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12 for 2012 - 12 for 2012 is an ECS “read of the field,” built on our scrutiny of new reports and research, and our analysis of emerging drivers of change. The 12 policy areas do not represent an exhaustive list of the critical issues for the coming year, nor is this report intended to dictate your education policy priorities for 2012. Rather, 12 for 2012 is intended to stimulate thinking around how best to craft the “2.0” of powerful policy across the states. (ECS, 2012)...

Appeal Processes -- State Teacher Evaluation Systems PDF - With a new generation of higher-stake teacher evaluations, pressure for checks and balances is growing. This document highlights provisions that allow for some level of appeal of a teacher's evaluation. (Kathy Christie, Education Commission of the States, November 2011) ...

From the ECS Research Studies Database - A snapshot of research reports which fall under the question, What metrics best measure teacher effectiveness? (The titles are links.)...

Teacher Evaluation: New Approaches for a New Decade PDF - Whether spurred by the hope of Race to the Top funds or the research showing that students in ineffective teachers’ classrooms do not make the academic gains of children taught by more effective educators, a number of states have enacted legislation in the last year to amend teacher evaluation policies. This ECS policy brief provides highlights of these new provisions....

Teaching Quality: What metrics best measure teacher effectiveness? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

Professional Practice, Student Surveys, and Value-Added: Multiple Measures of Teacher Effectiveness in the Pittsburgh Public Schools - To assist Pittsburgh Public Schools in refining their three primary measures of teacher effectiveness - principal evaluations, student surveys and value-added measures - researchers looked at how well those measures differentiated among teachers and how strongly they correlated with each other. They found all three had the potential to differentiate teacher performance, and they were moderately correlated. However, principals' standards might not be full consistent across schools and that measure would benefit from using more than one rater. (Duncan Chaplin, et al., REL Mid-Atlantic, July 2014) ...

Beyond Satisfactory: Redefining Teacher Support and Evaluation to Improve Teaching and Learning - California’s regulatory framework and most of the state’s district teacher evaluations systems undermine efforts to improve teaching and learning, concludes this report. After a look at seven schools systems piloting new ways to evaluate and support teachers, recommendations are made for state and local levels. (Jeanette Lafors,The Education Trust-West, May 2014)...

Evaluating Teachers with Classroom Observations: Lessons Learned in Four Districts - This report takes a look at four urban districts and finds teachers with students with higher incoming achievement levels receive classroom observation scores that are higher than those received by teachers whose incoming students are at lower achievement levels. The solution? Adjust teacher scores based on student demographics. (Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst, Matthew M. Chingos and Katharine M. Lindquist, Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings, May 2014)...

Genuine Progress, Greater Challenges: A Decade of Teacher Effectiveness Reforms - Policymakers embraced two ideas in the last decade: teachers are the single most important factor in student achievement and teacher evaluation ratings don't mean much. States requiring annual evaluations nearly tripled, states requiring student growth be the most important criterion in evaluation went from five to 20. Authors of this report recommend continuous improvement of evaluation systems, professionalizing professional development, increasing rigor and quality in teacher preparation, better deployment of teacher talent and addressing education's politics. (Andrew J. Rotherham and Ashley LiBetti Mitchel, Bellwether Education Partners, May 2014)...

Alternative Growth Measures for Teacher Evaluation: Profiles of Early-Adopting Districts - While many states now evaluate teachers based on student growth, using state student assessments is problematic - they are typically administered in grades 3-8 and only in math and reading. This report looks at alternative student growth measures, first alternative assessment-based value-added models that use end-of-course assessments or commercially available tests, then student learning objectives which are determined by individual teachers and approved by principals. (Brian Gill, et al., REL Mid-Atlantic, April 2014)...

2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook National Summary - The National Council on Teacher Quality annually tracks and analyzes teacher policies across all states and the District of Columbia. The Yearbook is mammoth – 226 pages – and can be searched by national findings, by issue, or by state. States get overall grades, based on individual criteria which also are graded. For those interested in particular states, or in comparing states, there is an interactive map. (NCTQ, January 2014)...

Using Teacher Evaluation Data to Inform Professional Development in the Intensive Partnership Sites - Implementation of professional development continues to evolve at the seven sites of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative. The sites are modifying their approaches to professional development to offer more individualized opportunities and to use evaluation results as guidance for determining professional development offerings. Majorities of teachers expressed positive opinions about the validity of the evaluation measures, but they point out a number of perceived problems. (Laura S. Hamilton et al., Using Teacher Evaluation Data to Inform Professional Development in the Intensive Partnership Sites, February 2014)...

