The Teacher Instructional Growth for Effectiveness and Results (TIGER) Teacher Evaluation Model is a process developed by practitioners within the Association of Independent of Municipal Schools (AIMS) districts for practitioners.  The model is designed to promote teacher growth and to ensure all teachers provide quality instruction that aligns with district goals and curriculum.

A number of Tennessee AIMS districts organized themselves into a consortium to explore teacher evaluation and related “best practices” during the spring of 2010.  In partnering initially with Battelle for Kids, the consortium members reviewed a Literature Review on teacher evaluation and participated in professional growth opportunities.  Related research by Battelle for Kids through the AIMS Consortium process indicated that an effective evaluation system involves the following components:

  • Continuously assesses and reflects, providing feedback for continuous growth
  • Reflects research-based standards
  • Involves the collection and review of qualitative and quantitative data
  • Is developed using feedback and information from all parties involved in the processes (principals, teachers, unions, etc.)
  • Includes a process of recalibration of the evaluators to ensure the rubrics are being used correctly (ensuring inter-rater reliability)
  • Is reviewed and fine-tuned to reflect the changing needs of the organization.

The end result of the Consortium’s work resulted in recommendations for a differentiated teacher evaluation process.  The group established a Core Committee that focused on the work being led by the Tennessee Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee (TEAC).  In alignment with the work of the TEAC at that point in time, several different teacher performance standards (rubrics) were considered.  The Core Committee engaged Edvantia, Inc. to help it refine the model, develop the tools/forms, and adapt a condensed version of Charlotte Danielson’s rubrics (Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching, 2007).

Charlotte Danielson’s Framework was selected because of its vast usage and study since it was first introduced in 1996.  Charlotte Danielson remains highly regarded and in great demand in the field of teacher evaluation.  Her work serves as the basis for many of the current teacher evaluation models one might choose to study.

The guiding principles of TIGER include the following:

  • TIGER is based upon a set of quality teacher performance standards (a condensed version of Charlotte Danielson)
  • The model is focused on a continuum of teacher growth for effectiveness and results
  • The teacher evaluation process is both formative and summative and results in a tiered approach of teacher support (resulting in stages of teacher growth)
  • TIGER includes a “coaching” component for Stage One and a leadership component in Stage Three
  • The model utilizes and encourages professional learning communities of teachers
  • TIGER aligns the qualitative evaluation component with the quantitative component.

TIGER is steeped in the belief that “one size does not fit all.”  In order to help all teachers be successful — measured by their students’ success – and ensure that the mandatory process of evaluating “every teacher every year” occurs as is absolutely necessary, differentiation must occur.  The formative nature of the model that allows for continuous teacher growth and improvement based on both qualitative and quantitative data distinguishes this practitioner-developed model.

Pilot Information

The AIMS TIGER model was piloted during the 2010-2011 school year after receiving approval from Commissioner Tim Webb for implementation as an alternative model under current Tennessee Board of Education policy.  The pilot began with training on the process and on quality observation skills during October and November of 2010.  On-going webinars hosted collaboratively by Edvantia, Inc. and AIMS occurred throughout the fall and winter, which allowed for a personalization of meeting district, school, and individual needs.  An informal on-line survey was conducted by AIMS along with a telephone interview in April.  All participants have been encouraged to implement the model as fully as possible given the timeframe involved.  Recent telephone survey results reveal that the majority of schools are expecting a full implementation of Stages One and Two of the TIGER model by May 2011.

The following districts and schools were involved in the pilot:

Sevier County
Alamo City Schools
Unicoi County
Jackson-Madison County
Hollow-Rock Bruceton SD
Lincoln County
Greenville City Schools
Cheatham County
Lebanon SSD
Lenoir City Schools
Lexington City Schools
Roane County
Maryville City Schools
Milan SSD
Fayette County
Tipton County
Bradford Special
Paris SSD
Richard City Schools
Trousdale County
South Carroll SD
Putnam County
Union City Schools

A total of 47 schools and 1,734 teachers were participants in the piloting of the TIGER model.  Four training sessions occurred across the state (September 29-30, October 7-8, October 18-19, October 20-21) with a follow-up day for all evaluators/coaches on November 19, 2010.  A total of 185 evaluators and “coaches” (instructional coaches, instructional supervisors, and/or lead teachers) were trained in the fall of 2010.

The training session of October 20-21 was audio recorded by the Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation & Development (TnCRED).  This organization has also conducted a survey of teachers and evaluators during the pilot process, and has provided a preliminary report of findings.

AIMS TIGER anecdotal results align with TnCRED’s Preliminary verbal report to TEAC (April 6, 2011) and include some of the following items:

  • TIGER changes the conversations in the schools
    • Teachers feel they are provided more useful feedback from administrators
    • Teachers are provided the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers on improving instruction
    • Fosters professional interactions
  • TIGER encourages reflection and self-assessment
  • TIGER encourages the use of instructional strategies to improve instruction
    • Allows for support through coaching
    • Allows for targeted professional development
  • The work load and time demand is substantial
  • There is some concern for select job classifications (including specialist positions)
  • There is a need for a technology solution
  • Reduction from 50 to 35 teacher performance elements
  • Reduction in paperwork
  • Improved the format of the rubric to make it less time intensive for principals and evaluators
  • Enhanced the walkthrough process
  • Formulated recommendations for utilizing technologies throughout the process and included in the Request for Proposal
  • Considered ways to ensure targeted professional growth opportunities
  • Adding differing rubrics (based upon Charlotte Danielson’s work) for specialist positions.
    • Time intensive process
    • Timeliness of pilot
    • Length of rubric when done via paper
    • Paperwork for principals

Several work teams on practitioners heavily involved in the implementation of TIGER met during the second semester of the 2010-2011 school year to make revisions to the model based upon their own learning through the Pilot and in support of TnCRED’s preliminary report to AIMS.  During April 2011, the AIMS Board of Directors approved the formation of the AIMS TIGER Evaluation System of Tennessee as an affiliate organization of AIMS.  A Board of Directors was formed to lead the work on TIGER beyond the Pilot.  This Board oversaw the approval process as an alternative model of teacher evaluation from the Tennessee State Board of Education, resulting in final approval in June 2011. A competitive bid process was initiated by the AIMS TIGER Evaluation System of Tennessee that resulted in Pearson getting the three year contract.  TIGER, as powered by Pearson’s Teacher Compass, begins full implementation during the 2011-2012 school year in twelve Tennessee school districts:  Alamo City, Alcoa City, Bradford Special, Greeneville City, Lebanon Special, Lenoir City, Lexington City, Milan Special, Maryville City, Paris Special, Trenton Special, and Trousdale County.

For more information about the TIGER model, click here.