Ten Processes that Influence Educator Expertise: Criteria for Success


Ensures that pre-service educators can demonstrate through performance assessments beginner-level proficiency in the knowledge base of professional practice.

  • Educator preparation programs graduate candidates who meet the learning needs of all students for their success in life.
  • Standards for completion of teacher and administrator preparation programs are revised on a systematic, ongoing basis.


    • Preparation programs develop their candidates’ expertise in the appropriate domains of professional knowledge and skill.
    • Preparation programs provide knowledge-based standards for professional practice.
    • Preparation programs require candidates to demonstrate entry-level proficiency through performance assessments.
    • Preparation programs are rated.
    • Preparation programs are held accountable for their graduates’ effectiveness in the workplace.


Safeguards the profession by holding rigorous standards for what educators need to know and be able to do as they prepare to enter the profession.

  • Licensure ensure that educators who enter the profession are able to demonstrate entry-level proficiency in the knowledge base for professional practice.


    • Licensure system reflects the common core of professional knowledge and skills.
    • Licensure system reliably links performance assessment with performance standards and the educator’s ability to achieve results.
    • Licensure system is accessible and responsive.
    • Licensure system is aligned with the all the elements of educator preparation: recruitment, induction, professional development, and supervision and evaluation of new teachers.
    • Licensure system does not dissuade highly qualified applicants from entering the field.


Uses efficient and effective processes to find candidates who are committed to student learning and view themselves as responsible to the larger school community and the profession, as well as the individual classroom

  • The district secures candidates who are committed and qualified to meet student needs, contribute to a professional learning community, and have demonstrated the ability to provide high quality instruction in their content area that will result in high level student learning and achievement.


    • District provides a climate of supportive, collegial, and growth-oriented working conditions to attract quality candidates committed to student learning and achievement.
    • Union and management collaborate to develop hiring and placement timelines that allow districts to recruit high-quality candidates in a competitive time frame.
    • District develops a comprehensive recruitment plan that identifies field-based and research-based strategies. District taps into state and regional organizations to assist with the recruiting effort.  District collaborates with higher education institutions in the recruiting and hiring process.
    • District develops varied incentives for recruiting high-quality candidates in hard-to-staff positions.
    • District includes teacher and other stakeholder input (as appropriate) in hiring processes.
    • District ensures that beginning teachers are provided with adequate resources that allow them to succeed.  The resources are defined and include technology resources.
    • District recruiting, hiring, and placement identify and plan for candidates with potential to advance within the system to leadership positions.
    • District ensures that beginning teachers are not given an overly challenging schedule.
    • Common Core of Professional Knowledge informs the recruitment, hiring, and placement practices.
    • Placement of new teachers and administrators takes into consideration preparation and readiness.
    • District plan for new teachers and administrators professional development is in place.
    • District has identified special qualitative indicators to measure the effectiveness of district recruitment, hiring, and placement strategies.


Increases support, retention, and professional learning of new educators by attention to all aspects of good induction in educators’ first three years in the profession.

  • The district provides comprehensive, systematic supports to make the transition from novice to accomplished educator more effective and professionally rewarding.


• School district has a comprehensive Induction Plan that includes program elements, roles and responsibilities, implementation processes and time lines, and that identifies necessary tools and resources.
• All members of the district and school community share collective responsibility for contributing to novice teacher and administrator growth.
• Provision for professional growth of novice teachers and administrators is an integral part of the school district’s professional development plan for all educators.
• The induction process is informed by the Common Core of Professional Knowledge and Skills and is focused on instruction.
• Induction programs provide comprehensive support for all teachers and administrators in their first three years of practice.
• Professional development for novice teachers and administrators is specialized and developmentally appropriate.
• Programs are differentiated to address educators’ specific areas of responsibility and levels of experience.
• Induction programs are multi-faceted and include training, orientation and networking for beginning teachers, leaders, veteran teachers and administrators.
• Induction and mentoring programs are provided with the administrative supports and resources necessary.
• The selection, training, responsibilities and rewards for mentors are informed by research and are part of the district Induction Plan.
• Time for mentoring of novice teachers and administrators is an integral part of the instructional day and provides opportunities for observation, consultation and reflection.
• The district Induction Plan includes a process for collecting program data and conducting ongoing formative evaluation and regular summative evaluation of program effectiveness.


Provides systematic access to professional knowledge for teachers and administrators at all career stages.

  • The district provides data-driven, sustained learning opportunities aligned with the common core of professional knowledge and skills for educators at all stages in their careers.


• District has a comprehensive plan for providing educators with systematic access to all domains of the Common Core of Professional Knowledge and Skills.
• Professional development provides substantive learning of content and pedagogy through sustained, ongoing experiences.
• Professional development takes place in a variety of formats (workshops, courses, coaching, mentoring, critical friends groups, lesson studies, professional improvement partnerships, and others).
• Professional development is structured to meet the varying experience, needs, and content of teachers and administrators.
• Multiple measures of student performance drive and inform professional development.
• Teachers and administrators collaboratively plan professional development.
• Professional development aligns district-wide and individual school priorities.
• District uses qualitative and quantitative indicators to assess the impact of professional development on teaching excellence and student achievement.
• Professional development resources and allocated funds are used solely for professional development services.


Maintain high, minimum standards of performance (evaluation) and provide frequent high quality feedback.

