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Related Topics

Linking Teacher Evaluation and Student Learning

by Pamela D. Tucker and James H. Stronge

Table of Contents

Chapter 5. Assessing Teacher Quality Through Goal-Setting: The Alexandria, Virginia, School District

by Melissa McBride and Mason Miller

Goals determine what you are going to be.
—Julius Irving

In 2000, the Alexandria City Public School system implemented the Performance Evaluation Program (PEP), a comprehensive teacher evaluation system with four components: formal observations, informal observations, teacher portfolios, and academic goal-setting. The decision to design a new evaluation system drawn from multiple data sources was driven by the call for accountability within the Commonwealth of Virginia and by the desire to paint an “authentic portrait” of the complex nature of teaching. PEP seeks to link teacher evaluation to student achievement via the academic goal-setting component, which requires teachers to set annual quantifiable goals related to their students' progress. Throughout the school year, goals are reviewed by PEP specialists and administrators. Similar to the Thompson School District evaluation model, the Alexandria City Public School district endeavors to answer the call for accountability via the connection of teacher evaluation and professional development with the goal of increased student learning, which is described in the next chapter. Since its inception in 2000, only 9 of the 18 schools have fully implemented all components of the program. Although full, district-wide implementation of the PEP will not occur until the start of the 2004–05 school year, all schools have been involved in the academic goal-setting component of PEP since the autumn of 2003.

A Brief Description of the Alexandria City School District

Alexandria, Virginia, is a seaport city located within the greater metropolitan area of Washington, D.C. Regarded as a smaller school district within the Commonwealth of Virginia, the school system is comprised of 18 K–12 schools and serves approximately 11,000 students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Student demographics as of September 30, 2003 were as follows:

• Black

43.00 percent

• Hispanic

27.00 percent

• White

23.02 percent

• Asian/Pacific Islander

6.70 percent

• American Indian/Alaskan Native

0.30 percent

Eighty-eight countries of origin are represented and 69 different languages are spoken in Alexandria's classrooms.1  Roughly 25 percent of the total student population (approximately 2,625 students) has been identified as Limited English Proficient (ESL students).2  Fifty-one percent (5,493 students) of Alexandria public school students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch meals.3  Over 50 percent of the student body is considered “at-risk” and require additional services. In addition, approximately 15 percent (1,641 students) are eligible for special services.4  In light of these major challenges to student learning, the Alexandria City Public School system dedicates 85 percent of its budget (approx. $123,094,863) to instruction and instructional support.5 

Alexandria is a technology-rich school district with a student-to-computer ratio of 3:1,6  far exceeding the Commonwealth of Virginia's student-to-computer ratio of 6:1. The average teacher salary is greater than the state mean, $54,224 versus $41,731 respectively.7  Average classroom size ranges between 20 and 23 students.8  Above all, Alexandria City Public School educators are passionate about their students' success.

What Are the Purposes of the Assessment System and How Was It Developed?

Influenced by the intensifying “call for tangible evidence of student learning”9  within the Commonwealth of Virginia and nationally, the Alexandria school board initially was interested in developing a merit pay system that integrated some measure of student achievement. However, the use of student achievement data in teacher appraisal systems remains controversial.10  Many within the district feared that implementing a merit pay system would polarize the educational community. “We did not want this to be an evaluation system that was an ‘I gotcha!’ We wanted it to be a system that really promoted professional growth.”11  Although teachers and administrators were somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of using measures of student learning in the evaluation process, they perceived this as a challenge they needed to embrace.

Designing the new evaluation program was a collaborative effort among several internal stakeholders within the Alexandria school district: teachers and principals ranging from the elementary to the secondary levels of education, and central office administrators who worked with James H. Stronge as a consultant for the development process. The new performance assessment process is based on the Goals and Roles Evaluation Model,12  a six-step approach to performance assessment. The development team reviewed, and in some instances adapted, evaluation materials from 11 public school divisions within the Commonwealth of Virginia and one school in Michigan. A complete listing of these school divisions is provided in Appendix E.

