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Gather five VI professionals in a room and each one will have horror stories about performance evaluations.  A recent survey of VI professionals from multiple states indicates that VI professionals overwhelmingly find that performance evaluations aren’t relevant, helpful, or valid (Dignan, 2012).  It is perceived that the skills sampled are not the most critical to their job, nor do most evaluations identify weaknesses or areas for professional development. While VI professionals’ stories differ, these sample quotes from a 2012 survey are typical:

  • “Irrelevant to my job.”
  • “They evaluate a small portion of what I do, not even a representative sample. Major activities that take most of my time and skills are not even considered.”
  • “No consideration of the time and effort I spend to be a good consultant.”
  • “District administrators don’t know what I do, so they don’t know how well I do it.”
  • “The evaluation probably makes sense for a classroom teacher, but not for someone who is an itinerant or works in the community.”

A poorly executed evaluation makes it difficult to distinguish between those VI professionals who are outstanding and those needing professional development.  Another side effect of a poorly executed evaluation is the huge amount of time spent on a process that rarely improves teaching (Marshall, 2009).

Performance evaluation is an important part of supervision.  This aspect of supervision is receiving increasing amount of attention as states and districts examine and possibly revise their performance evaluation procedures. In recent years, many educator evaluations include test scores or other student-specific data as a part of the process. 

Performance evaluations frequently are well-researched, large-scale plans that are oriented to meet the needs of a large group of professionals. In education, this means classroom teachers.  Very little attention is paid to the 20% of non-classroom educators; those who co-teach, are itinerant, or teach in nontraditional settings.

The intent of this chapter isn’t to take the place of any existing performance evaluation tool, or to provide a replacement tool.  The goal is to help administrators use their existing resources in a meaningful and rigorous manner.  This chapter will focus on the following factors:

  • A brief review of characteristics of performance evaluations
  • Challenges that face evaluators when trying to meet both professional needs and district obligations
  • Questions to reflect upon when evaluating VI professionals within the larger framework used by the district (or program)
  • Resources and tools to assist administrators in making a reflective and accurate assessment of skills and abilities of VI professionals


  • Administrators have an up-to-date job description for their VI professionals.
  • Evaluators are familiar with or have access to the competencies needed by VI teachers (TVIs) and O&M specialists (COMS).
  • Administrators may have limited choices in selecting the performance evaluation system, but have flexibility in implementation to ensure that the evaluation is valid and appropriate for the specific position.   
  • Administrators have been trained in the evaluation process currently being used by their district or program.
  • Basic “domains” typical of most performance evaluations apply to VI professionals.  However, the specific skills, techniques, and settings applicable to VI professionals are likely to be different than those of a classroom teacher.
  • Administrators are knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to managing their program, but may have limited information about the professional competencies and daily practices completed by VI professionals.  This may be especially true for non-special education evaluators, such as building principals.
  • VI professionals are responsible for vision-related aspects of the core curriculum and the expanded core curriculum (ECC), which is the disability-specific curriculum for students with visual impairments, not for tutoring basic core subjects.  Student performance data in areas beyond the responsibility of the VI professional should not be a critical part of the performance evaluation.
  • As required by IDEA, VI professionals provide functional and academic instruction in the home, school, and community.  The evaluation procedure samples skills from all three environments.

What are typical characteristics of performance evaluations?

There are endless options and rubrics for performance evaluations in practice today.  Regardless of the system used, performance evaluations have two basic functions:

  • Assuring the public and parents that the educators are competent and capable of teaching their children. 
  • Providing a path for professional development both for the educator and the district (or program) as a whole (Danielson & McGreal, 2000).

Performance evaluations have been an important part of the educational system for decades.  The results of the evaluation should:

  • be meaningful to all of the participants; the evaluation should not be just an activity that is required;
  • provide a quality assurance to the public and educators assessed, and
  • lead to an appropriate professional development path. 

