TPEP Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Highlight

The State vs. Local Decisions Matrix is intended to clarify expectations and determine what decisions are driven by RCW and WAC, and what are made at a local level.

Contact Information

Answers to all of the questions you might have about evaluation components to provisional status.

Background and Legislation

Why has Washington changed the evaluation laws for certificated classroom teachers and certificated principals and assistant principals?

The Washington state Legislature passed E2SSB 6696 in 2010 that created the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Pilot (TPEP) and TPEP Steering Committee. The intent was to develop a standards-based system that would be an important tool for teacher and principal growth as well as evaluation.

How was the four-tiered evaluation system developed?

The four-tiered evaluation system was developed by nine pilot sites and the TPEP Steering Committee. The experience and voice of the pilot site practitioners was vitally important in developing rubrics, rules, and procedures for the revised system.

Have there been any updates to the original 2010 legislation?

Yes. The 2019 Legislature passed 2ESHB 1139, which changed the frequency of the Comprehensive evaluation for eligible teachers and principals from at least once every four years to at least once every six years. In 2016, changes to WAC 392-191A were finalized; they include changes to the Focused evaluation process and to the definition of "observation", as well as some language clarification. During the 2012 legislative session, ESSB5895 amended RCW 28A.405.100 to modify the timeline for implementation and the composition of the Steering Committee.

What policies are set at the state level and what flexibility do districts have?

To help navigate what policies are determined at the state level and which are at the local level, we have compiled a State vs Local Decision Making document for reference. There are a few dates that are often referred to as the state-required dates:

October 15 – after this date an employee whose work is not judged satisfactory based on district evaluation criteria shall be notified in writing of specific areas needing improvement (RCW 28A.405.100).

December 15 – the date by which employees being moved from a Focused evaluation to a Comprehensive evaluation must be notified in writing (WAC 392-191A-120).

May 15 – the date by which employees being non-renewed must be notified by the superintendent in conjunction with HR (RCW 28A.405.100).

June 1 – date by which evaluations and summative conferences for principals and assistant principals must be completed (WAC 392-191A-160 & WAC 392-191A-190, effective August 1, 2023).

Who provides guidance at the state level?

Per RCW 28A.405.100 (7), the TPEP Steering Committee in conjunction with OSPI provides guidance on teacher and principal evaluation.

What is the TPEP Steering Committee?

The TPEP Steering Committee was formed per E2SSB 6696 in July, 2010. The legislation calls for

"OSPI, in collaboration with state associations representing teachers, principals, administrators, and parents"

to oversee the work of the TPEP pilots. In ESSB 5895, school board members were added and the legislation notes that this group shall be called "the steering committee." The original five TPEP Steering Committee organizations (OSPI, WEA, AWSP, WASA, and WSPTA) were joined by WSSDA in May 2011.

Employee Groups

What employee groups should be considered in the TPEP evaluation system?

The TPEP evaluation system covers certificated classroom teachers and certificated principals and assistant principals.

What are the definitions of a "certificated classroom teacher?"

WAC 392-191A-030 states:

"Certificated classroom teacher" and "teacher" mean a certificated employee who provides academically-focused instruction to students and holds one or more of the certificates pursuant to WAC 181-79A-140 (1) through (3) and (6)(a) through (e) and (g).

This includes holders of the following certificates:

  • Residency, professional, continuing, and standard teaching certificates, including teacher exchange permits as provided in WAC 181-79A-270
  • Career and technical education
  • First people's language/culture
  • Conditional certificate
  • Emergency substitute certificate
  • Transitional certificate
  • Substitute certificate

Who is included in "certificated classroom teachers?"

The TPEP evaluation system is built around the criteria in RCW 28A.405.100; reviewing the criteria and instructional frameworks is advised. A certificated employee who is providing academically focused instruction to students, regardless of the size of the class, should be considered a "classroom teacher."

Certificated classroom teachers may also include librarians and instructional coaches/TOSAs, if they provide academically-focused instruction to students.

What does it mean to provide "academically focused instruction to students?"

"Academically focused" means that the teacher is responsible for teaching content that helps lead students to college or career using learning standards that guide instruction and specify outcomes for student learning.

Should teachers who teach only part-time, or only part of whose job would fit under the definition of "classroom teacher" cited above, be evaluated under TPEP?

An employee whose only role is teaching should be evaluated under TPEP regardless of FTE.

