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The Educator Effectiveness Evaluation System

Click here for an overview of the Educator Effectiveness System

Educator Effectiveness is an evaluation system for educators focusing on professional growth and development—from pre-service through service.

Great teaching matters. Research has proven effective principals and teachers are the most important school-based factor in every student’s chance to succeed. Every child in every school deserves excellent classroom teachers and building leaders, and all teachers deserves to be supported to do their best work.

Why do we need a new evaluation system?

The Educator Effectiveness evaluation system is made up of two parts. One-half of the system is based on practice measures, and the other half is based on outcome measures.

"The degree to which the educator effectiveness system can be productive for us will be directly related to the extent to which the educators in each of our schools are able to build a collaborative culture based on professional trust."
- Ed Hughes, Madison School Board member


What is the Educator Effectiveness Evaluation System?

Each year principals and teachers will prepare an Educator Effectiveness Plan where they will reflect on their practice and set goals for student learning. Throughout the year, educators will gather data relative to their goals making adjustments when necessary for success.

What does the Educator Effectiveness System look like at MMSD?

Click on the video link to view our training module that provides an overview of the Educator Effectiveness System. This module can be especially helpful for new teachers and staff to the Madison Metropolitan School District to help understand how the system supports professional growth.

Teacher Annual Evaluation Workflow

“More than two decades of research findings are unequivocal about the connection between teacher quality and student learning”

-Center for Public Education

The Educator Effectiveness System is an evaluation system that balances an educator’s professional practice with evidence of student learning outcomes. Great teaching matters, the Educator Effectiveness System is designed to support teacher reflection and goal setting for continuous growth in teacher practice that leads to improved learning for all students. In the goal setting process, teachers closely monitor students in need of acceleration and develop an instructional strategy that supports accelerated growth.


Through ongoing feedback and support, the evaluation system provides teachers with meaningful information about how their practice impacts student learning and helps inform professional development planning at both the school and district level. Below you will find the evaluation system annual workflow. The workflow is divided into four parts; the Educator Effectiveness Plan, a Mid-Interval Review of progress, Classroom Observations, and a Final Evaluation Conference.


The evaluation cycle occurs over a 3-year period consisting of one Summary Year and two Supporting Years. The resource below outlines the steps in the evaluation workflow for both teachers and evaluators along with tools to support each step.


Please note that actions requiring documentation within the Frontline/MLP System are indicated with the following symbol:

Respectfully, The Educator Effectiveness Team


Preparing the Educator Effectiveness Plan (EEP)

What is an Educator Effectiveness Plan?

Annually, MMSD educators will engage in the cycle of inquiry where they will analyze where their students are relative to the grade-level standards, and develop one goal for student growth over the academic year or course interval This is the Student Learning Objective (SLO). The SLO process includes identifying and monitoring a goal, then analyzing progress towards meeting the goal using the Wisconsin SLO Scoring Rubric at the end of the year or interval. Discussion of progress towards the SLO goal is conducted with peers during the Supporting Years and with your evaluator during the Summary Year.

Why create an Educator Effectiveness Plan?

Research shows that intentional goal setting around student learning is a critical adult action for improving student learning outcomes. The collaborative dialog within the SLO process provides educators an opportunity to reflect on student progress and determine if the instructional strategy is effective while making adjustments when necessary to reach the highest levels of learning possible.

How do I develop an Educator Effectiveness Plan?

Teacher Action Principal Action Tool(s) & Resources
Develop Student Learning Objective (SLO) Schedule Beginning of Year (BOY) Planning Conference
Develop Professional Practice Goal

Complete the Self Review
(Summary Year and First Year Educators Only)
Review the Self-Review SLO/PPG
Teacher/Team Attend Beginning of Year Planning Conference Facilitate Beginning of Year Planning Conference with Summary Teacher/Team
How to Batch Finalize Elements

Preparing the Mid Interval Review

What is the Mid Interval Review?

In December or January (or sooner if the SLO interval is less than a year), the teacher and evaluator will meet for a formative review of progress toward meeting the SLO and PPG. During the mid interval conference, student data is reviewed to determine if the students are on track to meet the identified goal. If the goal is on track, the educator continues with the selected strategy. If students are off track, the strategy is revised and/or the goal may be adjusted. Teachers in their supporting year engage in this process with a peer or building coach.

