The Virginia Board of Education adopted new guidelines for teacher evaluation in April, 2011.  The significant change in these guidelines was the addition of Standard 7, which requires accountability for student progress.  It states, “The work of the teacher results in acceptable, measurable, and appropriate student academic progress.”  This standard is to reflect 40% of the teachers’ evaluation.

The issue music and other non-tested areas have is that only 30% of teachers have a state test data resource.  The remaining 70% must seek other means of student assessment.  The new guidelines do offer suggested means to do so, mostly focused on setting SMARTGOALS.

This year is basically a study year for school divisions.  They may take this year to experiment with how they will implement the guidelines.  District enactment currently ranges from full implementation to very little attention.  Virginia vests the implementation of items such as this to local school divisions, which results in wide levels of implementation.

This link includes more information about teacher evaluation in Virginia:


VMEA has been dealing with the new evaluation issues on several fronts:

–       VMEA President Lois Castonguay appointed a committee to develop  a survey of  the membership to examine how the evaluation process is being handled by music teachers locally.   As expected there is a wide range of levels of implementation. The results were shared with members during our conference in November.

–       The VMEA conference was focused on teacher evaluation and how to deal with the issues.

–       Several of us have kept the topic in front of the membership during our VMEA Board meetings and through articles in our state magazine NOTES.

–       The Virginia Coalition for Fine Arts Education developed a position statement on the new teacher evaluation process.  The position statement was shared widely including a presentation to the Virginia Board of Education.