In the spirit of summertime, let’s imagine that the NEE menu of evaluation processes is a backyard barbecue. Classroom observations are the “main course” – the meat (or veggie burger), if you will – the single component that each NEE school incorporates. Yet, there are plenty of delicious sides to add to your plate, each adding a bit of unique flavor and giving you a well-rounded meal that fills you up completely.

Here are 10 NEE “sides” that schools might consider incorporating in their evaluation “meal” to support the growth of every educator in the building. Like any meal, NEE schools have the flexibility to select whichever sides best fit their unique palate.

Close up of person's hands filling plate at a buffet table

1. NEE Student Survey

If classroom observations are the “meat,” the NEE Student Survey could be considered the “potatoes.” The NEE Student Survey is a powerful measure that can be incorporated in the teacher evaluation process. Research shows students are able to accurately, reliably measure teaching effectiveness and to distinguish among teaching behaviors on the survey. Emerging research also has shown the NEE Student Survey connects to student achievement: When teachers receive high marks on the NEE Student Survey for cognitive engagement (NEE Indicator 1.2) and critical thinking (NEE Indicator 4.1), their students achieve higher rates of proficiency on the MAP Test (Grades 4-8).

The survey is written for students in Grades 4-12. It can be customized to include the same indicators schools have chosen as their focus for classroom observations, providing alignment for the entire evaluation process. It is confidential and takes less than 20 minutes for students to complete. Results appear on a teacher’s summative evaluation report.

2. NEE Teacher Professional Development Plan (TPDP)

Another measure that’s available for teacher evaluation is NEE’s TPDP, an organizer that addresses the needs of each individual teacher. Teachers select one goal to work on for each academic year, then school leaders review the TPDP three times: before implementation, at mid-year, and at the end of the year. NEE supports scoring of the TPDP, if desired, and results appear on the teacher’s summative evaluation report.

3. NEE Unit of Instruction (UOI)

The NEE UOI organizer is intended as a means for teachers to provide evidence of their ability to turn written curriculum into taught instruction. It is not intended to be a full unit plan template but a document that organizes the elements of an instructional unit into a format that is easier for an evaluator to review and score. Element 5b of the UOI addresses student growth; it is not a scored element of the UOI but provides schools a way to document measurement of student learning as a result of instruction. Other elements of the UOI can be scored by an evaluator, and results appear on the teacher’s summative evaluation.

That’s a total of four independent measures that can be incorporated in a teacher’s summative evaluation: classroom observations, student surveys, professional development plans, and unit of instruction plans. The NEE process is a comprehensive, multiple-measures approach to teacher evaluation. With these components on your plate, evaluation becomes more robust and “flavorful,” more likely to capture all of a teacher’s unique strengths and areas for potential growth.

4. NEE Learning Organizer 

The NEE Learning Organizer is not a scored element of any NEE evaluation but is provided as a way for educators to document their professional learning activities. The learning organizer guides educators to process professional learning, analyze current instructional practices, set goals for the use of strategies, and reflect on progress. There are unique versions of the organizer for classroom teachers, principals, and school specialists – each version aligned to that position’s professional standards and indicators. Reporting features of the learning organizer allow school leaders to review the time spent on professional learning.

5. NEE Teacher Survey

The NEE Teacher Survey is one of four measures within NEE’s principal evaluation module. It was designed to gather anonymous teacher input concerning specific school leadership characteristics. The survey includes 47 items that are aligned with the NEE Leader Standards. Research focused on how to evaluate principals in ways that will reveal connections between the principal’s efforts and student achievement indicates that adding a teacher survey to the principal evaluation process can improve the link between the evaluation ratings and student achievement. Results from the teacher survey appear on a principal’s summative evaluation report.

6. NEE Principal Professional Development Plan (PPDP)

The PPDP serves many of the same purposes as NEE’s Teacher Professional Development Plan. It allows the principal to focus on personal needs, identify desired outcomes, and select actions that will most likely lead to the identified outcomes. The principal’s evaluator can score the PPDP, and results appear on the principal’s summative evaluation report.

7. NEE Building Improvement Plan (BIP)

The BIP organizer provides a way to evaluate the building administrator’s ability to organize and lead others toward meeting the goals laid out in the school’s Building Improvement Plan. The BIP organizer is not intended to be used as the building improvement plan. Rather, it is a summary of the principal’s contributions toward creating, leading, monitoring, and reporting progress on the building improvement plan. Scores from the BIP appear on the principal’s summative evaluation report.

8. NEE Building Personnel Development Plan (BPD)

The BPD organizer is a strategic component of NEE’s principal evaluation system that guides principals toward becoming more effective instructional leaders. The BPD allows principals to document their work in supporting teachers’ professional improvement, and it places added focus on the role of the principal in developing a strong instructional team. In essence, the BPD follows the principal through the coaching process with a select group of teachers. The principal documents efforts to help the teachers improve and provides evidence of improvement if it is achieved. Scores from the BPD appear on the principal’s summative report.

Like NEE’s teacher evaluation process, NEE provides a comprehensive, multiple-measures approach to principal evaluation that highlights the building leader’s unique strengths and areas for potential growth.

9. NEE summer training  

OK, OK… we said at the outset that schools get to select their sides, but this is one side you’ll have to have on your plate if you’re responsible for evaluating teachers through NEE. Think of NEE summer training as your favorite condiment: It complements the main course and some of the sides on your plate. Each summer, evaluators complete NEE training, which allows them to recalibrate on scoring classroom observations and providing effective feedback to teachers. For NEE, training is a time for renewal and growth, and it matters to improve classroom observations – which is why it’s the one required “side” in the NEE system.

10. NEE specialist evaluations

In addition to teachers and principals, NEE also has unique evaluation modules available for the following positions:

  • Librarians
  • Counselors
  • Speech language pathologists
  • Paraprofessionals

These customized tools and resources honor the complexities of each specialist role and align with their particular set of professional standards and indicators.

There you have it. NEE offers a full menu of options to complete your school’s evaluation meal. As you add more to your plate, contact NEE to connect with someone who can walk you through the implementation process for each item. We’re here to help, and that kind of support is included in your NEE service, so don’t be shy! We’ll be here dreaming of barbecue and waiting for your call.


The Network for Educator Effectiveness (NEE) is a simple yet powerful comprehensive system for educator evaluation that helps educators grow, students learn, and schools improve. Developed by preK-12 practitioners and experts at the University of Missouri, NEE brings together classroom observation, student feedback, teacher curriculum planning, and professional development as measures of effectiveness in a secure online portal designed to promote educator growth and development.