Why engage in a Mid Interval Review?

Research shows that Intentional goal setting around student learning is a critical adult action for improving student learning outcomes. The collaborative dialog within the SLO process provides educators an opportunity to reflect on student progress and determine if the instructional strategy is effective while making adjustments when necessary to reach the highest levels of learning possible.

How do I prepare for the Mid Interval Review?

Teacher Action Principal Action Tool(s) & Resources
Organize and Analyze Formative and Summative Assessment Data as identified in your Student Learning Objective (SLO)

Complete the Mid Interval Review of Progress for your Student Learning Objective
Schedule Mid Interval Review Conference with Summary Year Teacher/Team
Complete the Mid Interval Review of Progress of your Professional Practice Goal (PPG)
Attend the Mid Interval Review Conference for Summary Year Teacher/Team Facilitate Mid Interval Conference with Summary Teacher/Team-Review progress and make adjustments if necessary to the SLO and PPG
Begin uploading artifacts & evidence

Preparing for Observations

What type of observations will occur and what is the frequency?

During the Summary Year, a minimum of two mini observations (15-20 minutes) and one announced observation (40-45 minutes) including a pre and post conference will be conducted by the evaluator. Educators in their supporting year, may also be observed. Evidence of practice for Domain 2 (Classroom Environment) and Domain 3 (Instruction) is collected during classroom observation.

Why classroom observations?

Classroom observations and ongoing actionable feedback are critical elements for improving teaching and learning. Through collaborative conversations during both the pre and post observation conference, teachers can reflect on what is working well and make adjustments where necessary for ongoing professional learning and growth that results in positive student outcomes.

How do I prepare for classroom observations?

Teacher Action Principal Action Tool(s) & Resources
Announced Observation
Schedule observation including pre and post conference
Complete Pre Observation Form

Participate in Pre Observation Conference
Facilitate Pre Observation Conference
Conduct Observation
Collect, tag and sync evidence and provide feedback
  • Complete Post Observation Reflection Form
  • Participate in Post Observation Conference
Facilitate Post Observation Conference
Mini Observation (Unannounced)

Conduct mini observation
Collect, tag and sync evidence and provide feedback.
Mini Observation Observer Feedback Form

Preparing for Final Evaluation Conference

What is the Final Evaluation Conference?

During the Final Evaluation Conference, the teacher and evaluator meet to discuss achievement of the Student Learning Objective. The teacher has the opportunity to elaborate on evidence of practice and achievement of the SLO. The evaluator provides feedback based on evidence collected during classroom observation, and discusses final scores based on the Danielson Framework and the overall SLO score.

Why engage in a Final Evaluation Conference?

The Final Evaluation Conference is an opportunity for the teacher to reflect on attainment of goals and the instructional practices used over the course of the year/interval. Results will inform goals for the subsequent year and professional development planning for ongoing instructional improvement.

How do I prepare for the Final Evaluation Conference?

Teacher Action Principal Action Tool(s) & Resources
Organize and analyze formative and summative assessment data and complete the SLO End-of-Interval Review

Using the SLO Scoring Rubric, Self-Score your SLO
Schedule Final Evaluation Conference with Summary Year Teacher
Review progress toward Professional Practice Goal and complete reflection in MLP PPG Planning Form - End of Year Review PPG
Upload, tag and submit artifacts demonstrating practices in Domains 1 and 4
Score SLO & Practice in MLP

NOTE: Do not submit scores until after the End-of-Year Summary Conference
  • Summarize and reflect upon your Effectiveness Cycle. Share this information with your evaluator prior to the End-of-Cycle Summary Conference to facilitate dialogue
  • Participate in Final Evaluation Conference
  • Facilitate Final Evaluation Conference - professional dialog based on evidence
  • Complete End of Cycle Summary Form
  • Submit scores in MLP

Principal/AP Annual Evaluation Workflow

“More than two decades of research findings are unequivocal about the connection between teacher quality and student learning”

-Center for Public Education

The Educator Effectiveness System is an evaluation system that balances a principal/AP’s professional practice, the Professional Practice Goal with evidence of student outcomes, the School Learning Objective. The Educator Effectiveness System is designed to support continuous improvement of principal/AP leadership practice leading to improved student learning. The evaluation cycle occurs over a 2-year period consisting of one Summary Year and one Supporting Year.


