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A principal gives thumbs-up to Danielson framework

As principals, one of our many duties is to build teacher practice as well as evaluate it. 

The Charlotte Danielson Framework, a method now used by districts across the country and that has been piloted in CPS, provides a venue for both of those duties to be fulfilled simultaneously.  As a principal and evaluator of teacher practice for the past eight years within CPS, I have had the privilege of utilizing several methods of teacher evaluation, with a focus on improving teacher practice.  I must say that Danielson, although intricate and requiring a big time commitment, does indeed focus on improving practice through evaluation. 

The domains--Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities--cover the vast array of components needed to ensure quality teaching and learning.  A teacher’s knowledge of instructional content, his/her ability to manage behavior and deliver instruction as well as participate as a professional with colleagues and community is addressed. 

Teachers and administrators meet together to discuss teacher practice and set goals for improvement along with plans of actions that stimulate motivation on the part of the teacher and support on the part of the administrator.  The principal creates a safe environment for the teacher that is consistent and confidential therefore building trust, this is important as most teachers view evaluation as punitive.

Collaboratively, work is done to improve and build teacher practice where needed.  The administrator shows his/her commitment to learning by working with the teacher while the teacher builds his/her practice.

The administrator makes sure that the BIG ideas are understood so that teachers fully understand the vision, goal, and work required to be successful.

Does Danielson improve all teacher practice?   Of course not, as no method does.  However, in cases where teacher practice does not improve, the administrator along with the teacher is able to see clear concise evidence of plans made and support given to assist the teacher before other measures are taken.

The Danielson method is, in my opinion, a valuable tool to use for teacher evaluation.  It has the potential to "build" teachers as well as help those who may need possible "career change" to see their way clearly to do so.

Ultimately, this will improve the lives and the education of our students.

Principal Lauren Norwood

Doolittle Elementary, CPS


Anonymous wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

CPS has to make it better for principals to use this system

It takes hours to put in the information on the computer for one teacher. CPS needs to make this user friendly and efficient--even DS2 does not work well and tqkes up much principal time. Please also do not forget the PD it will take to not only have principals understand, but also teachers understand it! Kinda hard to do when so many pushing do not have CPS teaching experience. Some in the areas do not even have teeching certificates!

Joe Moche wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Danielson Evaluation System

I've been part of a pilot for a variant of this system in the Los Angeles Unified School District. No one who has participated, with the exception of the central office cheerleaders, think it has a chance. Neither teachers nor administrators have received adequate training, and the time required to conduct a fair evaluation is unreasonable given the tasks that lie on the desks of principals and assistant principals. The District's response has been to narrow the focus of the observations to just a few key elements of Danielson's rubric. In short, the pilot so far has been an abject failure. Instead of the originally planned districtwide rollout next year, the pilot will continue. Most of us expect the experiment to end when Superintendent Deasy leaves for greener pastures.

me wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago


I bet when she taught she just went into her principals office and she was handed a "superior"....she has no idea what it will be like to be on the other end of this new is of course able to be used objectively or can be used as a subjective way to get rid of teachers who are "in the way"!!

vincent scott wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago



me wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago


I'll be honest with you. Teachers are really not allowed to have a vision where I work. It's the principal's way or the highway. I must apoligize for saying that about her. SHe may be a good principal and deserve everything. I am just talking from my past experience. Many superiors were given out to connected employees. While some really good teachers were fired for vey poor reasons. I just know that the current generation of principals was not under the micoscope like todays new teachers are. Principals enjoyed union protecions, when they taught, that today's teacher will not have. I want vision in schools. However, if you make mistake and your vision is "wrong" you are on the bottom of the totem pole of firing. Again, I apoligize for saying these things about this principal...i was talking in general ! It must howver be agreed, this new fraework is subject to A LOT of subjective feedback and politics. Again, CPS needs to provide Principals and Teachers with RESOURCES, a SAFE SCHOOL, and SOME FLEXIBILITY or this new framwork will become no better than the ISAT and teacher checklist world of terror we live in now!!! Again I apologize to this principal...but I make no apolgies to the way CPS is running it's is taking the joy and efficacy out of education ..teachers and principals need to unite!!!!!!

vincent scott wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago


thanks alot true things have too change and i guess it start with us . improving relationships. and making steps too benefit our educators for sucess in afailed system. we need more people like yourself who are responsible.AND HELP US THANKS

Concerned wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

What does the tool need then?

All good comments. What would an evaluation tool need to work if Danielson is not user friendly or if you feel it does not have a chance? Maybe something that does not take the place of what the district is already using? Something easy to use? What would that be? I am looking for something that I can use for teachers we employ.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

How can we expect students to

How can we expect students to be successful writers when their principals cannot even spell. You sound like just another one of those poor administrators who refuses to do anything to help improve education across CPS. What a shame.

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