Adhering to the advice of researchers in the field that student data be used “as only one component of a teacher evaluation system that is based on multiple data sources,”13  the architects of the Alexandria system strove to build one that was comprehensive and recognized the complexities of teaching. Five main data sources were chosen: formal observations, informal observations, portfolios, goal-setting, and student achievement. Definitions of each data source are presented in Figure 5.1. The designers felt that an “authentic portrait of the teacher's work”14  would be painted by these multiple data sources. It is the first two data sources, goal-setting and student achievement, on which this chapter is focused. The purpose of academic goal-setting is to

  • Establish a positive correlation between the quality of teaching and learning,
  • Make instructional decisions based upon student data,
  • Create a mechanism for school improvement, and
  • Increase effectiveness of instruction via continuous professional growth.

Conversely, the purpose of academic goal-setting is not to

  • Replace classroom observations or other means of documenting performance or
  • Be utilized as the sole measure of teacher effectiveness.

Additionally, it is important to understand that Alexandria's academic goal-setting process is not the creation of a teacher's personal or professional goals (e.g., “I plan to improve instruction through . . . ,” or “I plan to complete a master's degree.”). Rather, the academic goal-setting process is explicitly focused on student academic progress:

  1. Where are students in terms of academic progress at the beginning of the school year?
  2. What am I planning to do to help this group of students succeed this year?
  3. Where are the students at mid-year?
  4. Where are students, in terms of academic progress, at the end of the school year?
  5. How much progress did the students make?

Thus, in a very direct sense, the Alexandria City Public School Performance Evaluation Program incorporates a value-added approach to student learning that can be applied to teachers at various grade levels and in different subjects.

Figure 5.1. Definitions of Main Data Sources

Data Source



Teachers have a definite impact on student learning and academic performance. Depending on grade level, content area, and ability level, appropriate measures of student performance are identified to provide information on the learning gains of students. Performance measures include standardized test results as well as other pertinent data.

Student Achievement

Teachers set goals for improving student achievement based on appropriate performance measures. The goals and the goal fulfillment are important data sources for evaluation.

Formal Observations

Observations are an important source of performance information. Formal observations focus directly on 17 teacher performance responsibilities (see page 59). Classroom observations may also include review of teacher products or artifacts.

Informal Observations

Informal observations are intended to provide more frequent information on a wider variety of contributions made by the teacher. Evaluators are encouraged to conduct informal observations by visiting classrooms, observing instruction, and observing work in non-classroom settings at various times.


The portfolio includes artifacts that provide documentation for the 17 performance responsibilities.

Source: Reprinted with permission from Alexandria City Public Schools.

How Does the Assessment System Work?

As noted earlier, academic goal-setting is one of five components in the PEP. The other components are (1) student achievement, (2) formal observations, (3) informal observations, and (4) teacher portfolios. In recent years, substantial research has indicated that teacher effectiveness is the strongest school-based predictor of student achievement.15  To better understand the goal-setting component of PEP and how it relates to evaluating teacher effectiveness, it is imperative to outline the guiding principles of the Alexandria teacher evaluation system.

Adapting Stronge's Goals and Roles Evaluation Model,16  the Alexandria PEP examines teacher performance via a three-tiered approach (Figure 5.2). Five general domains, or categories, provide a conceptual framework: instruction, assessment, learning environment, communications and community relations, and professionalism. A table defining each of the teacher performance domains is provided in Appendix E. The following example is the definition of the Assessment domain:

This domain includes the processes of gathering, reporting, and using a variety of data in a consistent manner to measure achievement, plan instruction, and improve student performance.17 
A total of 17 performance responsibilities exist for teachers; a listing of these within their respective domains is provided in Appendix E. The following is an example of a performance responsibility within the Assessment domain:
Performance Responsibility A-3: The teacher provides ongoing and timely feedback to encourage student progress.18 
Performance indicators have been developed for each performance responsibility and are used to identify observable behaviors of the major job expectations. The lists of sample behaviors are not exhaustive, but they illustrate the typical actions that indicate satisfactory implementation of a performance responsibility. Examples of performance indicators for Performance Responsibility A-3 follow, in which the teacher
  • Gives performance feedback to students before, during, and after instruction,
  • Collects sufficient assessment data to support accurate reports of student progress, and
  • Provides opportunities for students to assess their own progress and performance.