Through ongoing feedback and support, the evaluation system provides principals/APs with meaningful information about how their leadership practices impact student learning and helps inform professional development planning at both the school and district level. Below you will find the evaluation system annual workflow. The workflow is divided into four parts; the Educator Effectiveness Plan, a Mid-Interval Review of progress, observation of practice, and a Final Evaluation Conference. Summary Year staff will engage in the workflow with their evaluator while Supporting Year staff will collaborate with peers.


The resource below outlines the steps in the evaluation workflow for both principals/APs and evaluators, along with tools to support each step.

Please note that actions requiring documentation within the Frontline/MLP System are indicated with the following symbol:

Respectfully, The Educator Effectiveness Team


Preparing the Educator Effectiveness Plan (EEP)

What is an Educator Effectiveness Plan?

Annually, MMSD Principals/APs will engage in the process of analyzing school achievement data, and develop one student achievement goal over the academic year. This is the School Learning Objective (SLO). The SLO process includes identifying and monitoring a goal, then analyzing the degree to which the goals was met using the Wisconsin SLO Scoring Rubric at the end of the year. In addition to the School Learning Objective, the Principal/AP identifies a Professional Practice Goal (PPG) aligned to the Wisconsin Leadership Framework.

Why create an Educator Effectiveness Plan?

Research shows that intentional goal setting around student learning is a critical adult action for improving student learning outcomes. The collaborative dialog within the SLO process provides Principals/APs an opportunity to reflect on student progress, and determine if the school improvement strategy is effective, making adjustments when necessary to reach the highest levels of learning possible.

How do I develop an Educator Effectiveness Plan?

Principal Action Evaluator Action Tool(s) & Resources
Develop School Learning Objective using SIP Goals Schedule Beginning of Year Planning Conference
Develop Professional Practice Goal (PPG)
Complete the Principal Self-Review
(Summary Year Principals)
Review Student Learning Objective, Professional Practice Goal, Teacher Self Review
Attend Beginning of Year Planning Conference Facilitate Beginning of Year Planning Conference with Summary Year Principal

Determine sources for data collection (Deep Dives, School Visits and jointly planned observations)

Preparing for School Visits

What type of observations will occur and what is the frequency?

During the summary year, a minimum of two Sampling Visits and one Announced Visit will be conducted by the evaluator. These visits may occur during Deep Dives or regular school visits from the Chief of Schools or might be a planned school event such as a team/staff meeting or professional development day for the assistant principal.

Why School Visits?

Observations and ongoing actionable feedback are critical elements for improving leadership practices. Through collaborative conversations focused on feedback and reflection, principals/APs can identify what is working well and make adjustments where necessary for ongoing professional growth resulting in improved student outcomes.

How do I prepare for school visits?

Principal Action Evaluator Action Tool(s) & Resources
Announced Observation
Schedule observation including pre & post conference
Complete Pre Observation Form

Participate in Pre Observation Conference
Facilitate Pre Observation Conference
Conduct school observation
Collect and tag evidence
Complete Post Observation Form
Participate in Post Observation Conference
Facilitate Post Observation Conference
Mini Observation (Unannounced)
Conduct Mini Observation
Collect and tag evidence and provide feedback

Preparing the Mid Interval Review

What is the Mid Interval Review?

Through the months of January and February, the Principal/AP and evaluator will meet for a formative review of the Principal/AP’s progress toward meeting the School Learning Objective and Professional Practice Goal. During the mid interval conference, student and other relevant data is reviewed to determine if the students are on track to meet the SLO goal. If the goal is on track, the educator continues with the selected strategy. If the goal is off track the Principal/AP will discuss necessary adjustments that will support meeting the goal.

Why engage in a Mid Interval Review?

