ERIC Number: ED240661
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Webb, L. Dean
Legal Memorandum, Dec 1983
A growing emphasis on teacher accountability, coupled with declining enrollments and reduced revenues, has increased the importance of teacher evaluations as a basis for staffing decisions, even though there is no clear definition of teacher effectiveness. Accordingly, legal standards are provided for the procedural and substantive issues of due process that have arisen in connection with teacher evaluation. State courts have upheld decisions requiring (1) deadlines for completing evaluations, (2) advance notice to teachers of evaluation criteria and procedures, (3) notice of unsatisfactory evaluation and opportunity to defend against charges, (4) reasonable remediation period to correct alleged deficiencies, (5) specification of deficiencies to provide clear guidance for remediation, and (6) an opportunity to obtain assistance in correcting deficiencies. The substantive issues which the courts have addressed are not based on objective criteria for evaluating teacher performance, but rather on the relation of facts to standards individually applied. There must be just cause for dismissal, based on a rational relation between conduct complained of and duties to be performed. The other legal issue discussed involves the use of the National Teachers Examination (NTE) in employment decisions. Although the NTE has no predictive validity for teaching skill, the Supreme Court in "U.S. vs. South Carolina" found that it has content validity in assessing base knowledge and therefore is rationally related to legitimate state decisions. (TE)
Descriptors: Accountability, Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Criteria, Legal Problems, Legal Responsibility, State Legislation, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Evaluation
Publications, National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 22091 ($1.00; quantity discounts).
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: National Association of Secondary School Principals, Reston, VA.
Identifiers: National Teacher Examinations; United States v South Carolina
Note: Reprinted from Educators and the Law, edited by Stephen B. Thomas, Nelda H. Cambron-McCabe, and Martha M. McCarthy. Elmont, NY: Institute for School Law and Finance, 1983. p69-80.