An employee should be evaluated in their main role as defined in their contract or job description. If their secondary role is teaching, use the district's selected instructional framework to give feedback for growth purposes.

Are there certain teaching positions that should not be evaluated under TPEP?

Yes, there are. In general, the test for this is three-pronged. If the teacher does all three of the following, then they should be evaluated under TPEP:

  • Plans or modifies instruction;
  • Instructs students; and
  • Monitors student progress

Teachers whose students have severe or multiple disabilities may have difficulty providing evidence of practice on several criteria. Should they still be evaluated under TPEP?

Districts have discretion to use common sense in making decisions in cases like this. When it is not possible for a teacher to give evidence of practice, or evidence of practice at the proficient or distinguished level is not observable because of the students' disabilities, it would be sensible for the evaluator and the teacher to decide together on which parts of the framework are viable and which are not, and determine a suitable process for setting goals and collecting evidence. On rare occasions, a suitable process may extend outside the TPEP structure.

What is the definition of "certificated principal and assistant principal?"

WAC 392-191A-030 states:

"Certificated principal," "principal" and "assistant principal" mean a person who is employed to supervise the operation and management of a school as provided by RCW 28A.400.100 and holds certificates pursuant to WAC 181-79A-140 (4)(a).

Who is included in "assistant principals?"

The evaluation system is designed for certificated principals and assistant principals. Because this system is built around the criteria in RCW 28A.405.100, reviewing the leadership criteria and frameworks to determine whether assigned duties fit the definition. Pay careful attention to those in OSPI Duty Root 25 (Other School Admin), like athletic directors, non-traditional assistant principals, and dean positions, because their duties may or may not qualify them for evaluation in TPEP.

What is the definition for certificated support personnel (ESAs: Counselors, Speech/Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, School Psychologists, Physical Therapists, School Nurses, and Social Workers)?

WAC 392-191A-030 states: "Certificated support personnel" and "certificate support person" means a certificated employee who provides services to students and holds one or more of the educational staff associate certificates pursuant to WAC 181-79A-140(5).

Are ESAs included in the revised evaluation system?

Generally speaking, an ESA is not considered a "certificated classroom teacher" and the TPEP criteria and frameworks were not designed with their job responsibilities in mind. Since the TPEP evaluation system is based on skills, knowledge, and dispositions related to a specific job, the instructional frameworks associated with classroom teachers may not be relevant for many ESA positions.

Districts may create four-tiered systems for evaluating any employee group not evaluated under TPEP.

Is the fact that a teacher does not assign grades to students a reason for that teacher to not be part of the TPEP teacher evaluation process?

Many teachers monitor or assess student progress without assigning grades to students. This would not be a sufficient reason to exclude the teacher from being part of the TPEP evaluation system. Teachers who plan instruction, provide instruction, and monitor/assess student learning should be apart of the TPEP evaluation.

Must a teacher who is employed by a contractor that has a contract with a district be evaluated using TPEP?

No, this teacher does not have to be evaluated under TPEP; the contractor controls how the teacher is evaluated. However, the district could ask that this be done by the contractor as part of the contract.

How often must teachers who hold a National Board certificate be evaluated on the Comprehensive evaluation?

Teachers who hold a National Board certificate are evaluated on the same schedule as teachers who do not; they receive a Comprehensive evaluation every six years, unless they or their evaluator chooses to do so more frequently.

Evaluation Components

How were the revised teacher and principal evaluation criteria developed?

The teacher and principal criteria were drafted by the governor's office and the two primary organizations representing teachers and principals in 2010 as part of E2SSB 6696.

What are the criteria definitions?

The definitions are embedded in WAC 392-191A and can also be found at: Criteria definitions.

What is a Comprehensive evaluation?

A comprehensive evaluation assesses all eight evaluation criteria and each criterion contributes to the Comprehensive evaluation performance rating. RCW 28A.405.100(12)(a). See the Comprehensive Scoring Diagrams listed under the link for each framework for more details.

What is a Focused evaluation?

A focused evaluation includes an assessment of one of the eight criteria selected for a performance rating plus professional and student growth activities specifically linked to the selected criterion RCW 28A.405.100(12)(c)(i)).

