are we required to use the updated model rubrics?

  3. What does it mean to "[m]odel this practice for others?"

  4. Why doesn't the new Student Learning Indicator have any elements or performance descriptors?

Read an overview of the changes Download PDF Document, including with element-level comparisons between the updated rubric and the original rubric and short rationales for the revisions.

Summer 2019: Updated Model Rubric for Superintendents

Updates to the model rubric for superintendents begin in Fall 2018, with the release of a new model rubric for superintendents targeted for Summer 2019. DESE will be partnering with teachers, administrators, and community stakeholders during the 2018-19 school year to identify key refinements to the model rubric for superintendents. Updates will streamline and clarify content, as well as better align the rubric to the practices of today's district leadership.

DESE will update this page with information about stakeholder engagement and proposed revisions throughout the year. For information about how to get involved, please email

Last Updated: August 30, 2018
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