Comparing Estimates of Teacher Value-Added Based on Criterion- and Norm-Referenced Tests - Researchers compared estimates of teacher value-added based on two assessments, the criterion-based Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus and the norm-referenced Measures of Academic Progress. Findings indicated some variability between the estimates of teacher value-added from the two tests; they were moderately correlated. Incorporating confidence intervals for value-added estimates reduces the likelihood that teachers' performance will be misclassified based on measurement error. (National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory, Midwest, January 2014)...

Evaluating Teachers More Strategically: Using Performance Results to Streamline Evaluation Systems - A must-read: In response to complaints of inefficiency and burdensome costs, many states and districts have begun to alter their original, one-size-fits-all evaluation processes to bring greater quality and efficiency to their evaluation systems. For example, Tennessee and others replaced their original approaches with more differentiated models, using past performance data to determine which teachers should be evaluated with more or less intensity in following evaluation cycles. (Taylor White, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, January 2014)...

How Might We Use Multiple Measures for Teacher Accountability? - One of a set of must-reads for anyone designing teacher evaluation systems....

A Human Capital Framework for a Stronger Teacher Workforce - Building a stronger teacher workforce requires multiple processes working together: getting the right teachers in the right positions on time (acquire), supporting professional growth (develop), nurturing and rewarding high-performing teachers (sustain) and informing evidence-based personnel decisions (evaluate). (Jeannie Myung, Krissia Martinez and Lee Nordstrum, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, August 2013) (Jeannie Myung, Krissia Martinez and Lee Nordstrum, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, August 2013)...

Combining Multiple Performance Measures: Do Common Approaches Undermine Districts' Personnel Evaluation Systems? - Identifying high and low performers in teaching and school leadership is difficult. Researchers used simulations to test three commonly used systems to evaluate teachers and principals and conclude the numeric model is the preferred approach. The hybrid and profile models introduce a bias favoring teachers. Authors recommend states and districts clearly articulate the evaluation system's target criterion and understand how the adopted performance measures predict that target criterion. (Michael Hansen, Mariann Lemke and Nicholas Sorensen, American Institutes for Research, August 2013)...

Teaching the Whole Child: Instructional Practices That Support Social-Emotional Learning in Three Teacher Evaluation Frameworks - How can teacher evaluation systems help teachers develop students’ social-emotional competencies? This paper first identifies instructional practices that promote student social-emotional learning which in turn promote student academic learning, then shows how three popular teacher evaluation systems (the Danielson Framework for Teaching, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System observation instrument, and the Marzano observation protocol) feature practices that influence not only student academic learning but also student social and emotional competencies. (Nicholas Yoder, American Institutes for Research, August 2013)...

TASK: Teacher Analysis of Student Knowledge: A Measure of Learning Trajectory-Oriented Formative Assessment - A must-read per ECS staff: If teachers cannot effectively analyze students' thinking, it is not likely that they will formulate effective instructional responses. Researchers at CPRE developed an innovative new instrument to authentically measure teachers’ formative assessment practices in mathematics. The Teacher Analysis of Student Knowledge (TASK) is a grade-specific, online assessment which measures important components of instructional knowledge. The takeaways gleaned from use of the tool provide insight into the current state of teachers’ capabilities in helping kids learn. For instance, in grades K-2, nearly half of teacher responses focused on procedures for solving addition or subtraction problems rather than underlying concepts. Across all grade levels, the vast majority of teacher responses were procedural, focusing on what the student did to solve the problem rather than commenting on the student’s underlying conceptual understanding. This work — and its emphasis on evaluating students’ conceptual understanding — could begin to help improve how we better prepare teachers, provide professional development, and evaluate teacher effectiveness.(Jonathan Supovitz, Caroline B. Ebby and Philip Sirinides, CPRE, June 2013)...

Toward Better Teaching: A View of Evaluation Policies, Practices and Lessons in SREB States - Teachers are crucial to student success and everything that can be learned about recruitment, placement, evaluation and retention is valuable. This report provides an update on teacher evaluation policies, practices and lessons in the 16 Southern Regional Education Board states, many of which have begun to overhaul their teacher evaluation systems. Variation among them is the rule. (Andy Baxter, Southern Regional Education Board, June 2013)...