Figure 5.2. Three-Tiered Teacher Evaluation Approach

Source: Reprinted with permission from Alexandria City Public Schools.

Data are collected through observation, portfolio review, goal-setting, and student performance measures to provide the most comprehensive and accurate feedback on teacher performance. Evaluators use two tools to complete teachers' summative evaluations: the performance indicators and the performance rubric. The performance rubric is based upon a behavioral summary scale. It guides evaluators in an effort to increase inter-rater reliability (the consistency of ratings by different supervisors). The rubric is a four-level continuum that ranges from “exceeds expectations” to “unsatisfactory.”

What Are the Student Assessment Strategies?

Student performance measures are vital to the goal-setting process. Teachers can use gathered student information as evidence of fulfilling a specific responsibility. Teachers have a variety of measures for gauging student progress. To accommodate the wide variety of learners, all three of the following criteria are considered when selecting appropriate measures of learning: grade level, content area, and ability level of students. The focus is to select student assessment measures that are closely aligned with the curriculum. The following is a list of assessment strategies and examples of data sources to be used for the documentation of student learning:

  • Norm-referenced tests (e.g., Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test [SDRT4])
  • Criterion-referenced tests (e.g., Phonemic Awareness Literacy Screening [PALS])
  • Authentic assessments (e.g., portfolios, projects, writing assessments)
  • In-house tests (e.g., district-wide quarterly tests, teacher-made tests)
  • Standards-based assessments (e.g., Virginia Standards of Learning [SOL])

How Is the Assessment System Related to Teacher Evaluation?

Virginia state law requires that the performance evaluation of instructional personnel include measures of student academic progress:

School boards shall develop a procedure for use by division superintendents and principals in evaluating instructional personnel that is appropriate to the tasks performed and addresses, among other things, student academic progress and the skills and knowledge of instructional personnel, including, but not limited to, instructional methodology, classroom management, and subject matter knowledge. (§22.1–295)19 
Although academic goal-setting is not mandatory, it is one reasonable method of satisfying the Commonwealth's requirement. In the goal-setting process, teachers must link their goals to one or more of the 17 teacher responsibilities. At the beginning of each school year, tenured and nontenured teachers collaborate with administrators and PEP specialists to develop at least one goal for improving student learning. In order to define annual goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound), teachers first do the following:
  • Collect and review student and teacher evaluation data.
  • Analyze the data selected to determine student and professional needs.
  • Interpret the data looking for patterns or areas of weakness.
  • Determine the areas of need based upon these concrete data sources.
  • Select a focus for the goals.

Data that are collected and reviewed include student test results, previous teacher evaluations, and teacher portfolios. Teachers and PEP specialists work together to identify areas of student performance and instruction that require improvement. Once patterns are identified, teachers select areas that they would like to improve for both themselves and their students. Again, this determination is based upon concrete data sources. The overarching purpose of these steps is to identify and define a baseline of performance for teachers and their students. The actual development of goals involves the following steps:

  1. Define a clear objective.
    • Use a specific assessment strategy or type of performance.
    • Set a measurable target (e.g., percent, number correct).
  2. Select assessment strategies that are aligned with the goal.
    • Collect data before and after instruction (if possible).
    • Use multiple measures of student learning to analyze and verify results.
  3. End-of-the-Year Review
    • Make adjustments where appropriate (e.g., instruction, groupings).

Annual goals are customized for each teacher and include specific information in order to accommodate the context in which teaching and learning occur, thereby enabling the evaluator to make a more appropriate assessment of the teacher's performance. Goals include the following information:

  • Demographic information about the teacher (e.g., content area, grade level, school).
  • Baseline information about the students (e.g., pre-test scores, attendance records, standardized test scores, gifted, at-risk).
  • Goal statement describing desired results.
  • Strategies that have been selected to accomplish the goal.
  • Progress report at mid-year or at other appropriate intervals.
  • Summary of end-of-year accomplishments.20 

The following examples are provided to assist the reader in visualizing the design of an annual goal. Figure 5.3 is one form teachers may use to document a goal. Teachers complete these forms in collaboration with the PEP specialist. Figure 5.4 is an example of an actual annual goal.

