At New York Times, "Teacher Grades: Pass or Be Fired":
The evaluation system leans heavily on student test scores to judge about 500 math and reading teachers in grades four to eight. Ratings for the rest of the city’s 3,600 teachers are determined mostly by five classroom observations annually, three by their principal and two by so-called master educators, most recruited from outside Washington.Ouch! That is harsh!
For classroom observations, nine criteria — “explain content clearly,” “maximize instructional time” and “check for student understanding,” for example — are used to rate the lesson as highly effective, effective, minimally effective or ineffective.
These five observations combine to form 75 percent of these teachers’ overall ratings; the rest is based on achievement data and the teachers’ commitment to their school communities. Ineffective teachers face dismissal. Minimally effective ones get a year to improve.