What is TPEP?

TPEP stands for the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Project. Washington state recently passed legislation requiring school districts to implement a new evaluation system for all teachers and principals beginning in 2013-14.  This new system is intended to provide consistent, meaningful feedback to educators that will more effectively promote continuous professional growth.

Why is the Bellingham School District focusing on TPEP now? 

We are engaged in this specific work now to meet the deadlines included in the new state law. Our schools are fortunate to have a strong cadre of staff at all levels and we believe all employees deserve to have meaningful opportunities to reflect on and improve their work. We appreciate the new evaluation system’s emphasis on professional growth, rather than simple compliance, and believe it is in alignment with The Bellingham Promise of providing great teaching with strong support.

Where are we in the process?

We have formed a committee that will help guide our transition to the new evaluation system.  The Teacher and Principal Evaluation Project (TPEP) Advisory Committee consists of more than 30 members including students, parents, labor association leaders, and staff representing 22 schools and central services. The specific purpose of the committee is to learn about and facilitate communication regarding the new state-mandated teacher and principal evaluation system with stakeholders throughout the system.

The TPEP Advisory Committee met on Oct. 24 and reviewed the legislation related to the new teacher and principal evaluation system. There are many decisions that have already been made by the state. These include:

  • Eight new evaluation criteria for teachers and principals
  • Four-tiered rating system instead of the existing two-tiered system
  • All school districts in Washington state using the new evaluation system for certificated staff and principals in 2013-14, with full implementation by 2015-16

There are also several decisions that have not yet been made.  The advisory committee is currently learning more about the following:

  • The 3 state-determined instructional frameworks from which our district will choose
  • The 2 state-determined leadership frameworks from which our district will choose
  • How our district will facilitate training and development of staff regarding the instructional and leadership frameworks as well as the new evaluation criteria and evaluation process

The term “framework” refers to a detailed description of what high quality instruction and leadership look like.  Click here for more information on the frameworks that have been approved by the state.

Next Steps

Between now and the second TPEP Advisory Committee meeting on Nov. 14, committee members will share this information with their respective constituent groups — students, parents, teachers, and administrators.  At our meeting on Nov. 14, we will learn more about the three instructional frameworks and work toward determining which framework is most appropriate for our context in Bellingham.

This committee is providing input to a smaller, collaborative Work Group of teachers, labor association leaders, principals and central services staff.  This Work Group will use the Advisory Committee’s input to form a recommendation to the superintendent regarding the selection of an instructional framework, most likely before Thanksgiving. The Advisory Committee and Work Group will continue to meet throughout the year and will continue to keep district staff well-informed throughout this process.

More Information

Washington State Teacher/Principal Evaluation Pilot

Northwest Educational Service District Teacher Principal Evaluation Project Regional Implementation Grant (TPEP-RIG)

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