D.C.'s Public School officials continue to refine the teacher evaluation system known as IMPACT since it was introduced two years ago.
Scott Thompson works on strategies to improve teacher effectiveness at DCPS. He says there have been changes to IMPACT based on feedback in the past. For example, he says they've added a component that included recognizing teacher efforts to reach out to families as part of their evaluation. They also changed how educators who don't teach tested grades are evaluated.
This year Thompson says there are almost 300 teachers who have recieved "highly effective" ratings for two years in a row. If they score high on their first two observations this school year, they can choose to be observed just twice instead of five times like everyone else. He says it's part of recognizing how good they are.
"The second reason it makes sense to free up their principals to spend more time with teachers who were in greater need of support," says Thompson. "Principals told us the first two years they wished they could spend more time with teachers who were struggling by freeing up time of doing observations with teachers who were strong. "
DCPS has also made changes to the way early childhood educators will be evaluated this year.