Research shows that Intentional goal setting around student learning is a critical adult action for improving student learning outcomes. The collaborative dialog within the SLO process provides Principals/APs an opportunity to reflect on school progress and determine if the chosen leadership strategy is effective, making adjustments when necessary.

How do I prepare for the Mid Interval Review?

In preparation for their Mid-Interval Conference with their evaluator, Principals/APs prepare a summary of evidence for their SLOs and reflect on progress relative to the Professional Practice Goal within the MLP System.

Principal/AP Action Evaluator Action Tool(s) & Resources
Organize and analyze formative and summative assessment data as identified in your School Learning Objective

Determine if students are on-track to meet the goal

Schedule Mid Interval Review Conference with Summary Year Principal/AP
Reflect on the Progress of your Professional Practice Goal
Attend the Mid Interval Review Conference for Summary Year Teacher/Team Facilitate Mid Interval Conference with Summary Teacher/Team Making Adjustments if Necessary to the SLO & PPG
Continue Collection of Artifacts & Evidence

Preparing for Final Evaluation Conference

What is the Final Evaluation Conference?

During the Final Evaluation Conference, the Principal/AP and evaluator meet to discuss achievement of the School Learning Objective, and evidence of Professional Practice. Both School Learning Objective and Practice scores are reviewed and finalized based on evidence aligned to the Wisconsin Leadership Framework. The conference culminates with the evaluator feedback based on artifacts and observation evidence in preparation for the subsequent year.

Why engage in a Final Evaluation Conference?

The Final Evaluation Conference is an opportunity for the Principal/AP to reflect on attainment of goals and the leadership practices used over the course of the year. Results will inform goals for the subsequent year.

How do I prepare for the Final Evaluation Conference?

Principal/AP Action Evaluator Action Tool(s) & Resources
Complete uploading artifacts and tag evidence for Professional Practice (WI Leadership Framework) and School Learning Objective Complete artifact collection and tag evidence using deep dives, scheduled school visits and other relevant observations.
Schedule End-of-Cycle Summary Conferences - By June 5th
Self- Score School Learning Objective including rationale for your score and finish end-of-year forms in MLP
  • PPG End-of-year form
  • SLO End-of-interval form
Score all components of principal or assistant principal practice using evidence aligned with the Wisconsin Leadership Framework - the N/A designation may only be used for AP evaluations for components that do not apply

Score School Learning Objective using SLO Scoring Rubric

NOTE: Do not submit scores until after the End-of-Year Summary Conference
Participate in Final Evaluation Conference Facilitate Final Evaluation Conference and complete End of Cycle Summary Form in MLP

Submit final scores in MLP-by June 20th
Self-score SLO & practice in MLP

  • PPG End-of-year form
  • SLO End-of-interval form
Score SLO & practice in MLP

Note: Do not submit scores until after the End-of-Year Summary Conference
Participate in Final Evaluation Conference offering evidence to support understanding of practice
  • Facilitate Final Evaluation Conference & professional dialog based on evidence
  • Complete End of Cycle Summary Form
  • Submit Scores in MLP

Frontline/My Learning Plan

Our district will use the online evaluation platform, Frontline/My Learning Plan. Remember, the Educator Effectiveness System is based on a three-year evaluation cycle. If you completed your summary year last year, you will begin a new evaluation cycle this year. The resources below can help to understand how to enter your Educator Effectiveness Plan in MLP by efficiently accessing your Student Learning Objective (SLO) and Professional Practice Goal (PPG). Previous years’ SLO and PPGs have been migrated from Teachscape into My Learning Plan and are available within your Artifact Files. See the short video below to view key functionality of our new system.


What is My Learning Plan (MLP)?

MLP is the observation and professional development software that will be used to support the Educator Effectiveness evaluation system. All educators evaluated using the System will have their own MLP account. If you have questions, please contact your school’s Educator Effectiveness Strategist.

How do I log in?

From the Novell Application Launcher (NAL): MLP can be accessed through this icon on the Novell Application Launcher (NAL) on MMSD computers. Click on it to launch a browser to the website. Use your bNumber and district password to log in.