Figure 5.3. Sample Goal-Setting Form

Alexandria City Public Schools

Teacher Annual Goals for Improving Student Achievement

Teacher ______________________________


Grade/Subject ________________________

School Year _______________________


Setting[Describe the population and special learning circumstances.]

Content Area[The area/topic I will address (e.g., reading instruction, long division, problem solving).]

Baseline Data[Where I am now (e.g., status at beginning of year).]

Goal Statement[What I want to accomplish this year (i.e., my desired results).]

Strategies for Improvement[Activities I will use to accomplish my goal.]


Evaluator's Signature/Date


Teacher's Signature/Date

End-of-Year Data and Results[Accomplishments by year-end.]

Source: Reprinted with permission from Alexandria City Public Schools.

Figure 5.4. Example of Completed Goal-Setting Form

Teacher Annual Goals for Improving Student Achievement

TeacherBlaise Pascal

EvaluatorMrs. Humane

Grade/Subject9 Algebra I

School Year2002–2003

SchoolJames Madison H.S.

Setting[Describe the population and special learning circumstances.]

James Madison High School is located in an urban setting and has an enrollment of 1,920 students in grades 9–12 with an average daily attendance of 91 percent and a Free/Reduced Lunch rate of 40 percent. In 2001–02, 37 percent of the students passed the end-of-course SOL Algebra I test (compared to 27 percent in 2000–01).

Content Area[The area/topic I will address (e.g., reading instruction, long division, problem solving).] Instruction — Algebra I

Baseline Data[Where I am now (e.g., status at beginning of year).]

Test results in 2002–03 indicate that the total math average gain for my five classes is 10.54 compared to the division norm of 15.6, the problem-solving gain is 9.6 compared to the division norm of 17.4, and the procedures gain is 11.96 compared to 13.8. Overall, my classes are near the division norm for procedures but are low in problem solving, which reduces the total math results.

Goal Statement[What I want to accomplish this year (i.e., my desired results).]

I will meet or exceed division norms for the total average math gain in my five classes using the Tests for Accountability. I will show an improvement of 4 points average gain or more in the problem-solving subscale scores on the same test.

Strategies for Improvement[Activities I will use to accomplish my goal.]

I will work with the mentor teacher and math department chair to infuse more problem-solving activities in my lesson plans, along with supportive instructional strategies such as cooperative work groups, use of manipulatives, and student explanations of the problems. I will ask the mentor teacher to work closely with me and offer demonstration lessons, team-teaching opportunities, and opportunities to visit other Algebra I classrooms.


Evaluator's Signature/Date


Teacher's Signature/Date

End-of-Year Data and Results[Accomplishments by year-end.]

Source: Reprinted with permission from Alexandria City Public Schools.

Teachers are encouraged to organize and display their students' academic progress by using the following sources:

  • Tables of raw student data by class and their assessment scores.
  • Tables of compiled data (e.g., percent of students at a certain benchmark, such as proficiency level).
  • Graphs of compiled data (e.g., pie charts, stacked graphs).
  • Simultaneous graphing of multiple measures (e.g., a mix of various standardized measures).

Staff Development

The design of the Performance Evaluation Program emphasizes both formative and summative aspects of evaluation. In particular, the goal-setting component relies on continuous feedback and staff development that complements the teachers' annual goals. PEP specialists play an important role in this program, working with teachers to design goals based upon student data and assisting in the selection of appropriate instructional strategies to achieve these goals. PEP specialists also provide continuous support and lead staff training on various aspects of the goal-setting process throughout the year, which is necessary to ensure that student data are appropriately used and interpreted.


The goal-setting process is just one component of the PEP; no adverse personnel decisions are based solely on the failure of teachers to achieve their annual goals. Teacher evaluation is no longer something that is “done to them,” such as a 10-minute observation. Instead, the architects designed it to be a collaborative effort among teachers, evaluators, and PEP specialists. Regarding the goal-setting process specifically, teachers are empowered to determine the selection of their own goals and student assessment measures. The intention is to provide professional development and support to improve the effectiveness of instruction. “There has been personnel interaction[based on goal-setting], but not action.”21 

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Assessment System?