WACS 392-191A-120 and 392-191A-190 (Conduction of the Focused evaluation for certificated classroom teachers/principals) describes the process: The score from the Comprehensive evaluation is carried through the Focused evaluation period for teachers and principals who have completed the Comprehensive evaluation have received a Level 3 (proficient) or Level 4 (distinguished) and have been moved to the Focused evaluation.

This process is intended to support teachers and principals in addressing areas of challenge during the Focused evaluation process.

With the Focused evaluation score being pre-determined by the most recent year's Comprehensive score, must evaluatees still produce evidence and track progress, and set and measure student growth goals?

Yes. The process remains the same regarding evidence collection, writing student growth goals, measuring student growth, and using rubric indicator language (both instructional and student growth rubrics) to identify levels of practice, inform what improvement would look like, engage in reflective dialogue and conversation, and monitor progress. The difference is that there is no score determined from this at the end of the process; the score comes from the most recent Comprehensive evaluation.

What if an evaluatee's performance in a Focused year is Level 4, but their prior Comprehensive score was a 3? Must they receive a level 3 summative score?

No. The intent is to incentivize teachers and principals to choose challenging criteria for their Focused evaluation, without fear of the consequences of a summative Basic (2) rating. A Level 4 performance in a Focused evaluation year could replace the prior level 3 summative score on the most recent Comprehensive evaluation - for that year only.

  • As a teacher, will I still be observed when I am on a Focused evaluation?

Yes. Annual observations of all teachers are still required under WAC 392-191A-110. The revised definition of “observation” (WAC 392-191A-030) may mean that this observation takes place in a classroom, but depending on the focused criterion chosen, it may also take place at a teacher team/PLC meeting, in a parent conference, in a family engagement activity, or in some other setting in which the teacher’s practice around that criterion is being demonstrated.

  • Will I still receive feedback on my practice when I am on a Focused evaluation?

Yes. Your evaluator will still provide feedback per WAC 392-191A-130. In fact, reflective practice and feedback is the point of the Focused evaluation process.

  • Am I guaranteed to stay on a Focused evaluation (with a score of 3 or 4) for the next five years?

While that is likely, either you or your evaluator may ask to be moved to a Comprehensive evaluation on a shorter timeframe. This request must happen in writing on or before December 15 of the current school year (WAC 392-171A-120). This ensures there is enough time for both the evaluator and evaluatee to make a transition to a Comprehensive evaluation.

  • If I had one or more criteria that received a Basic (2) score on my Comprehensive evaluation, should I choose one of these as my Focused criterion?

Yes. The intent of the WAC is to choose an area that would benefit from some focused attention while not having to worry about the final score. The hope is that after this time of focused professional learning and reflection, an area that was formerly a challenge will become an area of strength by the time you are next on a Comprehensive evaluation.

  • What if I receive a Basic score on a Focused evaluation?

You will not receive an overall score on your Focused evaluation; you receive a carry-forward score from your most recent Comprehensive evaluation. You may receive feedback indicating that your practice falls under the “Basic” column for one or more components or indicators for your chosen criterion, but this does not affect the recorded score, which is still based on your Comprehensive summative evaluation score. The feedback simply indicates that your practice is not yet proficient in those areas, and needs additional attention and support.

  • Do I still need to select a Student Growth Goal for a Focused evaluation?

Yes. Every year, every teacher and every principal determines at least one student growth goal for purposes of evaluation. If criterion 3, 6 or 8 is selected, evaluators will use those student growth rubrics. If criterion 1, 2, 4, 5, or 7 is selected, evaluators will use criterion 3 or 6 student growth rubrics (WAC 392-191A-120 and 190).

What is the process for determining whether someone is on a Comprehensive or a Focused evaluation?

Either a Comprehensive or a Focused is required every year. A Comprehensive is required at least once every six years for both teachers and principals. In the years when a Comprehensive is not required, teachers who received a level 3 or 4 on a Comprehensive in the previous year may be on Focused.

According to RCW 28A.405.100(12)(c)(iv), either the evaluator or the evaluatee may initiate the move to a Comprehensive evaluation before the six-year cycle has been completed. This must happen in writing by December 15 for the current school year. The steering committee recommends that a local process for this transfer be established prior to implementation.

A teacher on provisional status (first three years of teaching, or first two with Superintendent approval) must be on a Comprehensive evaluation. An educator with two or more years of successful teaching in a Washington school district who moves to a new district begins a new six-year cycle, starting with a Comprehensive evaluation during that provisional status year. See the section on "Provisional Status" for additional information.