While many variations exist, most evaluations include some or all of the following characteristics. Common characteristics include:

  •  Are intended for use in a classroom environment.
  • Information related to instruction, possibly in a portfolio format, documenting evidence of:
    • Planning and preparation
    • Instructional environment of the classroom
    • Instructional artifacts, such as lesson plans
    • Collaboration with other educators
    • Parent communication
  • One or more observation in the classroom setting
  • Documentation of a conference with the educator and evaluator

Regardless of the approach to evaluation, one thing is clear: the evaluator must have a basic understanding of the professional and what is being taught (Danielson & McGreal, 2000; Marshall, 2009; Marzano, Frontier, & Livingston, 2011; Mathers, Oliva, & Laine, 2008; Strong, 2011).  This remains a challenge for most administrators when evaluating VI professionals, especially for building administrators.  Building administrators may have limited knowledge of visual impairments in general, and more specifically, of the scope of the VI professionals’ responsibilities beyond their building.

What about “value added” components of evaluations?

Many states and districts are moving towards a performance evaluation system that includes a value-added component.  Value added refers to including data from test scores (or other student performance data) as part of the evaluation process.  While many states and districts are adopting this practice, questions still remain about its efficacy (Council for Exceptional Children, 2012; Hansen, 2013).  Additional concerns include questions about those educators who do not teach in tested areas and how to use data when multiple educators contribute to a student’s success.

The intent of this document is to help administrators to use existing evaluation systems more effectively.  Resolving issues related to value-added measures are not within the purview of this document.

Finding and using multiple measures in an evaluation

Any evaluation, regardless of the topic, will be more robust when it is based on multiple sources of information.  Performance evaluations are no different.  This is especially valuable when administrators have limited knowledge of the VI professionals that they are evaluating. Peterson (2000) outlines rationale and source ideas for information from multiple data sources.  He includes the following types of data:

  • Student reports
  • Systematic observation
  • Student achievement
  • Peer review of materials
  • Teacher tests
  • Documentation of professional activity
  • Administrator reports
  • Parent reports

The chart below illustrates how different types of information will contribute to the evaluation.

 Student reportsSystematic observationPupil achievementPeer review of materialTeacher testsProfessional activityAdministrative reportsParent reports
Creates opportunities to learn X X   X        
Student gains     X X        
Academic quality       X        
Follows district and state guidelines       X X X X  
Member of school community             X  
Maintains health and safety conditions           X X  
Ethical practice             X  
Parent relations               X

Adapted by Hanover Research from Peterson, K. 2000. Teacher Evaluation: A Comprehensive Guide to New Directions and Practices.

How can I meet my district obligations and still provide a rigorous and appropriate evaluation?

Frequently, evaluators have limited ability to alter an existing performance evaluation instrument or forms used to gather data.  However, a bit of reflection on the intent of the domain or criteria can result in minor modifications leading to a meaningful and rigorous evaluation for VI professionals.  No single set of answers will work for all districts.  Each district will have needs and resources unique to that setting. Instead of proposing specific solutions, a series of questions to be considered are presented.  Issues to consider include:

  • Deciding who will conduct the evaluation
  • Evaluating instructional settings beyond the classroom
  • Evaluating professional consultation and collaboration skills critical to VI professionals
  • Materials modification and adaptation acquisitions
  • Record keeping and data management
  • Itinerant management
  • Impact of significant changes in instructional needs, workloads and related issues
  • Programmatic and/or administrative challenges

Deciding who will participate in the evaluation

The most basic foundation in an evaluation is the assumption that the evaluators know and understand what they are observing and evaluating.  In reality, this is rarely true for those who are evaluating VI professionals.  This basic level of knowledge may be especially challenged when building administrators are the evaluators (Mathers, Olivia & Laine 2008). When those who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of VI education conduct the evaluation, the reliability and validity of the evaluation may be called into question.

To assist in a rigorous and meaningful evaluation, the use of knowledgeable and reflective peers is a valuable option (Danielson, 2009; Marzano, 2011; Mathers et al., 2008; Peterson, 2000).  Peers may include parents, other VI professionals, and/or additional members of the educational team. 

Questions to reflect upon:

  • How can I be sure that individual evaluators are knowledgeable about the skills needed to perform this unique job? 
  • How can we have some measure of inter-rater reliability?
  • Is the use of peer evaluators indicated?

