Teacher Evaluation and Accountability: Highlights from Around the World

Feb 18, 2016 11:00:00 AM Jessica Beidelman Education Trends

Quality teachers are lifelong learners who teach with commitment, reflect on their teaching practice and strive to continuously improve. International geographies offer different methods for evaluating teachers and ensuring accountability for high student achievement outcomes.


Ontario’s Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) System encourages professional learning and growth by fostering teacher development and identifying opportunities for additional support. Ontario's TPA system has two components: one for “new teachers” and the other for “experienced” teachers.

New teachers are defined as all teachers certified by the Ontario College of Teachers. Teachers are considered “new” until they complete the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) or until 24 months have elapsed since the date on which they first begin to teach. All teachers who have completed the NTIP are appraised as “experienced” teachers (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2010).

There are, however, some issues found in Ontario’s system. Evidence indicates that administrators give different ratings when viewing the same lesson (Gates Foundation, 2012). Another study found that many teachers feel that evaluations are based on their relationship with their administrator, as opposed to their actual teaching practice (Barnett, 2006).



In Germany, regional Ministries determine their own orientations for all aspects of teacher evaluation: people in charge of the process, the criteria for evaluation, time devoted to evaluation, the data gathering instruments and the consequences of the evaluation results. Germany does not directly link teacher evaluation results with teacher pay but links them to career progression.

Starting February 2005, many schools in the general education system of Baden Wurttemberg established self-evaluation processes. The project "EiS" (Evaluation instruments in schools) illustrates five fields of evaluation:

  • External relationships
  • School management
  • Working atmosphere in classes and the school
  • Professional teaching practice
  • Tuition

EiS provides tools and instruments for self-evaluation on a website. There are several self-reflection questionnaires for teachers regarding their own professional teaching practice, qualification and lessons. These questionnaires e.g. include statements concerning the use of innovative methods, familiarity with new findings in educational science or the engagement with children from families with a low standard of education. A four level scale for agreement or disagreement is used.



Comprehensive teacher evaluation occurs through a teacher performance evaluation system (Docentemás) that aims to improve teachers’ practice and promote continuing professional development with the ultimate goal of improving student learning. Teachers are assessed every four years, unless their previous evaluation identified poor performance.

The National System of School Performance Evaluation (Sistema Nacional de Evaluación del Desempeño de los Establecimientos Educacionales, SNED), implemented in 1996, offers monetary incentives to schools showing an outstanding performance. The system divides schools into groups so that they only compete with schools that educate similar students. The incentive is given to the top schools that educate 25% of the students in each geographical region. Each teacher then receives an incentive that is half of their monthly salary (Vegas and Umansky, 2005).

The evaluation is based on four components: a self-evaluation, a peer-evaluation, a report from supervisors and a portfolio (Manzi, 2008).


United Kingdom

The United Kingdom links teacher evaluation with student  outcomes. In the Performance Management (PM) system adopted by all schools in 2000, an annual cycle of planning, monitoring of teacher performance and review of progress has been put in place which includes observation of teachers as part of the process, using an observation system based upon the MECORS system (Reynolds, 2003).

The governors and school leadership are responsible for review of pay allocations. External evaluators are used for cases involving threshold or advanced skills teachers.

Capability procedures are conducted in alignment with Local Authority procedures and the school's regulations for ineffective teachers. The United Kingdom does not directly link teacher evaluation results with teacher pay but links them to career progression (Isore, 2009).



Barnett, J. (2006). Considering growth in teaching: Teaching perspectives on the Ontario performance appraisal. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto.

Gates Foundation. (2010). Learning about teaching: Initial findings from the measures of effective teaching project. Seattle: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Isoré, M. (2009), Teacher evaluation: Current practices in OECD countries and a literature review. OECD Education Working Papers, No. 23, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Manzi, J., Strasser, K., San Martin, E. and Contreras, D. (2008). Quality of Education in Chile. Centro de Medicion MIDE UC.

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2010). Teacher Performance Appraisal System. 

Reynolds, D., Muijs, D., Treharne, D. (2003). Teacher Evaluation and Teacher Effectiveness in the United Kingdom. School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of Exeter.

Training and Development Agency for Schools (2007b) “Professional Standards for Teachers: Why Sit Still in Your Career?” TDA, United Kingdom, 2007.

Vegas, E. & Umansky, I. (2005). Mejorar la enseñanza y el aprendizaje por medio de incentivos. ¿Qué lecciones nos entregan las reformas educativas de América Latina? Washington, DC: World Bank.