The Performance Appraisal Process: Lessons Learned

Just as leadership styles and organizational work have evolved, so have perspectives on performance evaluation. Traditional performance evaluation is hierarchical, control-oriented, and focused on individual ranking and grading. Present-day performance evaluation is relational, facilitative, and focused on development and problem-solving (Leadership, R. Lussier, et al).

In Ontario, teacher performance appraisal requirements and processes are legislated. While the legislation is founded on a more traditional “three strikes you are out” mandate, the philosophy and practices are more contemporary. They are “designed to provide meaningful appraisals of teachers’ performance that encourage professional learning and growth; identify opportunities for additional support where required; and provide a measure of accountability to the public” (Education Act, Part X.2, Regulation 98/02, Reg 99/02).

Two recent arbitral awards regarding teacher performance appraisal in Ontario provide insight regarding best practices for strategic leaders in modern organizational work environments. A review of the Gusita award (OSSTF vs. TDSB, 2011) and the Tait award (OSSTF vs TLDSB, 2018) will highlight the arbitral standards that must be met, the essential features of performance appraisal to meet those standards, and lessons learned.

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