There are a few conditions spelled out in RCW 28A.405.100(12)(b)(ii) that would necessitate a teacher or principal receiving an annual performance evaluation:

  • A classroom teacher who is provisional (as defined by RCW 28A.405.220)
  • A principal in the first three consecutive school years of employment as a principal
  • A principal previously employed as a principal by another school district in the state of Washington for three or more consecutive school years and in the first full year as a principal in the school district
  • A classroom teacher or principal who received a comprehensive performance rating of level 1 or level 2 in the pervious school year

Who approves the criterion selected for a Focused evaluation?

On a Focused evaluation, the selected criterion must be approved by the evaluator for teachers and for principals (WAC 392-191A-120 and 190). Ideally, the criterion is selected in a joint decision that examines where the teacher/principal is ready to grow their practice.

What are the OSPI approved instructional and leadership frameworks?



What is the OSPI process for "minor modifications and adaptations" to the instructional or leadership frameworks?

The law requires that OSPI

"establish a process for approving minor modifications or adaptations to a preferred instructional [or leadership] framework that may be proposed by a school district."

Districts proposing a change must submit their request to OSPI by April 15 of the previous year. Please read Minor Modifications to Instructional or Leadership Frameworks for more information and instructions.

Districts may add to the critical attributes (Danielson), possible observables (CEL 5D's) and possible evidence (Marzano and AWSP) established by the framework authors.

When do districts need to let OSPI know which framework they're using?

Districts report any changes to their instructional framework selection in the annual School Employee Evaluation Survey. Districts are required to post their framework choices somewhere on their district website. (RCW 28A.405.100(2)(e)).

Do districts need to evaluate teachers on all state-eight criteria and use all the components within each framework?

Yes. OSPI selected the three research-based frameworks as required by law RCW 28A.405.100(2)(e) and have worked closely with the framework authors. OSPI and the TPEP Steering Committee strongly recommend that districts use all evaluation rubrics to evaluate the performance of the certificated classroom teacher, principal, or assistant principal. Not using the entire framework for the purposes of a Comprehensive evaluation or all the components/indicators in a Focused evaluation will compromise the validity of the frameworks. In addition, the state is expecting the data provided to OSPI in the annual School Employee Evaluation Survey to use all eight criteria, the entire framework, and student growth rubrics in calculating summative scores.

What is the role of evidence and observation in TPEP?

Evidence is observed practice, products, or results of the work of a certificated classroom teacher or principal that demonstrates knowledge and skills with respect to the framework and rubric.

OBSERVATION: Required for all Comprehensive evaluations; for Focused evaluations, observation is required

"if the evaluation of the certificated classroom teacher includes an assessment of a criterion that requires observation..."

WAC 392-191A-030 defines observation as the gathering of evidence made through classroom or worksite visits, or other visits, work samples, or conversations that allow for the gathering of evidence of the performance of assigned duties for the purpose of examining evidence over time against the instructional or leadership framework rubrics pursuant to this section.

For teachers, most framework components are observable either in the classroom or elsewhere in context of their work. When the criterion selected for a Focused evaluation does not relate directly to classroom instruction, it may be more appropriate for the observation to take place in a community setting (criterion 7) or in the course of professional duties (criterion 8). In cases where a classroom observation is not appropriate for gathering evidence for the criterion of focus, documentation of observations can occur after each observation or after a series of observations (RCW 28A.405.100(3)(a).)

New employees must be observed early in the year. RCW 28A.405.100 states that:

"New employees shall be observed at least once for a total observation time of thirty minutes during the first ninety calendar days of their employment period."

Although it is appropriate and useful to conduct a midyear status check, keep in mind there is no summative score provided at the conclusion of that first observation for new employees; summative scoring occurs near the end of the school year when a full picture of performance is available.

STUDENT GROWTH: Required for all. See WAC 392-191A and summative scoring information. If the criterion selected for a Focused evaluation does not contain student growth rubrics, the evaluatee selects student growth goals from criterion 3 or 6 for teachers or criterion 3.5, 5.5, or 8.3 for principals and assistant principals.

PERCEPTION DATA: Optional local decision. See RCW 28A.405.100(2)(g) and RCW 28A.405.100(6)(g). The capacity for a teacher to develop a student perception survey with questions based on the instructional frameworks now exists in eVAL. The results of such surveys are not visible to evaluators.

