Teacher Evaluation Systems

At the end of the first week of our course, Teaching Music in a Common Core World, we received the following prompt:

Read through the workbook, then write a narrative and explain how the National Association for Music Education Guidelines compares and contrasts to the current teacher evaluation system at your school?

Our teacher evaluation system is based around Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching. Our district calls it the Professional Growth Model, involving a culture of professional learning communities (PLCs), weekly professional development, peer review, SMART goals, collection of evidence, observations, and conferences over a period of three years.

In my fifth year of teaching, second year in my district, I am considered a career educator in the professional growth model. I am responsible for developing an Individual Teacher Professional Development Plan (ITPDP) with individual goals for student academic and behavior achievement that:

  • aligns with building goals

  • includes 2-5 Danielson components

  • connects with Iowa Teaching Standards.

These individual goals may be the same as learning goals set by our PLC or behavior goals set by our building.

As part of this process, I collect evidence to show proficiency in meeting Iowa teaching standards. I also participate in a peer review process with my PLC which is made up of the five instrumental music educators in our high school’s feeder system. I am observed a minimum of two times per year and evaluated on the Danielson rubrics I have selected to align with my ITPDP. These walk-throughs have pre- and post-observation conferences to discuss goals and progress. There is also a fall conference to approve my ITPDP and a spring conference to approve my collected evidence.

Here is a sample of  a goal from my ITPDP:

Individual Teacher Academic Goal

Individual Teacher Academic Goal

The National Association for Music Education Guidelines are quite similar to our current teacher evaluation system. I have detailed the comparison and contrast in the following chart:


Burton Hable

Burton Hable is an instrumental music educator from Central Iowa. In 2013 he helped open Centennial High School in Ankeny, the first time in forty years that a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. He served there through 2018 as Assistant Director of Bands: conducting the 10th Grade Symphonic Band, directing the varsity Jazz Collective, co-directing the Centennial Marching and Pep Bands, teaching music theory, and providing individual and small group lessons to brass students in grades 6-12 at Prairie Ridge Middle School, Northview Middle School, and Centennial High School. During his tenure in Ankeny, enrollment in band grew from 450 to nearly 700, the jazz program expanded from four to seven ensembles, and ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at Iowa State University, Harper College, and the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.