North Carolina – Educator Effectiveness


This profile summarizes the efforts made by states and districts to implement evaluation and feedback systems, including the SREB Elements of Evaluation—basic information about the state evaluation framework. The sections below correspond to the three sections of the State Actions to Advance Teacher Evaluation report released in February 2016.

SREB Elements of Evaluation

System Name

North Carolina Educator Effectiveness System (NCEES)

System Type

State system

Framework for Effective Teaching

North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards

Key Elements of Professional Practice

Student surveys (optional)

Measures of Student Growth

Value-added model (VAM)

Weight of Component Measures

N/A – Teachers must score at or above the proficient level for each evaluation standard

Number of Required Observations During Summative Evaluation

Four (three evaluators and one peer)

Performance Levels

Needs Improvement, Effective, Highly Effective

Design of State Evaluation Models

The state education agency (SEA) requires evaluators to use the Rubric for Evaluating North Carolina Teachers to produce a professional practice rating. Districts may use student surveys as an optional measure.

Measures of Student Learning (MSLs) allow more educators to receive state value-added model (VAM) scores. The most common MSLs are “NC Final Exams.” Ninety percent of teachers are included in the state’s value-added model. The remaining 10 percent of teachers set performance targets through student learning objectives (SLOs).

State law defines four types of qualified evaluators: school administrators, peer teachers, trained raters from the SEA, and instructors from approved educator preparation programs. Experienced educators undergo an annual summative evaluation, but principals can opt for an abbreviated cycle, focusing on only three of the six teaching standards.

Implementation of District Evaluation Systems

Principal training focuses on how to use evidence to distinguish among teacher ratings and how to apply coaching strategies during the post-observation conference. Currently, state policy does not require the certification of evaluators.

Educators receive training on teaching standards and the observation rubric through regional trainings, train-the-trainer offerings, webinars, and local district staff development.

The state education agency (SEA) invites principals to regional trainings to review their staff’s value-added model scores, alongside school diagnostic assessment and teacher survey data. At these trainings, principals meet with peers in similar roles and discuss ways to increase student achievement. Also, principals can sign up for an instructor-led online course or self-paced modules.

Transformation of Professional Learning

The SEA annually reports the statewide distribution of teacher effectiveness ratings for each of the six professional teaching standards. The state department also publishes results from the Teacher Working Conditions survey, which measures educator attitudes.

The SEA has engaged teachers in the piloting of student surveys and the development of Measures of Student Learning. The SEA hosted several webinars with teachers, principals, and district leaders to gather feedback on student growth measures.

The SEA adjusted its communication strategy based on teacher feedback, discontinuing the use of school-level value-added model calculations in favor of teacher-level results. Similarly, the state department has announced proposed changes that would discontinue the use of student growth measures to calculate effectiveness ratings. The state will report the student growth results to educators to drive professional growth.