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Annual Evaluations – Are they the best method?

January 3, 2014


A November article in the New York Times titled, “Invasion of the Annual Reviews” looks at the issue of employee evaluations from a business perspective, however, it has implications for education as well.  Teacher and administrator evaluations have been a hot topic in Saline and across Michigan (the entire country really) as new legislation was enacted to rate certified staff in one of four areas – High Effective, Effective, Minimally Effective and Ineffective.  While there is not a forced ranking process as outlined in the article, it was implied in the spirit of the legislation.

The article states that an improvement would be to focus on regular feedback for the majority of employees, while those in line for a promotion or those who are underperforming.  This is an interesting approach and one that would allow evaluators to focus their attention where it’s needed most.

Stanford Professor Robert Sutton noted,

“If performance evaluations were a drug, they would not receive F.D.A. approval,” he said, because “they have so many side effects, and so often they fail.”

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