Instructional settings extend beyond a classroom and include the home and community

Most performance evaluations assume that the instruction will take place in a classroom.  Classrooms include an array of students with a variety of learning styles and needs.  Classrooms also have common characteristics, like grade or subject, age, or severity of disabilities.   

VI professionals may work in a classroom, but it will be one of several instructional settings, which likely include home and community settings (as per IDEA).  Also, the bulk of instruction takes place with a single student, or in small groups.  A major portion (up to 50%) of a VI professional’s time is spent consulting with others, modifying and adapting materials and practices, and completing assessments.

A rigorous and meaningful evaluation considers the array of instructional settings.  Rather than thinking “classroom,” think “instructional setting,” “instructional environment,” or simply “instruction.” Any of these options will be more relevant to the evaluation.  

For VI professionals, “instructional environment” includes not only the physical classroom but also the more abstract aspects of the environment.  This may mean development of an environment that is free of ridicule, acquiring materials in need of modification in a timely fashion, implementing an alternative lighting system, or arranging the room so the student can maneuver safely and efficiently.

For VI professionals, “instructional environment” may refer to not only how well he or she manages the students in an instructional setting but also to establishing a trusting and safe environment in which learning can take place for the student with a visual impairment.

Questions to reflect upon:

  • Is the educator providing instruction in an array of environments?  If not, why not? (IDEA requires that instruction in the home, school, and community for some disability domains, such as visual impairments.)
  • Does the evaluation tool accurately assess the non-classroom professional in a variety of environments? 
  • How will the instruction be assessed:
    • on the campus but in non-classroom environments, such as the hallways and cafeteria? 
    • in settings beyond the campus, such as preschool programs, homes, and job sites?
  • How much time will observations in multiple environments require?
  • How will the VI professional’s ability to modify the instructional environment, for safety or more effective instruction, when necessary, be evaluated?

Impact of significant workload, instructional needs, or related issues

Instructional demands for VI professionals are extremely broad and reflect the extreme heterogeneity of the population.  VI professionals work with students from birth through 21 years old.  Students may be at any place on the functional-vision, cognitive/emotional, and physical continuums. 

In such a low-prevalence population, the change of just one or two students can significantly alter the skills required by the VI professional.  A review of the VI Registration of 9,000 students with visual impairments in Texas and their VI teacher indicates that, on average, 20% of the students change from year to year.  Each change may indicate a significant need for new professional development or create a bigger demand on the time needed for a VI to meet a student’s needs (VI Registration, TSBVI, 2012). In order to be able to evaluate whether the VI professional has a sound understanding of the entire workload and his or her students’ individual needs, the evaluator must have some basic understanding of the demands of the workload.

Questions to reflect upon:

  • How is the information from the annual workload analysis being incorporated into the performance evaluation?
  • Is the educator able to demonstrate a relationship between observed instructional practices and assessments, including the functional vision evaluation and the learning media assessment?
  • How did the educator determine whether a student needed direct or consultative/collaborative services? What assessments, data, or analyses were used for this decision?
  • How will I know that the techniques being used by the educator are appropriate and effective in a specific situation? 
  • How will we (the educator and you) make a professional development plan that strengthens areas that are emerging due to workload changes or not up to required standards? 
  • How can I use limited resources to ensure that the educator has access to and uses professional development opportunities that are meaningful to his or her current and emerging needs?

Professional consultation and collaboration

Most evaluation systems acknowledge the importance of professional consultation and collaboration.  However, with VI professionals it is critical. The importance cannot be overstated.  A significant portion of a VI professional’s non-travel time is spent consulting with other team members, including parents, medical staff, cooperating teachers, therapists of various sorts, and suppliers of necessary materials.  VI professionals, mentors, and others report that this is an area that is a real challenge to new VI professionals. 

Active collaborative consultation is essential parts of the job.  “Drive-by” consultation (less than 30 minutes a month) is usually a poor use of time as it rarely affects student progress and reflects poorly on the VI professional’s collaborative consultation skills.  Consultation must be active and effective, and should follow a transdisciplinary or “role-release” model.