  • The district provides frequent, on-going high-quality feedback focused on professional growth.
  •  to maintain high standards of performance aligned with the Common Core of Professional Knowledge and Skills


• The district promotes a culture of continuous improvement [see “Workplace Environment” for more on growth-oriented adult culture] through a combination of formal evaluations and ongoing, informal instructional feedback. Reflection, self-assessment, and self-improvement are designed into the evaluation system for all teachers.
• Teachers who have not attained professional status have annual evaluation. Teachers who have attained professional status engage in continuous Professional Growth Cycles that incorporate formal evaluations as required by state law. Each teacher, however, receives frequent substantive interaction with knowledgeable observers every year, regardless of the formal evaluation cycle.
• Teachers whose performance does not meet standards are placed in intensive support as described below.
• The district identifies a variety of strategies for supporting and developing under-performing educators for one year of intensive remediation. Identified personnel in each district have adequate time for in-class observation and coaching of under-performing teachers.
• After one year of intensive support, educators who do not meet evaluation criteria may be dismissed. The process for notification of less-than-satisfactory status is spelled out in the evaluation handbook, as is the process for creating the remediation plan, the steps the teacher needs to take, the role of the teacher in his/her own improvement, the role of peers, as well as the specifications of who will be involved in intensive support, who will document teacher progress, and how the final decision will be made in a fair way.
• Educators are evaluated in alignment with the Common Core of Professional Knowledge and Skills.
• The evaluation instrument of the district provides for comment and feedback to teachers on the full range of roles, responsibilities, and skills of professional teaching including Relations with Parent and Community, Contributing Member of the Staff, Performance of Routine Business and Duties and one’s Own Professional Growth.
• Evaluations incorporate multiple sources of data and use student results in a reasonable and responsible way.
• Evaluation responsibilities of a school are organized to ensure that the personnel case-load for each evaluator is reasonable and effective.
• The district provides evaluators with extensive professional development and support to ensure compatibility and congruence with one another, proficiency in observing and analyzing instruction, and skill at communicating instructional feedback. Evaluator professional development is provided each year to those new to the evaluator role, and periodic updates are conducted for all personnel.
• Evaluators pass a rigorous performance assessment to certify their capacity to evaluate in relation to the Common Core of Professional Knowledge. This assessment certifies they can collect observational and other data on key aspects of planning, interactive teaching, classroom management, and motivation of students. Evaluators are assessed on their ability to evaluate their teachers. This evaluation includes feedback to evaluators on their ability to capture data on salient teaching events and on their ability to produce evaluations that are well-written and evidence-based.


Relicensure monitors the profession to ensure that practitioners continually hone their craft and work towards mastery in each domain of the knowledge base.


• Relicensure requirements assess educators’ increased mastery of the common core of professional knowledge and skill.


Provides leadership and mentoring opportunities for teachers that build collective teaching proficiency in specified areas of knowledge and skill and provide talented educators the opportunities to assume additional responsibilities without leaving teaching.

  •  The district utilizes the expertise of teachers to enhance student learning by creating new roles and career opportunities for exemplary teachers to have responsibility for instructional leadership. For example: data coach, curriculum leader, instructional specialist


• District has identified, defined and developed teacher leadership roles with the highest leverage for improving student outcomes in the local context.
• District has a plan for how teacher leaders will be utilized and implemented.  It provides a clear job description for each role which focuses teacher leadership on instructional improvement (rather than functions such as coordination of testing, or direct services to students).
• Support structures, professional development and schedules enable teacher leaders to have the same regular opportunities with colleagues to collaborate.
• Leadership teams at the school and district level allow teachers and administrators to collaborate and share decision-making. Teacher-leaders’ roles, administrator roles, and leadership team functions are well-defined to enable those purposes.
• District has established a process for identifying, recruiting, training, and supporting teacher leaders.
• Union and management have collaborated to determine compensation for new roles.
• Support structures, and operating relationships (e..g. between coach and principal) are clearly defined for maximum effectiveness.
• The district has identified qualitative and quantitative indicators and evaluation processes that evaluate the effectiveness of teacher leaders in relation to their defined roles and student outcomes.
• The Common Core of Professional Knowledge informs teacher leadership practice.


Develops and nurtures internal mechanisms for ongoing team learning and the growth of professional community.

  • The superintendent at the district level and the principal at the school level ensure that organizational structures are in place to support teaching and learning elements such as common formative assessment practices; well-articulated and aligned curricula; standards; adequate resources; adequate time to meet, collaborate and communicate; learner-centered schedules and communication protocols.


• School-day and school-year calendars provide ample time for instruction and ample time for teachers to engage in ongoing professional growth with colleagues who share content and/or students.
• District has multiple vehicles to support ongoing communication with families with diverse cultures, linguistic backgrounds, and needs.
• District uses data in meaningful ways to help educators improve instruction.
• Educators have access to clear, consistent, standards-based curriculum, pacing, guides, assessments, and materials.


Cultivates a professional work place characterized by honest, open communication, continuous improvement, joint responsibility for student learning, and data-based decision making.

  • The superintendent at the district level and the principal at the school level ensure there is an articulated set of core values that drive behavior and decisions as well as an organizational culture that supports open and honest communication, continuous professional improvement, data-based decision-making, and joint responsibility for student learning and achievement.


• District and schools actively involve teachers, families, and other stakeholders (as appropriate) in decision-making.
• Teachers regularly engage in instructional conversations, peer observations, collaborative planning, and ongoing collegial support.
• District and schools are characterized by a climate of shared responsibility for continuous improvement.
• Data are continuously examined and analyzed to guide instructional decision-making.
• District and school culture is characterized by trust and willingness to discuss “undiscussable” issues.
• Superintendents and principals are evaluated on their ability to build a workplace culture of non-defensive examination of teaching practice and leadership practice in relation to student results.
• Superintendents and principals receive professional development to enhance this capacity.

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