Criterion 8 FAQs

Guidance from the TPEP Steering Committee regarding Criterion 8 can be found in the TPEP FAQ.

Goal Setting
Evidence for Criterion 8
Observations as Evidence
Focused Evaluations
Professional Learning
Summative Scoring


Download the Criterion 8 FAQs as a PDF.

Goal Setting

Can buildings set Criterion 8 as a whole staff? If so, would teams still set grade level Criterion 8 goals?

This is a local decision. Yes, a building staff can set a common Criterion 8 goal and a grade-level team could use that as their goal or add to it to fit the learning of their students and their work as a collaborative team.

For focused evaluations, how does data play a part in evaluating 8.1 on the goal-setting rubric?

The responsibility in Criterion 8.1 is to “establish goals, develop and implement common measures, and monitor student growth.” Actual student growth on 8.1 is not factored into Criterion 8 as Criterion 8 is about collaboration.

What is an appropriate “instructional interval” for student growth 8.1 goals?

As with all student growth rubrics, the intent is to demonstrate growth over time in a significant “chunk” of learning. The specific instructional interval will depend on the learning standards being addressed and the needs of students, which is why this is a local decision. The language of this rubric is about collaboration. How you collaborate with colleagues to set and monitor process towards goals is being measured by the Criterion 8.1 rubric; the student growth is not assessed.

What is the best way to make student growth obvious in Criterion 8?

Why is there not Criterion 8.2?

For Criterion 8, the focus is on collaboration among teachers to improve learning for a group of students they teach in common. Keep in mind that the growth students make towards the achievement of that goal is not factored into the evaluation rating. In order to be proficient on the Criterion 8.1 rubric, teachers “consistently and actively establish goals, develop and implement high-quality measures to monitor growth and achievement during the year” meaning that the focus of collaboration is less about how student growth is presented and made obvious, and more about the strategies and measures the team will use to monitor growth and achievement.

Teachers should work with their building and district to determine what tools and resources are available to support their collaborative formation of a student growth goal and what measures for monitoring growth and achievement they have available.

I teach special education. Who should I team with for Criterion 8.1?

That depends upon the structure by which you support students in your school. In some situations, it might make sense to team with a grade-level team or with colleagues in a specific subject area. The needs of your students should drive this local decision.

Evidence for Criterion 8

What can/should evidence look like for Criterion 8? Does it depend on the instructional framework your district uses?

The language of the student growth rubrics is consistent across the three instructional frameworks. Convincing evidence of “consistent and active collaboration” to improve student learning would be Proficient; Distinguished practice would include evidence that the teacher “leads other grade, school, or district team members” to improve student learning. The critical attributes for Criterion 8.1 are listed here. Specific examples of appropriate evidence can be determined locally.

How does my PLC work relate to Criterion 8?

Criterion 8 in the revised evaluation system is “Exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instructional practice and student learning.” Work you do in and with your PLC is one of the ways to demonstrate these collaborative practices. Criterion 8.1 requires each teacher to establish a team student growth goal. Your PLC team goal may fit that requirement – refer to the language of the rubric and its critical attributes to be sure.

Our school does not have Professional Learning Communities or dedicated time for collaboration. How can I best show evidence for Criterion 8? Who should I team with for my student growth goals for Criterion 8.1?

There are many ways in which you could show your collaboration, depending on who you seek out as a collaboration partner, even if no formal structure is provided. Are you part of an on-line community? Do you find yourself bouncing ideas off a colleague? Do you share ideas with another teacher in your school? The expectation is that you are working with colleagues to improve student learning. How this occurs is contextual and a local decision.

How can I use evidence from my PLC if our contract limits where you collect evidence?

State policy does not limit where or how evidence can be collected. The law states that observations occur

“in the performance of their assigned duties” (RCW 28A.405.100(3)(a))

so evidence can be collected in a wide variety of contexts. Districts have the opportunity to work with their unions through collective bargaining agreements to determine the specific parameters of evidence collection and use, so it is best to consult your collective bargaining agreement for more specific guidance on this question.

Should the evidence focus on what was done or the outcome of what was done? (E.g. Can I submit minutes from my PLC meeting, or do I need to show evidence of what happened as a result of our meeting?)

Meeting minutes are an artifact and not necessarily evidence; they may become evidence if they help demonstrate your level of performance. The conversation between you and your evaluator is key. One way to address this question is to review the Criterion 8 rubric language, including the critical attributes and determine, based on the language of the rubric, what evidence best fits the described expectations.

Observation as a Source of Evidence for Criterion 8

Do I have to be observed if I am on a focused evaluation and I select Criterion 8?

