New N.C. teacher data coming

North Carolina will offer a new look Friday at how teachers are rated in all public schools.

The state will post school-by-school numbers on teacher evaluation results in five categories, which range from subject knowledge to ability to deal with diversity. The report does not spell out how individual teachers rated.

The new numbers don't offer a simple judgment on which schools have the best teachers, says N.C. Chief Academic Officer Rebecca Garland. Instead, she says, they'll help parents understand how the state is trying to improve schools by helping teachers get better. The numbers are based on a new statewide evaluation system.

"What it should tell the public is there are some good teachers in every school, and in every school there are some that need to improve in certain areas," Garland said this week.

The report may prove confusing to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools families, who thought they got teacher ratings for their schools earlier this week. CMS officials learned belatedly that their calculation, which crunches five ratings into one average per teacher and one percentage for each school, is significantly different from the more detailed approach the state will use.

Garland said the CMS approach is not wrong, and reflects the approach the state uses for some federal reports. CMS families just have two different ways to view the ratings, she said.

Neither gives a full picture of teacher quality because many tenured teachers were not evaluated in 2010-11. Starting this year, all N.C. teachers must be evaluated annually.