An Ocean of Unknowns: Risks and Opportunities in Using Student Achievement Data to Evaluate PreK-3rd Grade Teachers - f teacher evaluation is a hot-button issue for teachers in fourth through 12th grades, imagine the difficulties of assessing the impact of someone who's dealing with much younger children. To a great extent, it's new territory, but this study presents problems already encountered in five states and three districts. Most use one or a variety of three approaches: student learning objectives, shared assessments, and shared attribution. Opportunities and risks for each are listed. (Laura A. Bornfreund, New America Foundation, May 2013))...

How Much Are Districts Spending to Implement Teacher Evaluation Systems? Case Studies of Hillsborough County Public Schools, Memphis City Schools, and Pittsburgh Public Schools - This report presents case studies of the efforts by three school districts -- Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS), Memphis City Schools (MCS), and Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) -- to launch, implement, and operate new teacher evaluation systems as part of a larger reform effort called the Partnership Sites to Empower Effective Teaching. This analysis calculates what the programs cost to implement. (Jay Chambers, Iliana Brodziak de los Reyes and Caitlin ONeill, RAND Education and American Institutes for Research, May 2013) ...

What Do We Know About the Tradeoffs Associated with Teacher Misclassifications in High Stakes Personnel Decisions? - Tackling the hot-button issue of teacher evaluation, the authors point out the inevitability of mistakes because teacher performance isn't totally observable and measures are imperfect. Still, they believe better measurement of teacher performance is possible. While teacher classification error rates based on student test scores may be high, that error rate might be lower than classifications based on traditional methods. They call for "caution and a for a better understanding of new systems in action." (Dan Goldhaber and Susanna Loeb, Carnegie Knowledge Network, April 2013)...

Getting to Excellence: A Legislator's Guide to Educator Effectiveness Policy - Of those factors influencing student achievement within a school, teacher effectiveness is the most significant. As the pace of education reform quickens, this guide for legislators offers a road map as they continue to support and improve educator effectiveness in the areas of teacher and principal preparation, licensing, recruitment and retention, induction and mentoring, professional development, and educator evaluation. Each section features an overview of policy, lists questions legislators might ask about their own state’s policy, offers policy options states are considering, then lists additional resources. Created by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the guide encourages legislators to approach teacher and principal policy within the same context, to consider policies within the larger career continuum rather than piece by piece, and to ask how a change in one area might affect another. (Michelle Exstrom, National Conference of State Legislators, February 2013) ...

Ensuring Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching - Culminating three years of study in seven districts, researchers concluded teacher evaluation could offer a meaningful measure of teacher effectiveness. They recommend a composite teacher score comprised of student state test results, teacher observation and student surveys. State student test results should count for 33%-50% of the score and teacher observations would be more meaningful if done by two different people. MET Project, January 2013)...

The State of Teacher Evaluation Reform: State Education Agency Capacity and the Implementation of New Teacher-Evaluation Systems - As states struggle to implement teacher-evaluation systems - a crucial part of improving teacher quality - McGuinn offers an assessment of how early adopter states have fared, identifying challenges and lessons. Six states were used as case studies not only because they were first out of the chute, but also because they used different approaches. They are Colorado, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. (Patrick McGuinn, November 2012)...

What Works Clearinghouse Review of the Report “The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood” - The authors reviewed a highly publicized study which examined differences in student achievement when students were taught by a teacher with high or low value-added, a measure of teacher effectiveness. The authors determine that the study meets the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards, but determines so with reservations (What Works Clearinghouse, October 2012)....

Teacher Quality 2.0: The Hangover: Thinking about the Unintended Consequences of the Nation's Teacher Evaluation Binge - Over the past three years, numerous states have passed legislation establishing new teacher evaluation requirements and systems. These efforts can provide significant benefits, but there are pitfalls in states’ rush to legislate new systems, and there are real tensions and trade-offs in their design. This paper argues that much of the current policy debate has been framed in stark ideological terms that leave little room for adult discussion of these tensions. The paper seeks to move the debate beyond ideology and technical issues by highlighting four key tensions that policymakers, advocates, and educators must consider in the development of new teacher evaluations and offers several policy recommendations. (American Enterprise Institute, September 2012)...

