In 2013 Michigan passed its Teacher Evaluation Law to ensure that all districts were implementing a rigorous, transparent and fair evaluation system. It is hard to believe it has been more than 10 years since many administrators participated in 5D+ framework training. Studies show that without regular professional learning and calibration, "drift happens" within the evaluation system.

Developing reliable evaluators of teachers is a key component to the success of any school district’s teacher evaluation system. Teachers and students benefit from observers and evaluators who are trained and certified to observe, analyze and rate instruction, before they ever step into a classroom to observe a teacher for the purpose of evaluation. 

Honing one's skills by deepening understanding around rubric indicators ensures those going into classrooms and evaluating teachers are producing reliable and accurate results. More importantly, it ensures they have the skills necessary to assist teachers in improving their instructional practice.

The recently passed reforms to educator evaluation, which take effect July 1, 2024, include a NEW rater reliability training requirement for all evaluators and observers of teachers and school administrators. That training must:

  1. Be completed by September 1, 2024.
  2. Be refreshed every three years thereafter.
  3. Include strengthening understanding of rubric performance language, what evaluators should look for when assessing performance, calibration exercises, and observation and feedback practices (see the full statute below for a complete list).

For those using the 5D+ Rubric:
Which Rater-Reliability Training Option Should You Choose?

  • For those who have participated in rater-reliability training in the past three years, a calibration tune up may be all that is needed. Although the tune up training meets the letter of the law, it is not the deep dive that will help building administrators to sharpen their knowledge and understanding of the rubric. 
  • For those committed to the 5D+ process and accurately rating evidence of teacher practice, it is recommended that administrators participate in one of the 3-day Rater Reliability certification training cohorts and then follow up with a calibration tune-up, and 2 day recertification every three years thereafter to ensure fidelity of practice. 
  • Due to the short timeline of providing some form of rater reliability training by September 1, 2024, as dictated in state statute, districts may want to start the year with a calibration tune up, and complete the full Rater Reliability Certification training at a later date.

5D+ Calibration Tune-Ups

Virtual training via Zoom that allows principals and district staff to observe instruction, rate evidence and align their ratings using the 5D+ Rubric. These sessions aim to improve content clarity and internal reliability in scoring evidence. Through discussions with colleagues, evaluators enhance their alignment with the rubric.

Who Should Attend?
Observers and evaluators of teachers with the 5D+ Instructional Growth and Teacher Evaluation Rubric

Upcoming Dates (held from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM):

Rater Reliability Certification

A hybrid in-person/virtual 3-day training that certifies observers and evaluators for accurate rating of indicators within the 5D+ Rubric. These sessions offer discussions of best practices in collecting and analyzing evidence to determine accurate ratings. Calibration activities include evidence discussion with colleagues and input from the facilitator. Evaluators improve their understanding of performance language and evidence-based reasoning for each indicator. Additionally, participants enhance their skills in scripting, coding, noticing/wondering, analyzing, and providing feedback.

Who Should Attend?
Observers and evaluators of teachers with the 5D+ Instructional Growth and Teacher Evaluation Rubric

Upcoming Cohort Dates (held from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM):

  • May 1 (in-person at MASSP)
  • May 2 (in-person at MASSP)
  • May 7 (virtual via Zoom)

Register for Rater Reliability Certification Here

For those using the Danielson, Marzano, Thoughtful Classroom or other research based evaluation tool, check with your framework training provider to see what options are available for rater-reliability training.

Important to note: Principals who evaluate Assistant Principals also need to complete rater-reliability training on the administrator evaluation tool.

NEW Rater-Reliability Requirement as Written in Statue:

(5) By not later than September 1, 2024, and every three years thereafter, each individual who conducts an evaluation under this section or section 1249b shall complete a rater reliability training provided by the school district, intermediate school district, public school academy, or the entity that employs the individual. The training must include at least all of the following:
    (a) A clear and consistent set of evaluation criteria that all evaluators can use when assessing teacher performance.
    (b) Clear expectations for what evaluators should look for when assessing teacher performance, including identifying key behaviors and  practices that are associated with effective teaching.
    (c) Training on the evaluation process itself, including how to conduct classroom observations, collect data, and analyze results.
    (d) Calibration exercises that help evaluators practice using the evaluation criteria and establish consistency in the evaluator's evaluations.
    (e) Ongoing support for evaluators, including feedback and coaching to help the evaluators improve their skills and ensure they are consistently applying the evaluation criteria.


By Wendy Zdeb, MASSP Executive Director