Who can evaluate a certificated classroom teacher?

RCW 28A.405.100 states:

"it shall be the responsibility of a principal or his or her designee to evaluate all certificated personnel in his or her school."

Prior to the first observation, evaluators must have training on the

"revised systems to maximize rater agreement."

The TPEP Steering Committee has defined this as the two-day, Stage I framework training. Stage II instructional framework training may be completed over the course of the first year as an evaluator.

What happens to the evaluation process when an educator departs in the middle of the school year?

If the departure is planned, the evaluator and evaluatee should come to mutual agreement about a timeline for completing observations and a summative conference. If not all elements of the framework have adequate evidence to be scored, the reason for any omission should be noted on the summative form.

If the departure is unplanned and it is not possible to complete an evaluation, document the facts.

What do we do with an educator who is hired mid-year?

Long-term substitutes are not required to be evaluated on the revised system. Local CBAs may provide more specific guidance.

Any educator new to the district and hired on a regular contract is provisional, so must be evaluated using the Comprehensive format. Local human resource policies might address a variety of hiring scenarios. Teachers who are hired for less than one semester may be evaluated on an abbreviated Comprehensive evaluation, recognizing that a score may not always be logistically possible because of time constraints. In such cases, these circumstances shall be noted in their personnel file.

Student Growth

The Student Growth Goals were revised for required use in the 2024-25 school year. For more information about the updated rubrics and resources on Student Growth, please visit our Student Growth page.

What is the definition of student growth?

RCW 28A.405.100 defines student growth as the

"change in student achievement between two points in time."

What measures can be used to determine student growth?

WAC 392-191A-080 states: "More than one measure of student growth data must be used in scoring the student growth rubrics." Measures can include but are not limited to:

  • classroom-based tools
  • school-based tools
  • district-based tools
  • state-based tools

What are the three components of student growth and how they are different for each criterion?

For teachers, there are five components of student growth embedded across criteria three, six, and eight. They are the same state components for each of the approved instructional frameworks. The components are:

  • SG 3.1 - Establish Student Growth Goals
    Refers to individual or subgroups of students (achievement/opportunity gap)
  • SG 3.2 - Achievement of Student Growth Goals
    Refers to individual or subgroups of students (achievement/opportunity gap)
  • SG 6.1 - Establish Student Growth Goals using Multiple Student Data Elements
    Refers to the whole class based on appropriate standards and aligned to school and district goals
  • SG 6.2 - Achievement of Student Growth Goals
    Refers to the whole class based on appropriate standards and aligned to school and district goals
  • SG 8.1 - Establish Team Student Growth Goals
    Refers to the teacher as part of a grade-level, content area, or other school or district team

For school leaders, there are three components of student growth embedded in criteria three, five, and eight. They are also identical across both of the approved leadership frameworks. The components are:

  • SG 3 - Provides evidence of student growth that results from the school improvement planning process.
  • SG 5 - Provides evidence of student growth of selected teachers.
  • SG 8 - Provides evidence of growth in student learning.

Why is there 8.1 and not 8.2 for teachers?

SG 8.1 asks a group of teachers to focus together on a set of students for whom they have common responsibility, analyze the learning needs of those students, set a common goal or goals, develop and implement high-quality measures and collectively monitor progress during the year. Teachers can be held individually responsible for active collaboration and for making changes to their instruction (SG 8.1) but cannot be held individually responsible for the student growth of others.

When might it make sense to change a student growth goal?

The following scenarios are examples of situations where it makes sense to change a goal:

  • The composition of the class changes significantly during the identified instructional period;
  • A large number of families leave the school and affect the size of the identified student group;
  • The students in question all meet the goal several weeks ahead of schedule.

Any change in goal should occur as the result of a conversation between the teacher and the evaluator.

May teachers include summative student learning data as general trend evidence?

Yes, if they can show direct responsibility for scores.

How should growth be evaluated?

Student growth is defined in RCW 28A.405.100 as the change in student achievement between two points in time. Student growth refers to the learning progress made by students through instructional experiences. The Student Growth Goals rubrics are designed to ensure that student growth as a required part of the TPEP process includes setting goals for students, planning instruction and reflecting on student progress. The Final Revised Student Growth Goal Rubrics are required for use beginning in the 2024-25 school year. More information, resources and materials as well as the rubrics can be found on the Student Growth section of the TPEP website.