Included in this chapter are 5 sample forms that may help to have a better understanding of how the VI professionals are practicing collaborative consultation.

Evaluating collaborative consultation practices presents evaluators with the challenge of how to evaluate active consulting skills that are critical for student success and integration into the community and that take place outside of observations. 

Questions to reflect upon:

  • How will data about collaborative consultation skills be gathered?
  • Does the educator maintain records of his or her consultations?
  • What types of consultation documentation is available or needed?
  • How can I ensure that the consulting partners are receiving “active” consultations (and interactive), and not just “drive by” visits?
  • How can I be reasonably sure that the amount of time listed for collaborative consultation makes a difference for the student?

Materials modification, adaptation, and acquisition

A companion to the collaborative consultation component of the job is that of supplemental instruction using modified or adapted materials.  The materials will range from an adapted cane, to tactile graphics needed for math and social studies, to tactile communication systems, to a calendar box, to computers with adapted software.  These materials may be “developed” by the VI professional, acquired through the American Printing House for the Blind, or purchased by the district. 

Highly qualified and competent VI professionals must be able to demonstrate skills in assessing need for the materials, as well as the ability to use an array of sources to meet the educational need. 

All relevant team members should know how and when to use the materials.  The materials should not just be dropped-off and left to the teacher to know how and when to use them. 

This process is very different for VI professionals than it is for classroom teachers.  Classroom teachers rely on textbook coordinators and are responsible for materials in a limited instructional and age range.  VI professionals must adapt existing materials and acquire addition materials from a variety of sources, as well as teach a wider range of age- and ability-level students. 

Tactile materials, such as tactile communication systems, including maps, charts and graphs, may come in and be used in a wide array of formats. 

Questions to reflect upon:

  • Are the supplies and materials based on assessed student needs?
  • Are the supplies and materials delivered in a timely manner such that the teacher and the students are able to use them at the same time as the other students?
  • If, in the case of delays, did the VI professional receive the request for the materials in a timely manner?
  • Are the other educational team members, especially the classroom teacher and family, able to use the materials? 
  • How can I know that the sources used for materials are the most appropriate and most cost-effective
  • How can I document that the educator is using a variety of sources in a time- and fiscally efficient manner?

Recordkeeping, quality of records, and data management

VI professionals work with a wide variety of students and must consult and collaborate with at least 7 adults per child, from parents to building administrators, as well as special education staff, various therapists, and medical specialists.  With a caseload of 15 students and allowing for duplication, that is a minimum of 75 adult team members.  The VI professional frequently acts, or should act, as a gatekeeper for information related to vision, our most efficient sense.  It is important that she or he is able to maintain records and write reports that:

  • are current,
  • communicate effectively to the reader,
  • are meaningful, and
  • make direct links to instruction.

In addition, documentation should include information about the following:

  • Daily, weekly, and/or monthly schedule
  • Support decisions that determine what, how much of, and what type of services a student needs
  • Collaborative consultations with other team members

To do this, she or he must be able to be able to coordinate information from medical sources, rehabilitation professionals, and parents, and translate it into the needs of the reader.

Questions to reflect upon:

  • Are the required reports and data current, available, and well organized?
  • Do required reports (e.g., functional vision evaluations, learning media assessments) contain all of the required elements?  How will I recognize this quality?
  • Do the reports make a direct link to instruction to answer the “so what is next?” question?
  • Does the educator have assessments for the specialized areas? (The assessments may or may not be completed by the educator, but copies should be available.)
  • Does the VI professional have assessments for the expanded core curriculum (ECC) domains? The assessments may or may not be completed by the VI professionals, but copies should be available.  (For information on the ECC, see Chapter 11: Expanded Core Curriculum, which will be available soon)

Itinerant management

Itinerant educators face several challenges, regardless of whether they are a traveling music teacher, occupational therapist, or a VI professional.  It is a challenge to:

  • remain connected to the educational community,
  • limit isolation, which affects retention,
  • balance changing schedules,
  • acquire and/or develop necessary supplies and materials,
  • engage in active collaborative consultation, and
  • deliver appropriate on-time instruction in an array of settings. 