In determining the advantages and disadvantages of the student achievement academic goal-setting component of Alexandria's PEP program, interviews were conducted with central office administrators, instructional specialists, principals, and teachers, and the relevant information was incorporated.


The advantages cited focused primarily on the reflective and collaborative aspects of the goal-setting process:

  • Encourages teacher reflection and data-driven decision making. “It makes you reflect on your practice and how to come up with better ways to do things.”22  “Importance is placed on how the strategies come to life in the classroom context.”23  “Instead of just looking at scores, we look (now) at test questions. So, now my goals are related to more specific content areas that I want to improve.”24 
  • Fosters teacher collaboration and collegiality. “We are discussing it a lot more amongst ourselves. Our PEP specialist had us go around and talk about our individual goals. It was really helpful to hear what somebody else was doing, and we could offer up suggestions.”25  “I think the biggest thing that has changed my style of teaching is the people I am working with. I have learned so much from this one teacher in particular. We work together, brainstorm together, to come up with ways to accomplish our goals.”26 
  • PEP specialists assist evaluators and serve as instructional leaders. “Our PEP specialist has been really great in trying to explain the whole process, and making it more of our goal, looking at our data.”27  “She [the PEP specialist] did an excellent staff development on goal-setting this year and has conferenced often with lots of teachers to improve instruction.”28 
  • Process enables teachers to be active participants in their evaluation. “Teachers can take ownership of what they write. They don't have to write a goal based on something that someone is mandating.”29 
  • Emphasizes formative as well as summative evaluation. “We definitely get an opportunity to suggest through the entire PEP process that there are certain workshops that certain people should attend. We really get a huge opportunity to suggest appropriate staff development.”30 


Disadvantages focused on the time demands of academic goal-setting and implementation issues:

  • Can be time-consuming. “The biggest disadvantage is finding the time to have conversations about the actual work of making the goal happen and meeting with teachers to discuss strategies.”31  “The obstacles are time for administrators, time for teachers; there's never enough time in a day.”32  “If teachers are to engage in the tough work of instructional improvement, the school must organize for it.”33  Goal-setting encourages reflective practice, but time needs to be allocated for it to take place.
  • Student data may be misused or misinterpreted. “They have us using different children's data to set goals. At the beginning of the year we looked at last year's group's SOL scores. It's helpful in that we can see what we taught well and what we need to improve on, but I think that another piece is that we have to look at data from the group of kids coming to us because they might be weak in other areas.”34  It is critical that schools develop data management systems for making assessment results readily available for teachers to use, both for analyzing student learning patterns from the previous year and identifying the learning needs of incoming students. Even more optimal would be the development of benchmarking tests that some school systems are now beginning to use.35 
  • Evaluating teachers based on student academic progress can be threatening and increase stress. “I think part of the fear is that goal-setting and teacher evaluations are going to be linked just to standardized tests. If they did that, then I would not agree with it. I wouldn't want to see standardized test scores be the only measure of my competence as a teacher.”36  Teachers need to be supported in the process of developing goals and have a sense of trust in the constructive purposes of goal-setting.
  • Effectiveness is contingent upon well-trained, accessible PEP specialists. “You have to have PEP specialists who are qualified, get involved, and know what they are doing in order to do an effective job.”37  “You have to have a PEP specialist who is capable of making sure that teachers understand the importance of the process to their overall teaching assignment.”38 

What Are the Results of Implementation?

Because academic goal-setting is a work-in-progress for the Alexandria City Public Schools, only preliminary results for this initiative are available at present. At this point, we do know there is a substantial research base for this approach, with its heavy emphasis on identifying the instructional needs of students and focusing teacher effort on these areas.

What Research Supports a Process Such as Academic Goal-Setting?