Transforming Tenure: Using Value-Added Modeling to Identify Ineffective Teachers - This report examines transforming tenure policies by using value-added modeling (VAM) to identify ineffective teachers. The author analyzed data from Florida public schools and found that VAM scores of third year teachers predict fifth year success. The report provides recommendations for how VAM can most effectively be used in tenure reform. (CSLL, September 2012)...

Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Implementation Teachers Will Support: Ten Recommendations from MCS Teachers for the Effective Design and Implementation of PAR - As Memphis City Schools implements Phase I of the Peer Assistance Review program in the spring semester (2012), the goal of the implementation is to support selected district teachers and align PAR with the new Teacher Effectiveness Measure. The authors propose 10 recommendations for effective design and implementation of Phase I of PAR in order for teachers to see PAR as support for an effective teacher in every classroom every day. (Teach Plus, Winter 2012)...

Teacher Performance Management: Scorecard for State Policymakers - With the assertion that a high-quality teacher evaluation system provides teacher feedback and can have a significant impact on strengthening the teacher force, this tool offers a 13-question list, with three possible weighted responses to each question. The first response gets a zero, the second a one, the third two. Within minutes, questions may be answered and a score assigned. For example, to the first question: Description of an Effective Teacher. The zero response is, The state does not provide a definition or framework of teacher effectiveness as part of its evaluation, nor does it offer guidance to districts who have the ability to develop their own definition of teacher effectiveness. (American Institutes for Research, August 2013)...

Recent Teacher Policy Changes in Tennessee: Teacher Evaluations - The Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010 created a new teacher evaluation system in Tennessee. Some components of the new evaluation system (the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model or TEAM) are still under development, but TEAM has been implemented as part of Tennessee’s agreement for receipt of federal grant funds. This report analyzes the former teacher evaluation model (Framework for Evaluation and Professional Growth) and TEAM, and compares the two systems. (Offices of Research and Education Accountability, Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, March 2012)...

An Interaction-Based Approach to Enhancing Secondary School Instruction and Student Achievement - A quick review of a study that examines the effect of a secondary school teacher training and coaching program (MTP-S) on student achievement. While the program showed no effect on student achievement during the intervention year, a statistically significant effect was recorded in the post-intervention year with an increase in student achievement from the 50th to the 59th percentile. (Institute of Education Sciences, Feb 2012)...

Gathering Feedback for Teaching: Combining High-Quality Observations with Student Surveys and Achievement Gains - This report presents and in-depth discussion of the analytical methods and findings from the MET project's analysis of classroom observations. The report focuses on five different approaches to classroom observations in order to determine the value of each. (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2012)...

Learning Denied: The Case for Equitable Access to Effective Teaching in California's Largest School District - The authors use student test scores to estimate the "value-added" impact of tens of thousands of teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District over a three-year period. Their findings indicate that effective teaching makes a massive difference in student learning, but that low-income students and students of color are less likely to be taught by the most effective teachers. (The Education Trust - West, 2012)...

The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Students' Outcomes in Adulthood - In exploring if teachers’ impacts on students’ test scores (“value-added”) are a good measure of their quality, the authors question whether value-added (VA) provides unbiased estimates of teachers’ impacts on student achievement and whether high-VA teachers improve students’ long-term outcomes. They address these two issues by analyzing school district data from grades 3-8 for 2.5 million children. (Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff, 2011)...

Measuring a Teacher's Value and Effectiveness in SREB States - In this report, SREB has brought together key findings on the components of comprehensive teacher evaluation models from top researchers and policy groups. (SREB, Nov 2011)...

Revamping the Teacher Evaluation Process - This brief looks more closely at new laws establishing parameters for K-12 teacher evaluation. Specific teacher evaluation programs are examined and compared. The brief then suggest possible challenges for program design and implementation and then provides recommendations. (Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Fall 2011)...

Special Education Value-Added performance Evaluation Systems: A State-Level Focus - This brief policy analysis describes current special education teacher and related services provider performance evaluation systems in the states. The document begins with a brief background on methods of measuring teacher effectiveness. Data was collected through a survey of states and results are provided regarding state roles in performance evaluation frameworks, differentiation of these frameworks for special educators, how evaluation data is used for special educators and recommendations from the states that responded. (Paula Burdette, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, November 2011)...

Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades - This report presents an argument for improving early education through third grade by watching teachers in action using innovative observation tools in combination with evaluation and training programs. With many states currently redesigning their teacher-evaluation systems, the authors offer 17 recommendations to policymakers at all levels of government, as well as to educators and teacher-preparation programs. Among them: Use valid and reliable observation tools to identify, promote and reward good teaching; harness the power of these tools to integrate professional development with formal evaluation; and use observation-based assessments to promote PreK-3rd reforms, providing teachers with a common language for describing good teaching across pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and elementary schools. (New America Foundation, Nov 2011) ...

State of the States: Trends and Early Lessons on Teacher Evaluation and Effectiveness Policies - In addition to providing a 50-state overview of teacher effectiveness policies, this paper looks more in-depth at the characteristics of the 17 states’ and the District of Columbia’s Public Schools, which are giving student achievement a significant, objective, meaningful and measurable role in how teacher performances is assessed. (National Council on Teacher Quality, October 2011)...

Using Data to Improve Teacher Effectiveness: A Primer for State Policymakers - Policymakers across the nation are leading efforts to ensure that every classroom has an effective teacher. Faced with the need to dramatically improve student outcomes, states have embraced a policy agenda that promotes and supports teacher quality in many ways, including developing evaluation and compensation policies, targeting professional development, determining the characteristics of effective teachers through research, and identifying effective teacher preparation programs. (Data Quality Campaign, July 2011)...

Passing Muster: Evaluating Teacher Evaluation Systems - This report addresses the comparison of teacher evaluation systems in the context of a particular administrative and legislative challenge: How a state or the federal government could achieve a uniform standard for dispensing funds to school districts for the recognition of exceptional teachers without imposing a uniform evaluation system on those districts. (Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings, April 2011)...

Interim Report: New Jersey Educator Effectiveness Task Force - The task force presents recommendations for improving student achievement in New Jersey by revamping the educator evaluation system. Their recommended system is based on the knowledge that educator effectiveness is the most important in-school factor for improving student achievement. Like most states, New Jersey does not have a system that accurately differentiates the effectiveness of educators. A high quality system would enable districts and the state to vastly improve personnel decision and drive improvements in student learning. (New Jersey Educator Effectiveness Task Force, March 2011)...

Teacher and Leader Effectiveness in High-Performing Education Systems - The report outlines lessons learned from three of the highest-performing education systems in the world: Finland, Ontario and Singapore. These systems demonstrate that states and national governments can develop policies that create a highly effective educator workforce that produces improvements in achievement for all students. (Alliance for Excellent Education, March 2011)...

Transforming High Schools: Performance Systems for Powerful Teaching - The national policy community recognizes that in order for the United States to compete in a global knowledge economy, the concentration and distribution of effective teachers in secondary schools must be dramatically improved. Fundamental policy questions remain unanswered, however, about what approaches are best to ensure teaching quality. This brief provides several recommendations for federal and state policymakers to support educator development in high schools. (Alliance for Excellent Education, February 2011)...

Using Student Performance to Evaluate Teachers - Systems that incorporate student test scores into teacher evaluations face at least two important challenges. First, they must support valid and reliable inferences about teachers' contributions to student learning and, second, they must attempt to include teachers who do not teach subjects or grades that are tested annually. The Center for American Progress asked Rand to review the literature and examine how five educational systems are beginning to approach these challenges. (Rand Education, February 2011)...

Getting Teacher Assessment Right: What Policymakers Can Learn from Research - This paper sets out information on teacher evaluation systems that include assessment scores. The publication includes some concerns about proposed systems and some suggestions on characteristics potentially workable systems. (Paatricia Hinchey, National Education Policy Center, December 2010)...

Learning About Teaching: Initial Findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project - This policy brief shares the preliminary findings based on the research to date that includes studying achievement gains on state tests and supplemental tests in grades four through eight in five districts, and student perception data gathered from surveys. Early findings include: (1) Past success is one of the strongest predictors of high value-added results for a teacher; (2) The average student can identify effective teaching; and (3) Multiple measures combined can be used to provide diagnostic, targeted feedback to teachers. (Measures of Effective Teaching Project, December 2010)...

Incorporating Student Performance Measures into Teacher Evaluation Systems - In their analysis of the systems of three districts and two states that have begun or are planning to incorporate measures of student performance into their teacher evaluations, the authors examine how the five profiles systems are addressing assessment quality, evaluating teachers in nontested subjects and grades and assigning teachers responsibility for particular students. (Rand Corporation, 2010)...

