October 13, 2017


Local Choice for Colorado School Districts and BOCES:

Why the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model?

The research-based Marzano model was developed both to evaluate teacher practice and improve it over time. Why a growth-based model makes sense for Colorado districts as they plan for the long-term.

Teaching, and the measurement of teacher effectiveness, are complex issues: What do teacher evaluation systems measure? And how do they measure it? The Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model was developed to provide both a fair and accurate measure of teacher performance and also an instructional framework that empowers teachers to take control of their own growth. Using teacher and administrator-friendly language, the model provides a platform for teachers to assess their own performance and document their growth in specific areas of pedagogy grounded in research-based criteria.

The Marzano model provides a common language and a common rubric for school leaders to offer feedback to teachers about instruction. Further, the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model aligns with Colorado Teaching Standards (see the full Colorado alignment document here.) and the spirit and law of Colorado’s Educator Effectiveness Senate Bill 10-191.

The Marzano model has been successfully implemented in hundreds of school districts across the U.S. with expert support from Learning Sciences Marzano Center consultants. We can help you complete the CDE assurances process and district evaluator education work plan if your district or BOCES would like to implement the Marzano model.

Dr. Robert Marzano and Michael Toth – Measurement vs Development

The Marzano Evaluation Model has really made me think of the full circle of teaching — not just what I do in the classroom, or what I do for planning, or what I do as professional development, but to think of it as a whole comprehensive unit.

—Rebecca Schultz, math teacher, Amos P. Godby High School
Leon County School District, Tallahassee, Florida


The Marzano Model: An Overview

The Marzano model is comprised of four domains. The model is designed as a highly interconnected system, so that the actions each domain affect and reflect the actions and results of other domains. In other words, the domains do not operate in isolation.

  1. Domain 1 is focused on observable teacher strategies and behaviors. The specific classroom strategies in this domain are correlated to gains in student achievement, and are measured by student results. Domain 1 is directly related to teacher actions in the classroom, but it is also connected to the plan for instruction designed by the teacher in Domain 2.
  2. Domain 2 focuses on intentional planning for intentional instruction. Planning is the domain in which a teacher demonstrates expertise of subject matter, as evidenced by plans designed to meets the developmental needs of students, to move lessons from simple to complex, to make interdisciplinary connections, and to align with content standards. Once the lesson, as part of a unit, is designed, the teacher implements the plan in the classroom through active teaching in Domain 1.
  3. Domain 3 focuses on teacher reflection and self-assessment to continue developing pedagogical expertise. This domain requires teachers to assess the effectiveness of the instructional strategies they used to deliver content. In Domain 3, teachers ask themselves the tough questions about the effect their lessons are having on students, and how they can redesign or begin the process of growing to improve their pedagogy. What teachers do in Domain 3 will be evident in Domains 1 and 2. Domain 3 empowers teachers to systematically self-assess and grow. Domain 3 also encourages school leaders to work cooperatively with teachers to identify areas of strength and weaknesses.
  4. Domain 4 focuses on relationships with students, teachers, administration, and the community. Here teachers demonstrate evidence that they work as part of a professional learning community and support their schools and districts. In the absence of professionalism and collegiality, most teachers will not be successful in the other three domains.

The language and scales of the Marzano model address the complexities of teaching, helping teachers use a variety of instructional strategies to meet the developmental needs of all students. It provides a medium to give teachers accurate feedback about their content expertise and their impact on student learning. For full details about the model and the research background behind it, download our white paper on the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model and student achievement here.

Download the Colorado Alignment Document

What Michigan educators and leadership are saying about the Marzano model.

Read more about the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model and its proven cause-and-effect relationship to student achievement.

Free Resources

Learn more about our support services and training

Call 1-877-411-7114 or fill out our contact form to schedule a demonstration, or to find out more about the model and how we can support implementation in your district.