Academic goal-setting is closely linked to mastery-learning practices (feedback-corrective teaching), which entails

  • Giving students formative tests for the purposes of feedback,
  • Providing corrective instructional procedures, and
  • Administering additional formative tests to determine the extent to which students have mastered the subject content.

In fact, solid evidence indicates that formative assessment is an essential component to classroom work that can raise student achievement.39 

Researchers such as Benjamin Bloom have found that students taught under mastery learning achieve, on average, approximately a 1.0 standard deviation above the average of students in conventionally taught classrooms (e.g., 84th percentile vs. 50th percentile).40 

Academic goal-setting also is linked to enhancing the students' initial cognitive entry prerequisites, which entails

  • Developing an initial skills assessment of prerequisites for a course,
  • Administering the assessment to students at the beginning of a course, and
  • Teaching students specific prerequisites they lack.

Research indicates that, on average, students that are taught the entry prerequisite skills achieve approximately a .7 standard deviation above the average of students in conventionally-taught classrooms (e.g., 76th percentile vs. 50th percentile).41 

Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock, in their research into research-based strategies for increasing student achievement, reported studies showing percentile gains in student achievement ranging from 18 to 41.42  Additionally, they drew the following three conclusions from the research on goal-setting:

  1. Instructional goals narrow what students focus on. Therefore, while students generally score higher on the instruction related to the specific academic goal, they likely would score lower (about 8 percentage points) on information that is incidental to the goal, but still covered in the class.
  2. Instructional goals should not be too specific. In other words, instructional goals stated in behavioral objective format do not produce student learning gains as high as instructional goals stated in more general formats.
  3. Students should be encouraged to personalize the teacher's goals. Once classroom academic goals are set, students should be encouraged to customize them to fit their personal needs.43 

Early Perceptions About Academic Goal-Setting

Although it is not possible to present tangible results of the goal-setting process, interviews with internal stakeholders within the Alexandria public school community provided feedback on the perceptions among teachers and administrators (including central office administrators, principals, and program specialists) of academic goal-setting as a component of the teacher evaluation process.

One observation multiple people supported was the pivotal role of the PEP specialists. Simply put, PEP specialists were considered the keystone of the goal-setting process. They were the decisive element in determining whether or not a teacher or administrator felt this program added value to professional development and student learning. Extensive training is necessary to enhance the effectiveness of the specialists because they are responsible for a wide variety of tasks, including staff development regarding instructional strategies, training of teachers in how to appropriately use and interpret student data, and providing continuous support to teachers. The specialists also need to be readily available to assist teachers. Ideally, a PEP specialist should be housed at each school to enhance the effectiveness of the goal-setting process.

Administrator Perceptions

Administrators note that the goal-setting process is helpful and enables them to identify where teachers require instructional assistance, but acknowledge that the process can increase stress and workloads for teachers. They perceive goal-setting to be an important complement to the other components of the evaluation system that include observation and teacher portfolios. They also view the process as a fair one that places responsibility for success upon the teachers' shoulders. Overall, administrators believe that the goal-setting component of the evaluation process has a significant impact upon teacher instruction and student academic progress.

Teacher Perceptions

Like the administrators, teachers report that the goal-setting process does help them focus on their students' instructional needs more clearly and adjust instruction accordingly. They also note that the process can increase their stress levels and workloads. Teachers view the goal-setting process as fair as long as the focus remains on professional development and student academic growth. And again like the administrators, teachers believe goal-setting is an important component of the evaluation process, but should be balanced by other elements in the system.


Although still in its infancy, it is apparent that the Alexandria City Public School system's goal-setting process has the potential to transform how teachers plan and deliver instruction. The assistant superintendent reports that the school system is seeing “a paradigm shift in how teachers and evaluators think about evaluation.”44  We believe the Alexandria public school goal-setting process provides a reasonable way to connect student academic performance and the teacher. Academic goal-setting is linked to mastery learning practices and initial cognitive entry prerequisites, which have been shown to increase student achievement. While goal-setting is only one facet of the comprehensive teacher Performance Evaluation Program, the focus of the overall system is improving the quality of instruction. As reported by Alexandria public school teachers and administrators, the goal-setting process fosters teacher reflection and collegiality, and encourages a collaborative approach to teacher evaluation. Finally, the process encourages teachers to focus on their students' learning needs and make data-driven decisions based upon student data. As one administrator eloquently stated, “The goal really gives us something to shoot for. If we don't get there . . . well, it's kind of like shooting for the stars and landing on the moon. We are moving in a much more positive direction.”45 