VI professionals, as well as other itinerant or non-classroom educators (e.g., vocational teachers, athletic educators), are also charged with providing contextual and/or functional skills. 

As an administrator you are aware that travel time is time lost from instruction.  Yet, providing contextual instruction in the domains related to the ECC is the raison d'être for VI professionals.  Additionally, IDEA requires academic and functional skills in the home, school, and community environments.

Questions to reflect upon:

  • How confident am I that the travel schedule is the most efficient it can be, given the needs of the students, the schools they attend and the critical importance of community-based learning?
  • Is the VI professional able to balance the needs of the job out in the field and the office time needed for planning, report writing, material modifications, community contacts, and general case management?
  • How can I be confident that the skills evaluated are representative of those needed and not just limited to the student(s) in a single building and/or setting?
  • If the items listed above are an issue, is it due to management skills, or is there a workload issue?
  • How isolated does the educator feel?  How is that sense of isolation affecting his or her performance and will it impact retention?

Programmatic or administrative challenges

Research indicates that a critical component of any performance evaluation is the evaluator being grounded in the content that is being taught (Danielson & McGreal, 2000 a or b?; Marshall, 2009; Marzano, Frontier, & Livingston, 2011; Mathers, Olivia, & Laine, 2008; Strong, 2011).  This is a challenge for the best administrators in an area as broad as special education.  Special education includes a wide variety of specialized educators and therapists, each of whom have diverse expertise, of which VI is only a small part.  Many skillful special education administrators acknowledge their lack of knowledge about their VI professionals.  If people outside of special education, such as building principals, are completing the evaluations, the challenge is compounded exponentially.

Furthermore, many administrators have limited ability to modify and/or add additional pieces of the evaluation onto the existing evaluation system.  As most mandated systems are necessarily broad, it is important that the administrator interpret the required domains into meaningful behaviors.

Questions to reflect upon:

  • How confident am I that the evaluation accurately samples and reflects the true scope of the educator’s skills? 
  • Would I know if this educator was in need of intensive assistance?
  • Based on available data, am I able to recommend the educator in my program for commendations and other recognitions available in the district? 
  • Am I able to make decisions on professional development based on data about the needs of students and staff?
  • What sources of data, such as workload data, reports, assessments, surveys, and job descriptions, are included in my evaluation?  Do I need additional sources of data?
  • How can I work with other administrators to ensure that my staff is fairly and accurately evaluated?
  • If the professional or other party challenged the evaluation, what data will I use to defend the findings?


These domains and questions won’t provide the answers you need to perform a rigorous and appropriate performance evaluation.  However, they may help you and your district find the best options. 

Special note about dual certification 

VI teachers and O&M specialists belong to two different professions with two different sets of professional standards and practices.  Extreme care must be taken to ensure that standards are not compromised when evaluating a dually certified professional. 

It is important to understand the administrative impact of dual certification.  Although not all students with visual impairments require O&M at all times, it is reasonable to expect that (at any given moment) at least 50% of the students will need O&M.  This amount may be more if the caseload includes very young, totally blind students; students whose vision is changing; or students who are experiencing changes in their home, school, or community environment.  These changes may be due to a change in schools, community, or the student’s need to interact with the community.  These additional responsibilities cannot just be “absorbed.” It is equivalent to adding 50% more students to the VI caseload.

Should a TVI become dually certified AND function in both disciplines, then adjustments must be made to the professional’s caseload and to the performance evaluation plan.  The evaluation should not only include assessing the skills in both disciplines but also assess how the disciplines are integrated.Tips and ideas for evaluating VI professionals within the evaluation system used by the program or other larger framework

Regardless of what type of system is currently in place for classroom educators (and other traditional school staff), it is probable that itinerant professionals (and other non-traditional staff) will require alternative types of data gathering.  Additionally, non-special education staff may be involved as peer evaluators. 

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall, does my performance evaluation reflect my goals?”