Value Added of Teachers in High-Poverty Schools and Lower-Poverty Schools - The bottom line of this study, from the authors perspective: Simply attempting to import teachers with great credentials into high-poverty schools probably won't make a long-term difference. Instead, "measures that induce highly effective teachers to move to high-poverty schools and which promote an environment in which teachers' skills will improve over time are more likely to be successful." (CALDER, November 2010)...

Teacher Evaluation 2.0 - The dilemma education leaders now face is knowing how to avoid the past pitfalls of evaluation systems as they create new ones that become useful tools for teachers and school leaders. This report proposes six design standards that any rigorous and fair teacher evaluation system should meet. It offers a blueprint for better evaluations that can help every teacher succeed in the classroom—and give every student the best chance at success. (The New Teacher Project, October 2010)...

Problems with the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers - American public schools generally do a poor job of systematically developing and evaluating teachers. While there are good reasons for concern about the current system of teacher evaluation, there are also good reasons to be concerned about claims that measuring teachers' effectiveness largely by student test scores will lead to improved student achievement. Any sound evaluation will necessarily involve a balancing of many factors that provide a more accurate view of what teachers in fact do in the classroom and how that contributes to student learning. (Economic Policy Institute, August 2010)...

Using Longitudinal Data Systems to Inform State Teacher Quality Efforts - This brief attempts to answer the following questions: what is driving the increased attention being placed on building statewide data systems; what the current national landscape is with regard to state data systems; is the stimulus funding requirements driving the current activity; what can be learning from linking teachers with students and what are the challenges in implementing reliable links; and, how can states build the capacity of their educators to use data effectively? (George Noell and Paige Kowalski, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, May 2010)...

A Smarter Teacher Layoff System: How Quality-Based Layoffs Can Help Schools Keep Great Teachers in Tough Economic Times - This report looks at ways quality-based layoffs can help schools keep great teachers in touch economic times. (The New Teacher Project, March 2010)...

What Makes for a Good Teacher and Who Can Tell? - Pressure to improve teacher productivity has spurred two related questions: (1) Are there important determinants of teacher productivity that are not captured by teacher credential but that can be measured by subjective assessments? (2) Would evaluating teachers based on a combination of subjective assessments and student outcomes more accurately gauge teacher performance than student test scores along. This paper explores both questions by calculating teachers' "value added" and comparing those with subjective ratings of teachers by school principals. (Douglas Harris and Tim Sass, Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, September 2009)...

The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness - This report examines our pervasive and longstanding failure to recognize and respond to variations in the effectiveness of our teachers. At the heart of the matter are teacher evaluation systems which, in practice, tell us little about how one teacher differs from any other, except teachers whose performance is so egregiously poor as to warrant dismissal. This report describes the tendency of school districts to assume classroom effectiveness is the same from teacher to teacher. (Daniel Weisberg, Susan Sexton, Jennifer Mulher and David Keeling, New Teacher Project, 2009)...

Rush to Judgment: Teacher Evaluation in Public Education - A host of factors have resulted in teacher evaluation systems that are superficial and that often fail to even directly address the quality of instruction, much less measure students’ learning, according to this report. The authors of this report explore the causes and consequences of the crisis in teacher evaluation and examine a number of effective approaches that could be employed. (Thomas Toch and Robert Rothman, Education Sector, January 2008)...

Using Tests Productively - No effort to reform and improve our schools can ignore testing, which currently determines what states, schools, teachers and students do. This paper -- a one chapter excerpt from a 2006 book -- examines if tests are driving our schools, the nature of reading tests and what kind of tests will enhance education. (E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Pi Lambda Theta, 2007)...

Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job - Traditionally, policymakers have attempted to raise the quality of the teaching force by raising the hurdles for those seeking to enter the profession. This report contains five proposals for tenure and pay that represent significant departures from current practices: (1) reduce the barriers to entry into teaching for those without traditional teacher certification; (2) make it harder to promote the least effective teachers to tenured positions; (3) provide bonuses to highly effective teacher willing to teach in schools with a high proportion of low-income students; (4) evaluate individual teachers using various measures of teacher performance on the job; and (5) provide federal grants to help states that link student performance with the effectiveness of individual teachers over time. (Robert Gordon, Thomas J. Kane and Douglas O. Staiger, The Brookings Institution, April 2006) ...


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