1  Alexandria City Public Schools. (2003a). Fast facts: Alexandria City Public Schools at a glance. Retrieved February 15, 2004, from

2  Alexandria City Public Schools. (2003b). Proposed operating budget FY 2005: Special needs enrollment. Retrieved February 15, 2004.

3  Alexandria City Public Schools. (2003c). ACPS food and nutritional services. Retrieved February 15, 2004, from

4  Alexandria City Public Schools, 2003a.

5  Alexandria City Public Schools. (2003d). About ACPS. Retrieved February 15, 2004, from

6  Alexandria City Public Schools, 2003a.

7  Alexandria City Public Schools. (2003a); Virginia Department of Education. (2003). Summary FY 2003: Increases in classroom teacher salaries. Retrieved February 25, 2004, from

8  Alexandria City Public Schools, 2003a.

9  Wilkerson, D., Manatt, R., Rogers, M., & Maughan, R. (2000). Validation of student, principal, and self-ratings in 360-degree feedback for teacher evaluation. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 14(2), 179–192.

10  Wright, S., Horn, S., & Sanders, W. (1997). Teacher and classroom context effects on student achievement: Implications for teacher evaluation. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 1(11), 57–67.

11  Administrator A, personal communication, October 30, 2003.

12  Stronge, J. H. (1997). Improving schools through teacher evaluation. In J. H. Stronge (Ed.), Evaluating teaching: A guide to current thinking and best practice (pp. 1–23). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

13  Stronge, J., & Tucker, P. (2000). Teacher evaluation and student achievement. Washington, DC: National Education Association, p.53.

14  Alexandria City Public Schools. (2000a). Teacher evaluation technical manual. Alexandria, VA: Author, p. 8.

15  Wright et al., 1997.

16  Stronge, 1997.

17  Alexandria City Public Schools, 2000a, p. 28.

18  Alexandria City Public Schools, 2000a, p. 31.

19  Virginia State Department of Education. (2000). Virginia school laws. Charlottesville, VA: The Michie Company.

20  Alexandria City Public Schools. (2000b). Academic goal-setting. Alexandria, VA: Author, p. 53.

21  Administrator E, personal communication, December 3, 2003.

22  Teacher B, personal communication, November 25, 2003.

23  Administrator B, personal communication, October 30, 2003.

24  Teacher A, personal communication, November 25, 2003.

25  Teacher E, personal communication, December 3, 2003.

26  Teacher B, personal communication, November 25, 2003.

27  Teacher F, personal communication, December 3, 2003.

28  Teacher E, personal communication, December 3, 2003.

29  Administrator C, personal communication, October 30, 2003.

30  Administrator E, personal communication, December 3, 2003.

31  Administrator C, personal communication, October 30, 2003.

32  Teacher F, personal communication, December 3, 2003.

33  Little, J., Gearhart, M., Curry, M., & Kafka, J. (2003). Looking at student work for teacher learning, teacher community, and school reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 85(3), 185–192.

34  Teacher B, personal communication, November 25, 2003.

35  Carey, K. (2004). The real value of teachers: Using new information about teacher effectiveness to close the achievement gap. Thinking K–16, 8(1), p. 6.

36  Teacher B, personal communication, November 25, 2003.

37  Teacher E, personal communication, December 3, 2003.

38  Administrator E, Personal communication, December 3, 2003.

39  Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, 80, 139–148.

40  Bloom, B. S. (1984). The search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational Leadership, 41(8), 4–17.

41  Walberg, H. J. (1984). Improving the productivity of America's schools. Educational Leadership, 41(8), 19–27.

42  Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

43  Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001, pp. 94–95.

44  Lois Berlin, personal communication, March 10, 2004.

45  Administrator E, personal communication, December 3, 2003.


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