Reflect on the questions previously listed.  Chances are VI professionals are not the only educators in the district (or special education program) for whom the traditional performance evaluation does not adequately capture an accurate representation of the professional’s skills and abilities.  If so, conversing with group of relevant professionals may help with finding solutions and bridging the gap.  Such a group may review procedures and challenges, finding common themes.  This group may include administrators from neighboring districts who are facing similar issues, VI professionals, and/or other experts in evaluation. 

A frank discussion with the itinerant or specialized educators may yield some surprising results.  They may provide excellent guidance on exactly what the problems are and how they can be solved within the existing resource network. 

VI professionals want to do a good job; they want people to know it when they are excelling and want guidance when they are floundering. VI professionals also want to be eligible for commendations and promotions when deserved. As an administrator, you also want to be assured that your limited resources (i.e., staff, time, and money) are being used wisely. 

Use your tools

Start with your existing sources of data.  The job description, professional competencies, and caseload data should be the foundation of all performance evaluations.  Those are readily available.  Other existing sources of data that are also readily available can be helpful, too, such as:

  • functional vision evaluations
  • learning media assessments
  • progress reports
  • schedules
  • information from consulting partners, such as classroom teachers and parents
  • various other materials and samples

These sources of data can be collected throughout the year. 

An additional policy of asking people to send copies of certificates from professional development activities and /or awards will assist you in your evaluation.

Look around… answers exist

Certainly, VI professionals are a small group, and performance evaluation materials are less common for this group.  However multiple materials for evaluating personnel and programs exist.  It may be necessary to blend information from other, larger disciplines, but you will be able to find what you need to meet your specific and unique needs.

Included are links to resources and tools that may provide helpful answers  

Make it easy

If the goals of the evaluation are to be met, AND be meaningful for all concerned, gathering and evaluating non-traditional data must be easy and well understood by all participants.

So if, for example, you are sending questionnaires to team members and/or students, consider the following strategies:

  • include a letter (print or email) of explanation or a phone call to the reader.  Make sure that the information is ‘reader-friendly’.
  • Include a link to a survey and/or print the questions on a prepaid postcard
  • use, but don’t over-rely on, various electronic formats

Then the respondent merely needs to complete it, and return it via electronic or ground mail.

Another way to make it easy is to build the data gathering into larger processes.  For example, don’t limit the alternative data sources to VI professionals; include all the specialized and/or itinerant educators. 

Tools to assist administrators in making a reflective and accurate assessment of skills and abilities of VI professionals

The following set of tools is included to help you assess your performance evaluation practices and procedures.  Knowing the basic competencies helps ensures that the evaluator is familiar with the expectations of the job and that the evaluation is based on the job description.

Standard competencies for professionals in visual impairments

  • O&M specialists are certified by either the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) or the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB). More information is available on their websites:

VI teachers are certified by states.  As a result, the competencies vary from state to state, although they are likely to be similar in core beliefs. When developing standards (knowledge and skills or competencies), many states start with those developed by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). 

Print and electronic resources

  • Teacher Evaluation: New Directions & Practices
    • This site provides information about teacher evaluations.  It also provides guidance on using multiple data tools, questionnaires, forms, and other practical tools.  This information was developed by Kenneth Peterson, Ph.D.
  • Quality Programs for Students with Visual Impairments (QPVI)
    • A guided self-study program for administrators and VI professionals.  This multi-year program helps administrators gather and analyze data from their program and determine a meaningful course of action for improvement. This is not a performance evaluation system.  It is a structured system to help educators and supervisors to better understand and improve their program.  As a result of using this program, administrators report being more confident in their ability to provide a rigorous and appropriate performance evaluation.
      More information about QPVI is available from Nancy Toelle on the QPVI website:
  • Teacher Evaluation to Enhance Professional Practice (2000a).  Charlotte Danielson & Thomas McGreal.  Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.
    • Provides an excellent framework for performance evaluation and designing a program to meet your needs, balancing formative and summative evaluation.
  • Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching (2000b).  Charlotte Danielson & Thomas McGreal.  Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.
    • Provides excellent frameworks for an array of general and specialized educators, including librarians, school psychologists, and therapeutic specialists, as well as detailed definitions of levels of performance within each observed behavior.
  • While not VI-specific, Danielson’s Frameworks for Instructional Specialists (pp. 111–123) and Therapeutic Specialists (pp. 150, 159–167) provide an outstanding foundation for completing meaningful evaluations.
    • Provides information and guidance in assessing performance evaluation systems and completing meaningful evaluations.  It also provides significant information about developing and using multiple measures when evaluating educators.
  • A Comprehensive Guide to New Directions and Practices (2000). Kenneth Peterson.  Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA.