Since the main focus of Criterion 8 is to demonstrate collaboration in the service of student learning, evidence of that collaboration would be driven by how collaboration happens in your context. There are multiple ways in which this collaboration could be represented that are dependent upon what is available in your district and what guidelines your district and union have established for evidence and observation. It may be helpful to consider that if instructional practices are the focus of the collaboration or a strategy that comes out of the collaboration in order to affect a change in student learning, observing the instructional changes in the classroom might prove useful.

My evaluator schedules my pre-observation conference, observation time, and post-observation conference. Should I approach him/her about observing when I am incorporating strategies tied to my professional goal?

Teachers will be observed in the performance of their assigned duties at least twice during the year, for at least 60 minutes. If the selected area of focus is classroom-based, observations should be in the classroom. If the area of focus selected is Criterion 8, it may be useful to consider the alignment of duties associated with Criterion 8 with those aspects of your instruction that are observable. While Criterion 8 does not require and instructional observation, it may be useful to consider alignment of duties associated with Criterion 8 that would be observable, such as implementing a new instructional strategy in order to help a sub-group or students increase measures of learning. Depending on the terms established by your contract, you are certainly welcome to invite your evaluator to observe teaching any time. If the specific strategies you want your evaluator to see aren’t occurring at the time s/he is present in your classroom, you can use the post-observation time to discuss those strategies tied to your goal. Criterion 8 can also be observed in PLC time, department planning time, grade-level teaming, or in other collaborative settings.

Can observations occur while working as a team?

Unless there is specific local prohibition against it, the evaluator can observe team planning or analysis of student work or creating of high-quality measures of student growth. In that setting, the evaluator can observe many teachers’ collaboration and leadership simultaneously.

Focused Evaluations

Can I select Criterion 8 for a focused evaluation even though there is no component for evaluating student growth (i.e. no 8.2)?

Yes, Criterion 8 is an option for Focused evaluations.

Is it true that a teacher on a focused evaluation using Criterion 8 does not have to be observed in the classroom, and can instead only be observed in their PLC?

Teacher on a Focused Evaluation will be observed in the performance of their assigned duties, at least twice during the year, for at least 60 minutes. If the selected area of focus is Criterion 8 (collaboration), then observations should be conducted at a time and place where collaboration occurs.

If I am on a Focused Evaluation and selected Criterion 8, may I select professional goals tied to a different State Criterion? (E.g. A staff member selects Criterion 8 and wants to work more collaboratively with her department. In addition, one of her professional goals is to develop common learning targets and rubrics for larger learning goals within ELA. While on a Focused Evaluation for Criterion 8, her main professional goal is tied to Criterion 1).

There will naturally be a great deal of cross-over between all criteria since the work of a teacher is so complex and involves all of the criteria. If the teacher has selected Criterion 8, then that is the rubric that will be used for evaluation. While the work may incorporate aspects Criterion 1, the Criterion 1 rubric would not be used to evaluate the teacher’s performance unless the teacher selected Criterion 1. If the teacher would prefer to be evaluated on ability to develop learning targets, Criterion 1 might be a better choice. Keep in mind that the evaluator must approve the selection.

I’m on a Focused Evaluation. What criteria am I being evaluated on?

The teacher selects one criterion, which must be approved by the teacher’s evaluator. The evaluation must include an assessment of the criterion using the appropriate instruction framework rubrics and the OSPI student growth rubrics. More than one measure of student growth data must be used in scoring the student growth rubrics. (WAC 392-191A-120)

Are there guiding questions or suggestions for pre-conferencing questions for a Criterion 8 Focused Evaluation?

Return to the language of the rubric. A conversation might include these probes:

  • How did your team select the students and the significant content standards on which you will focus?
  • What is your goal for increasing these students’ learning?
  • What processes will your team use to create or select common high-quality measures?
  • What is your role in helping the team analyze student work and plan for changes in instruction?
  • There are resources available for Criterion 8 on the Student Growth section of the website that might be useful for conference around Criterion 8.

    Professional Learning

    What can meaningful professional learning experiences look like with Criterion 8?

    Supporting professional growth for teachers through Criterion 8 is a local decision, and there are quite a few resources available for reference, including the Criterion 8 resources on the website and the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning. The focus of Criterion 8 should be about team learning and implementation that supports the academic improvement of students.

    Summative Scoring in a Focused Evaluation

    For Focused Evaluations, is the rating for student growth out of 8 points? What is low, average, or high? How about for teachers on a Focused Evaluation and are choosing Criterion 8?

    Refer to the Focused Scoring Diagram for your instructional framework.

    The framework rubrics (blue squares) and the student growth rubrics (red squares) are to be considered as a whole when deriving the Criterion Score, which is also the Summative Score. There is no student growth impact rating for a Focused Evaluation.


    Additional Resources