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 Great Teachers and Leaders

“As a parent and a teacher, I know the value of education.  I believe that the teacher is the single most important influence on a child’s academic success…In Georgia, we have the incredible opportunity to be a part of cutting edge reform.  Along with our twenty-six partnering districts, we are developing a plan for determining and rewarding the value that teachers add to their students’ success.”   Kathie Wood – Evaluation Specialist 


Teacher Keys and Leader Keys Evaluation Systems

From January through May 2012, as part of the Race to the Top Initiative (RT3), Georgia piloted the Teacher Keys Evaluation System (TKES) and the Leader Keys Evaluation System (LKES), complete evaluation systems.  These systems will allow the state to ensure consistency and comparability across districts, based on a common definition of teacher and leader effectiveness.


The primary purposes of TKES and LKES are to:

     •optimize student learning and growth;

     •improve the quality of instruction by ensuring accountability for classroom 

      performance and teacher effectiveness;

     •contribute to successful achievement of the goals and objectives defined

      in the vision, mission, and goals of Georgia Public Schools;

     •provide a basis for instructional improvement through productive teacher 

      performance appraisal and professional growth; and

     •implement a performance evaluation system that promotes collaboration

      between the teacher -evaluator and leader-evaluator and promotes self-

      growth, instructional effectiveness, and improvement of overall job



Teacher Keys Evaluation System

The Teacher Keys Evaluation System consists of the following components which contribute to an overall Teacher Effectiveness Measure (TEM) for Teachers of Tested and Non-Tested Subjects: Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards (TAPS), Student Growth and Academic Achievement, and Student Achievement Gap (for Teachers of Tested subjects).  Note:  GaDOE has requested an amendment to eliminate the student achievement gap at the teacher level based on the advice of the State's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).  A definite formula for the contribution of each component to the TEM score will be determined.  Currently, it is as follows: 

1.    Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards (TAPS): TAPS provides evaluators with a qualitative, rubrics-based evaluation tool with which they can measure teacher performance relative to quality performance standards.  For teachers of "tested subjects", it is 40%.  If the students achievement gap measure is removed, then it will be 50%.  For teachers of non-tested subjects, it is 60%.

2.    Student Growth and Academic Achievement:

For teachers of tested subjects, this component consists of a student growth percentile model and is 50% of the TEM.  For teachers of non-tested subjects, this component consists of GaDOE-approved Student Learning Objectives utilizing district-determined achievement growth measures and is 40% of the TEM.


Leader Keys Evaluation System

The Leader Keys Evaluation System consists of three components which contribute to an overall Leader Effectiveness Measure (LEM): Leader Assessment on Performance Standards (LAPS), Student Achievement Gap, and a combination of Student Growth Percentiles and Student Learning Objectives.  Currently, the percentage for each component to the LEM score is as follows: 

1.    Leader Assessment on Performance Standards: This component provides evaluators with a qualitative, rubrics-based evaluation tool with which they can measure leader performance related to quality performance standards.  It equals 30 % of the LEM score.

2.    Student Growth and Academic Achievement: This component consists of a student growth percentile/value-added measure and the GaDOE-approved Student Learning Objective growth measure.  These measures will be calculated at the school level and equal 50% of the LEM score.

3.   Student Achievement Gap: This component is based upon how well the leaders' guidance has helped close the student achievement gap.  This measure will equal 20% of the LEM score.  


For more information about the Teacher and Leader Keys Evaluation Systems, please visit our Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Division's webpage.


Induction Process for Teachers and Leaders

Georgia’s vision as set forth in the RT3 application is:


“To equip all Georgia students, through effective teachers and leaders and through creating the right conditions in Georgia’s schools and classrooms, with the knowledge and skills to empower them to: graduate from high school, be successful in college and/or professional careers, and be competitive with their peers throughout the United States and the world.”


At the heart of the RT3 plan is increasing the overall effectiveness of teachers and leaders.  Their effectiveness is a critical factor in increasing student growth and raising student achievement.

The induction guidance for new teachers and new principals were developed by a cross-disciplinary induction task force as a component of Georgia’s Race to the Top initiative through a partnership with GaDOE and the Professional Standards Commission.  The establishment of teacher and principal induction guidance has provided a basic framework and flexibility.  This allows districts to develop differentiated induction programs tailored to specific district needs to support the continuous professional growth of induction phase teachers and principals.

Additionally, the 26 RT3 districts collaborated with the GaDOE in: assessing current induction practices in their districts, reviewing the draft induction phase teacher and principal guidelines, and identifying next steps to revise or develop quality induction programs during an onsite visit.  RT3 school districts are required to develop and implement (2012-2013) teacher and principal induction programs using these guidelines.

A comprehensive induction program is a combination of mentoring, professional learning and support, and formal assessment for new teachers during at least their first two years of teaching.  Through these visits, high-quality induction practices and resources are being identified and shared among districts.  In fact, regional induction collaboration sessions which included Higher Ed, RESA and RT3 districts were held in January- February 2012.  These sessions evolved from districts expressing an interest in learning from and sharing with each other.

High quality principal induction can stop the exodus from the principal’s office, maintain continuity in improvement efforts for teachers, thus encouraging teachers to stay and strive to get better, ultimately leading to sustained improvements in instruction and student learning over time and at scale.  Additionally, teachers are the most important school-related factor in determining student success.  Research shows that intensive, mentor-based induction programs can significantly reduce teacher turnover and help teacher to focus on improving instruction.  The key seems to lie in the level of success teachers encounter in raising their student’s academic performances.  For this reason, giving teachers the supports necessary to succeed is critical. Teacher Success=Student Success.

Re-imagine the possibilities of a state where students are discovering the joy of learning and teachers and leaders are rediscovering the joy of learning and teaching! Georgia districts have an opportunity to create what Georgia teachers and leaders need to have a positive impact on improving student achievement. This will be accomplished by accelerating teacher and leader effectiveness through quality induction programs.

The draft guidelines were posted online and received public comment through December 30, 2011.  Induction Task Force members considered public comments and recommendations for the final version of the teacher and leader induction guidance documents.  Click on the links to read the guidance documents.


Teacher Induction Guidance

Principal Induction Guidance

Induction Task Force Members


 Content Editor


Avis King, Deputy Superintendent - Office of School Improvement


Cindy Saxon, ​Associate Superintendent - Teacher and Leader Effectiveness