  • Initial Special Education Teachers of Individuals with Exceptional Learning Needs Who Are Blind and/or Visually Impaired (.doc 60kb)  from CEC’s What Every Educator Must Know (a.k.a. “Redbook”)
    • These standards provide a comprehensive description of expected competencies for teachers certified in visual impairment. These are often used as a foundation by states when developing their certification standards.  These pages (143–151) are reprinted with permission from the Council for Exceptional Children from the website referenced above.
  • TVI/COMS Self-Assessment Rubric for Collaborative Consultation (.doc 51kb)
    • The ability to provide collaborative consultation is a keystone component of high-quality professionals.  However, it may be challenging for administrators to qualitatively differentiate between abilities. 
    • This rubric is intended to assist administrators in their observation and conversation with VI professionals. It provides definitions for 4 levels of performance in 11 domains.  This document may be used in partnership with existing performance evaluation instruments or other documents.  It was developed by Kitra Gray, PhD., from ESC 10 in Richardson, Texas.
  • TVI/COMS Self-Assessment Rubric for Direct Instruction (.doc 51kb)
    • This rubric is intended to assist administrators and teachers certified in visual impairments (TVIs) and O&M specialists (COMS) to have a meaningful conversation about the skills observed.  It provides definitions for 4 levels of performance in 12 domains.  This document may be used in partnership with existing performance evaluation instruments or other documents.
    • This document was modified by Kitra Gray, PhD, a VI consultant at the Region 10 Educational Service Center.  The rubric was adapted from Texas Beginning Educator Support System: TxBess Framework, January 2005, which was developed by Resources for Learning, LLC for the Texas Educational Agency.
    • Increasingly districts are gathering information from peers and stakeholders for performance evaluations.  Given the itinerant nature of VI professionals and the large number of educational team members they interact with, surveys are a viable option to gather information.  Included is a survey for students, parents, and other team members.  These three surveys were modified from surveys included in Teacher Evaluation: To Enhance Professional Practice (Danielson & McGreal, 2000b, p. 52).
    • Stakeholder surveys for parents, students, and other educators and therapists


Council for Exceptional Children’s Position on Special Education Teacher Evaluation, 2012. Retrieved from

Danielson, C. (2009). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Danielson, C., & McGreal, T. L. (2000a). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

Danielson, C., & McGreal, T. L. (2000b). Teacher evaluation to enhance professional practice. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

Dignan, K. (2011).  Performance evaluations for VI professionals: Perceptions from the field. Unpublished report. Austin, TX: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Hanover Research. (2012). Benefits of the multiple-measure approach.  Retrieved from

Hansen, M. (2013). Anticipating innovation in teacher evaluation systems: Lessons for researchers and policymakers. Retrieved from American Enterprise Institute,

Marshall, K. (2009). Rethinking teacher supervision and evaluation: How to work smart, build collaboration, and close the achievement gap. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Marzano, R., Frontier, T., & Livingston, D. (2011).  Effective supervision: Supporting the art and science of teaching. Arlington, VA: ASCD.

Marzano, R., & Toth, M. (2013).  Teacher evaluation for teacher growth. Retrieved from Southeast Educational Network:

Mathers, C., Oliva, M., & Laine, S. (2008). Improving instruction through effective teacher evaluation: Options for states and districts.  Retrieved from National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality:

Peterson, K. (2000). Teacher evaluation: A comprehensive guide to new directions and practices. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Strong, M. (2011). The highly qualified teacher: What is teacher quality and how do we measure it? New York, NY: Teacher College Press.