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Educator Evaluation

The Massachusetts Educator Evaluation Framework

The Massachusetts Educator Evaluation Framework, adopted by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2011, is designed to promote student learning, growth, and achievement by providing educators with feedback for improvement, enhanced opportunities for professional growth, and clear structures for accountability.

There are six key features of the Educator Evaluation Framework:

Standards of Effective Practice

The Standards and Indicators for both teachers and administrators establish a statewide understanding about what effective teaching and administrative practice looks like (603 CMR 35.03 and 603 CMR 35.04):

Standards of Effective TeachingStandards of Effective Administrative Leadership
  1. Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment
  2. Teaching All Students
  3. Family and Community Engagement
  4. Professional Culture
  1. Instructional Leadership
  2. Management and Operations
  3. Family and Community Engagement
  4. Professional Culture


The Standards and Indicators are "translated" into rubrics that describe practice in detail at different levels of performance. Educators and evaluators use the rubric most appropriate to the role of the educator as a foundation for self-assessment, evidence collection, formative assessment and summative evaluation

Learn more about the Model Rubrics.

Three Categories of Evidence

Evaluators rely upon three types of evidence to assess educator performance on the Standards and Indicators (603 CMR 35.07(1)):

  • Multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement, including classroom assessments, common assessments comparable across grade or subject district-wide, and state-wide growth measures where available, including the MCAS Student Growth Percentile (SGP) and ACCESS for English Learners.

  • Judgments based on observations and artifacts of professional practice, including unannounced observations of practice of any duration; and

  • Additional evidence relevant to one or more Performance Standards, including student feedback as a source of evidence when evaluating teachers, and staff feedback as a source of evidence when evaluating administrators.

Learn more about Evidence Collection.

Performance Ratings

Educators receive a rating on each Standard and overall (603 CMR 35.08). All educators earn one of four ratings: Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement, or Unsatisfactory. Each rating has a specific meaning:

  • Exemplary performance represents a level of performance that exceeds the already high standard of Proficient. A rating of Exemplary is reserved for performance that is of such a high level that it could serve as a model.

  • Proficient performance is understood to be fully satisfactory. This is the rigorous expected level of performance; demanding, but attainable.

  • Needs Improvement indicates performance that is below the requirements of a Standard but is not considered to be Unsatisfactory at the time. Improvement is necessary and expected.

  • Unsatisfactory performance is merited when performance has not significantly improved following a rating of Needs Improvement, or performance is consistently below the requirements of a standard and is considered inadequate, or both.

Learn more about Performance Ratings:

Educator Plans

The Summative Performance Rating determines the type of educator plan an educator will use in their next cycle.

Plan typeWho is assigned the plan?Who develops the plan?How long is the plan?
Self-Directed Growth PlanExperienced educators rated proficient or exemplaryEducatorOne or two years
Directed Growth PlanExperienced educators rated needs improvementEducator and EvaluatorUp to one year
Improvement PlanExperienced educators rated unsatisfactoryEvaluator30 days to one year
Developing Educator PlanTeachers without PST and administrators in their first three yearsEducator and EvaluatorOne year

Learn more about Educator Plans .

Five-Step Evaluation Cycle

The 5-Step Cycle drives the evaluation process and includes the following steps:

  • Self-assessment
  • Goal setting and plan development
  • Plan implementation
  • Formative assessment/evaluation
  • Summative evaluation

Learn more about the 5-Step Evaluation Cycle.

The 5-Step Cycle: Step 1 self-assessment; step 2 analysis, goal setting, and plan development; step 3 implementation of the plan; step 4 formative assessment/evaluation; step 5 summative evaluation.

Resources for Educator Evaluation Implementation

As educators strive to meet students' academic and social-emotional learning needs after several unprecedented school years, the educator evaluation process provides an opportunity to meaningfully support, recognize, and develop practice. Please click the Implementation Resources tab (left) to access resources and practical tools to help focus and streamline the experience of evaluation in order to ensure that all educators are supported, receiving high-quality feedback, and recognized for their efforts.

Model Rubric Update Project

DESE is updating the Model Rubrics for School Level Administrators and Classroom Teachers to integrate and strengthen culturally responsive and relevant practices within the Standards and Indicators of Effective Teaching and Administrative Leadership. Please visit Model Rubric Updates to access the draft rubrics and learn more about the 2022-23 pilot of the School Level Administrator Rubric.

Last Updated: July 11, 2022

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