What if I don't have a Novell Application Launcher

You can still access MLP by going to the Staff Only page on the MMSD website, mmsd.org/staffonly. Use your bNumber and district password to log in. Another way is to bookmark https://www.mylearningplan.com/LDAPLogin.asp?D=14497 in your browser. Again, use your bNumber and district password to log in.

What is Educator Effectiveness?

Educator Effectiveness is a new and comprehensive teacher and principal evaluation system that will provide tools and support to improve practice and better drive student learning.

Ultimately, all staff in MMSD will be evaluated in a more comprehensive way as tools are developed by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction.

Why do we need a new evaluation system?

The current evaluation system, established in the late 1970s, does not adequately reflect the complex work that teachers and principals do every day or offer the specific feedback that supports professional growth and improvement.

Why did MMSD select Educator Effectiveness?

The foundation for the Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System is the research-based, nationally recognized Framework for Teaching by Charlotte Danielson. Most districts across the state have adopted the Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System which will inform most teacher preparation programs across the state.

What is the Danielson Framework for Teaching?

The Danielson Framework for Teaching is a comprehensive and coherent framework that identifies those aspects of a teacher’s responsibilities that promote student learning.

Who designed Educator Effectiveness?

The Educator Effectiveness System was designed by educators and is intended to empower teachers and support professional growth through ongoing reflection and feedback. The system was designed over a two-year period and is being tested through a two-year pilot process. Madison is piloting the system across several schools with a small number of staff.

Who will be evaluated with the new system?

Both teachers and building principals will be evaluated using the new Educator Effectiveness System beginning in the fall of 2014. "Teacher" is defined by DPI as someone whose primary responsibilities include all of the following: instructional planning and preparation, managing a classroom environment and student instruction.

What will the evaluation process look like?

Teachers who are new to MMSD will have a summative evaluation their first year of employment and every 3rd year thereafter. In the non-summative rating years (1 & 2) teachers will identify goals for student learning (SLOs) and professional practice goals (PPGs). Teachers will self-monitor progress towards their goals in the non-summative years through the support of a building coach or peer mentor.

Teachers who are not new to MMSD will have a summative evaluation every three years. In the non-summative rating years (1 & 2) teachers will identify goals for student learning and professional practice goals. Teachers will monitor progress towards their goals in the non-summative years through the support of a building coach or peer mentor.

How will this help me improve as a teacher?

The Educator Effectiveness System promotes the process of setting specific, measurable objectives that help teachers be systematic and strategic in their instruction. Setting identifiable goals for student achievement allows teachers to reflect and examine their instructional strategies, techniques and methods to reach each and every student.

How are student test scores used?

Evidence has shown that setting rigorous and ambitious goals for student outcomes, combined with the purposeful use of data, leads to greater academic growth and performance by students.

Annually, teachers or teacher teams will establish two student learning objectives and identify the appropriate assessment with which to measure those objectives. Goals will be set in the fall with a mid-year check-in conference in January. In the non-summative evaluation year teachers will self-rate achievement of the goals using the Wisconsin SLO Scoring Rubric. In the summative evaluation year, the supervisor will rate the student learning objectives and the professional practice goals using the Wisconsin SLO Scoring Rubric. The SLO score will be combined with the professional practice goal.

Will teacher pay be based on evaluation results?

Teacher pay will not be based on evaluation results. The intent of the Educator Effectiveness System is to provide formative feedback and opportunities for educators to strengthen their practice in order to improve student outcomes. It is intended to be a professional growth and development model, not one that aims to “rate, rank, and remove”.

How will this affect teachers doing PDPs?

DPI is keeping the process of evaluation and the PDP for license renewal separate. The work of creating an annual educator effectiveness plan will support and inform teachers in achieving the long term goal(s) outlined in the PDP.

Can districts outside MMSD access my scores?

Other districts cannot access your scores unless the teacher chooses to share them. The information from evaluation is only available to the evaluator, the teacher and MMSD power users of the system such as HR. Scores are not subject to open records requests.

How should I prepare for the new evaluation?

Staff should remain focused on the goals and practices outlined in their school’s improvement plan. By understanding your school’s data and the instructional practices identified to achieve those goals, staff will be ready for the Educator Effectiveness System. Explicit professional development around the evaluation system will begin at the building level in February, 2015.