Do student growth goals for teachers need to align with principal goals or the school improvement plan?

The intention of the Student Growth Goals is for teachers using their knowledge of students to intentionally plan instruction designed to yield growth in learning. It may be that the goals an individual teacher has for their students is informed by and aligned with building and district goals. For purposes of the Student Growth Goal process as a part of a teacher’s evaluation, the goals should be relevant to the teacher’s current students and responsive to the students’ identified learning needs, experiences, and communications with family.

The student growth goals connected to a principal or assistant principal’s evaluation through the AWSP Leadership Framework are currently undergoing revision and will align with the emphasis on the student journey.

Is there a form to guide a student growth inquiry?

No, there is no specific form for a student growth inquiry. WAC 392-191A-090 outlines the requirements for the inquiry triggered by a low student growth score on a teacher's Comprehensive evaluation. WAC 392-191A-180 outlines similar requirements for principals. If there are areas of concern related to the framework, it would make sense for the professional development connected to the student growth inquiry to be tied to C3, C6 and C8 for teachers and C3, C5 and C8 for principals. If the framework evidence reveals no issues, but a low student growth score exists, the professional development plan should be related to one or more topics mentioned in that section of the WAC.

Must a student growth goal include a percentage of students who will reach the learning target? Must the target itself be a percentage?

There is no requirement that student growth goals includes percentages in either area. Percentages may be helpful ways to characterize the growth in achievement sought and attained, or to determine the meaning of "some," "most," of "all," but are not the only ways to capture these.

OSPI began publishing Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs) in Spring 2013. How does this information impact the teacher or principal evaluation system and what guidance can you give districts about SGPs?

Please read the information on Student Growth Percentiles and OSPI's Student Growth Percentiles FAQ.

Provisional Status

How long do teachers remain on Provisional Status?

Provisional status for teachers is defined in RCW 28A.405.220, not in the evaluation regulations found in Chapter 392-191A WAC.

Under the statute, teachers remain under provisional status in three main ways. First, teachers new to the profession or new to Washington public school teaching generally remain in provisional status for the first three years of their employment. Second, teachers that have already completed two years of provisional status at one school district and transfer to another school district must only complete one additional year on provisional status at the second school district. Third, teachers that receive an evaluation rating below 2 on their third year of employment will remain on provisional status until they obtain an evaluation rating of 2 or higher.

The exception to these rules is that teachers new to the profession may be granted continuing status at the end of their second year as follows:

"...the school district superintendent can make a determination to remove an employee from provisional status if the employee has received one of the top two ratings during the second year of employment by the district."

If a new teacher with less than two years in one district in the Washington public school system moves to another district, the provisional "clock" starts again.

Teachers on continuing status in Washington public schools who move into a new district revert to provisional status for the first year of employment in the new district.

A teacher who receives a "2" in any given year, regardless of provisional or continuing status or years of experience, will automatically be placed on a Comprehensive evaluation the following year.


What evidence is needed for Criterion 8?

Criterion 8 is about the collaborative work of professionals. Evidence can be found in staff meetings, department meetings, PLCs, and other points of collaboration. The principal can observe any of those events (per the WAC definition of "observation" ), or the teacher could provide evidence from events where the principal is not present.

For further information, please consult the "Evaluation Components" tab.

What happens if there is not sufficient evidence to score a component?

The framework authors' advice is to score the preponderance of the evidence. If there is evidence, score what is available. To supplement, a short observation to focus on specific elements could be scheduled and/or the teacher could provide evidence from outside the observation.

How do I calculate a summative score?

A Comprehensive evaluation has two scoring steps:

  1. Districts create procedures and practices to establish criterion scores and they are summed equally to create a summative score. Framework rubric scores and student growth rubric scores are included in the calculation. The state's scoring matrix assigns a corresponding label (Unsatisfactory to Distinguished or 1-4).
  2. Calculate the Student Growth Impact Rating, which is the sum of the five student growth rubrics from criteria 3, 6, and 8 for teachers or criteria 3, 5 and 8 for principals. The Distinguished label would be reduced to Proficient if a low Student Growth Impact Rating exists, and a Student Growth Inquiry would be triggered.

NOTE: eVAL calculates these simultaneously; others will need to do two calculations.

