Frequently Asked Questions

    What does TDES stand for?

    Teacher Development and Evaluation System.

    What is TDES? 

    TDES is the Teacher Development and Evaluation System of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The Cleveland Teachers' Union and the CMSD have worked together to create a new system for evaluating Cleveland's teaching staff. Our model is informed by the research of Charlotte Danielson and is founded on a research-based framework for evaluating four domains of teacher effectiveness.

    In Ohio, HB 153 requires school districts to develop a standards-based evaluation system by July 1, 2013.  As a recipient of Race to the Top funds from the federal government, Cleveland must comply with state and federal demands for a new teacher (and principal) evaluation system.

    During the 2011 - 2012 school year, 25 pilot schools began the process of implementing the new evaluation framework.  These schools provided valuable feedback about the new system.  In 2012 - 2013 all Cleveland schools piloted the new evaluation system.  In 2013 - 2014, all Cleveland schools used the new portal, Great Teachers & Great Leaders, to evaluate their staff in TDES.

    Whose idea was this?

    Cleveland is part of a national movement to overhaul teacher evaluations. The transition to TDES is funded by federal grants through the Race to the Top grant. The model we are using in Cleveland is based on the Danielson Framework, which was developed by Charlotte Danielson, a nationally recognized expert in education.

    Did the Cleveland Teachers' Union agree to this?

    TDES is a collaboration between the CTU and the CMSD.  The CTU signed off on the Race to the Top grant application, which is the source for the funds to implement TDES.  The CTU is actively and directly involved in the design and implementation of TDES. TDES is also an integral part of the new CMSD teachers' contract.

    Why do teachers have to be evaluated in TDES?

    House Bill 153 was signed into law on June 30, 2011. This legislation makes changes to the teacher evaluation process throughout Ohio, not just in Cleveland.  HB 153 requires that all Ohio school districts have new evaluation system in place by July, 2013. ODE has a good FAQ on HB 153 for more information. Additionally the CBA for Cleveland teachers includes TDES.

    Is TDES part of the Mayor's Plan?

    TDES was in development prior to the passage of the Mayor's Plan.  However, TDES was incorporated into the Mayor's Plan (also known as the Cleveland Plan, or HB 525)  and will be an  integral part of Cleveland's plan going forward.

    What is OTES?

    OTES is the State version of TDES.  It stands for Ohio Teacher Evaluation System.  Our system, TDES, is aligned to OTES, but they are not identical. Evaluators must receive training in OTES in order to be state-certified evaluators.  They take a computer-based test that they must pass in a proctored setting in order to conduct valid evaluations for the State of Ohio.

    Who will evaluate the teachers?

    Usually the building principal, assistant principal, or CIS will be the evaluator.  If you work under a teaching contract, but are not a classroom teacher, then your department head or supervisor will conduct your evaluation.

    Can teachers choose their evaluators?

    Generally, no.

    Will Teach for America teachers be evaluated using TDES?

    Yes.  All CMSD teachers, including new teachers and TFA teachers, will be evaluated using TDES.

    Are substitutes evaluated in TDES?

    No.  The State does not require that we evaluate substitutes.

    How do test scores figure into the teacher's final rating?

    HB 153 requires that 50% of a teacher's final evaluation score be based on student growth measures. Student growth measures for CMSD include: Value Added Data, Vendor Data, and SLOs.   If you are working in a grade that has standardized testing data, that data will be used in part to determine your effectiveness.  If your grade or subject does not have standardized testing data, then student learning objectives (SLOs) will be used to measure student progress throughout the school year.


    If I received an Accomplished rating last year, must I be observed again this year?

    A teacher receiving an effectiveness rating of "Accomplished" will be evaluated every two years.  The biennial evaluation will be completed in accordance with the above timelines during the evaluation year.


    You said the "D" was for development.  What does that mean?

    The CMSD will provide in-person and on-line professional development for teachers who need or want to improve in areas of instruction and classroom management.  We are working to align our district-wide professional development opportunities with areas identified in our evaluations as likely topics for further learning and growth.

    Where can I get more information?

    Keep an eye on the ODE Teacher Evaluation web site.  They frequently update their content.  Also check back on the TDES Announcements site for CMSD updates.