A Focused evaluation has one scoring step. The Focused score is the same as the most recent Comprehensive score. The exception is when the most recent Comprehensive score was a "3" and the evaluator determines that the Focused evaluation evidence indicates a score of "4". In that case, the score of "4" is awarded for that year only. The Focused evaluation does not have a separate student growth impact rating; however, a student growth goal is still determined and growth is measured.

For a visual representation, please visit the Framework page for any of the frameworks for a Comprehensive and Focused Scoring Diagram.

What gets submitted to OSPI after scoring is complete?

There is no state deadline by which all comprehensive summative evaluations must be completed, but most district collective bargaining agreements do include a date. It would be useful to also keep in mind that May 15 is the date by which employees being non-renewed must be notified by the superintendent in conjunction with HR (RCW 28A.405.100).

Every fall, each district completes the School Employee Evaluation Survey, with total number of teachers in each summative category by school and the total number of principals in each summative category by district. Individual results remain at the district. Each district defines local practices about how and where data should be stored. For districts that use eVAL, all data is retained electronically for one year and can only be accessed by the local district.

OSPI retains no data on individual teacher performance ratings. Local districts are expected to retain their own records of their employees’ performance evaluations in keeping with district policy and their collective bargaining agreements.

What happens if there is not sufficient evidence to score when summative scores are due?

Skipping criterion scoring is not an option. If the principal has conducted several observations and does not see any evidence for a particular observable component, the absence of that evidence might be evidence in itself. But it is incumbent on both the principal and the teacher to assure that plentiful opportunities have existed before drawing any conclusion about a lack of evidence.

Attention to management and frequent dialogue through the year should help avoid gaps in the evidence. If gaps are discovered in April, there is still time to use strategies described above. It is a state requirement that each criterion be scored for a Comprehensive evaluation.

If principals have not been scoring observations during the year, is it permissible to holistically rate the evidence at the end of the year?

Yes. One critical key to TPEP is holistic scoring - looking at all evidence, over time. It is important to NOT make judgments based on one visit or one conversation or one piece of evidence. There is no state expectation that each observation or artifact be scored. It is the collection of evidence that provides information for scoring, not any one item or event.

In a standards-based system, if a student or a teacher or a principal could not do something in the fall, but demonstrates that skill in winter and spring, the fall "score" is not relevant. Looking at the preponderance of evidence reveals its scope and depth, as well as growth over time.

This is a local decision, however, and some districts have rules about averaging in order to obtain a criterion score. Others have contract language about providing a teacher, or a group of teachers such as those who are new, with a summative score mid-year. This is not a state expectation, for the reasons stated above, but is a local decision.

Is probation triggered in a Focused evaluation?

No; because the score for a Focused evaluation is assigned from the most recent Comprehensive evaluation, and must have been either a "3" or a "4" for the teacher/principal to have been moved onto a Focused evaluation, this would not happen.

If there are serious concerns about the overall performance of a teacher or principal who is on a Focused evaluation, s/he should be placed on a Comprehensive evaluation on or before December 15. (See WAC 392-191A-120 and 190.) This change requires notification in writing.

RCW 28A.405.100(2)(c) defines

"comprehensive evaluation performance rating" as "one of the four summative performance ratings for the evaluation as a whole, which shall be the comprehensive summative evaluation performance rating."

Subsection (2)(c) provides that OSPI has the job of prescribing

"a common method for calculating the comprehensive summative evaluation performance rating for each of the preferred instructional frameworks, including for a focused evaluation under subsection (12)...."

The comprehensive summative evaluation performance ratings trigger probation under subsection (4)(a). This requires that teachers on Focused evaluations are subject to the statute's requirements regarding probation.

OSPI advises districts to avoid using the Focused evaluation for teachers who are less than proficient. RCW 28A.405.100(12)(c)(iii) provides that teachers who have

"received a comprehensive summative evaluation performance rating of level 3 or above in the previous school year are required to complete a focused evaluation"

in the years when a Comprehensive is not required. The overall intent of a Focused evaluation is professional growth in an area

"benefiting from additional attention."

RCW 28A.405.100(4)(a) states that a Level 2 summative rating is not judged satisfactory

"if the classroom teacher is a continuing contract employee under RCW 28A.405.210 with more than five years of teaching experience and if the Level 2 comprehensive evaluation performance rating has been received for two consecutive years or for two years within a consecutive three-year time period."

An experienced educator who moves to a new district begins a new six-year cycle. Districts may ask potential employees to submit past evaluations as part of the hiring process.

Any educator new to a district is provisional for the first year, and so must be evaluated on a Comprehensive evaluation. Following a successful first year as the district's employee, the evaluator decides whether the educator will be on a Focused or Comprehensive each year.

The TPEP Steering Committee recommends school districts devise a method of tracking Level 1 and Level 2 summative ratings in order to be aware of the consequences of such a rating for any particular educator.


What is the eVAL management system?

eVAL is web-based system developed and designed by the WEA, ESD 113, and OSPI with input and feedback from the TPEP Steering Committee and pilot sites. The system allows teachers, principals, and district administrators to coordinate, review, schedule, view, and upload any and all applicable evaluation materials. This is an optional evaluation management systems tool and is available to districts at no cost.

What are the security provisions in place regarding eVAL and personnel files?

eVAL is a voluntary management system for the certificated teacher and principal evaluation system. In the state of Washington, teacher evaluations are exempt from public disclosure laws. RCW 42.56.230.

There is a secure firewall between the three partnering organizations (WEA, OSPI, and ESD 113) and a district's eVAL management system. The portal for the eVAL system is the state's EDS system; however, no evaluation information is accessible to OSPI, WEA, or ESD 113. In addition, the summative rating data that is required by state law is collected through a different survey administered through an application titled "School Employee Evaluation Survey" accessible through the Education Data System (EDS) in the fall by OSPI.

Framework Training

What training is required for evaluators?

RCW 28A.405.130.

"Before school district implementation of the revised evaluation systems required under RCW 28A.405.100, principals and administrators who have evaluation responsibilities must engage in professional development designed to implement the revised systems and maximize rater agreement."

OSPI created Stage I and Stage II training to meet this requirement. Framework specialists trained by the framework authors or their designees are the only people authorized to conduct Stage I and II framework training on behalf of OSPI.

Required training for new principals, assistant principals, and those who have changed frameworks:

  • Stage I: 2 days
  • Stage II: 4 days

Required training for all principal and assistant principal evaluators:

  • AWSP Leadership Framework (2 days - in total 12 hours)

All principals, assistant principals, and principal evaluators should also participate in professional learning:

  • Rater Agreement
  • Learning-focused Supervision
  • Equity

Required training for new teachers and those who have changed frameworks:

  • 6 hours of instructional framework/evaluation training (may be divided into multiple sessions)

The Stage I (12 hour) training must be completed before the evaluator begins the evaluation cycle with employees. Stage II (24 hours) typically is spread over the year so evaluators gain "just in time" training through the cycle and have a place to bring their concerns and challenges during that first year of implementation.

Principal interns who have already been hired for positions as principals/assistant principals for the coming school year may participate in Stage I training the spring or summer before the position officially begins. However, it is not recommended that interns participate in Stage II training until they are serving in the position.

ESDs offer a number of August - September opportunities for Stage I so that principals can meet the initial requirement. OSPI typically offers Stage I at the AWSP/WASA Summer Conference (pre-conference).

Districts are encouraged to consider supporting opportunities and/or seeking opportunities to deepen in Rater Agreement, Learning-Focused Supervision, and issues of equity to ensure that evaluators continue to grow their evaluation skills.

For districts using the Danielson instructional framework, can the use of Teachscape certification substitute for Stage I and Stage II training for evaluators?

No; Teachscape only addresses two of Danielson's four domains. It also does not provide any information about the Washington system (the State 8 Criteria, scoring protocols, student growth). Teachscape is a fine tool for rater agreement and calibration to the framework, which is Stage III.

What training is required for teachers?

Required training for new teachers and those who have changed frameworks is grounded in both RCW 28A.405.104 and RCW 28A.405.106. The Teacher Overview trainings were designed to fulfill this requirement by providing 6 hours of learning for new educators (and those who have changed frameworks) in the framework and evaluation process and are offered in each of the three instructional frameworks. Instructional Framework Specialists on the state-approved list for the CEL 5D+, Danielson and Marzano frameworks are approved providers of Teacher overviews. Additionally, a superintendent may designate district personnel to provide this training to new teachers in their own district. A superintendent designee must receive training in facilitating the Teacher Overview either by attending a Teacher Overview Training session offered by the ESDs or by connecting with the State Framework Lead for their instructional framework to receive training and updated training materials.