Ensuring Accurate Feedback from Observations
Craig Jerald for the Gates Foundation
As states and districts across the country roll out new teacher evaluation and support systems, a new report from the Gates Foundation provides lessons from leading practitioners about how to ensure the classroom observations that are a lynch pin of those systems produce accurate results. Ensuring Accurate Feedback from Observations offers methods--including those used in TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement--to ensure that classroom observations provide teachers with the critical feedback they need to improve their practice and addresses key considerations and lessons from early implementers. The report examines topics from how to select a rubric to training and certifying raters. When done well, classroom observations should be a springboard to providing the supports needed for teachers to continually improve their practice.
Movin' It and Improvin' It! - Using Both Education Strategies to Increase Teaching Effectiveness
(Craig Jerald for the Center for American Progress [CAP], January 2012)
Written for CAP by leading education researcher Craig Jerald, this report discusses reforms to teacher evaluation systems in the wake of the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top program. Jerald identifies two prevalent strategies for boosting teacher effectiveness: "movin' it" and "improvin' it." Jerald categorizes state policies that base decisions about tenure, layoffs, and dismissal on results of the new evaluations as "movin' it" strategies. On the other hand, "improvin' it" strategies refer to providing all teachers with useful feedback following classroom observations or using the results of evaluation to individualize professional development. CAP advocates a combination of the two strategies to maximize increases in teacher effectiveness. The organization also argues that federal and state policymakers should incentivize school systems to eradicate ineffectual and unproven professional development and invest in proven models. The TAP system is cited as one promising model.
A Teacher Evaluation System That Works
Glenn Daley and Lydia Kim
The NIET Working Paper A Teacher Evaluation System That Works analyzes evidence from TAP's work in the field that validates the strength of TAP's evaluation system in differentiating effective from ineffective teaching; producing classroom evaluations and value-added student growth evaluations that are correlated with and complementary to each other; providing useful information to enable teachers to improve their practice over time; and contributing to an increase in the retention of effective teachers as compared to ineffective teachers. The Research Brief summarizes the findings.
The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness
The New Teacher Project [TNTP]
This report examines the teacher evaluation systems of 12 diverse districts across Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio and concludes that evaluation systems do not provide accurate and credible information about individual teachers’ instructional performance. Calling it the "widget effect," The New Teacher Project reveals that the teacher evaluation systems studied treat teachers as interchangeable parts by failing to recognize and address variations in teacher effectiveness. In response, TNTP recommends adopting a comprehensive and integrated performance evaluation system for which evaluators are competently trained and held accountable.
Rush to Judgment: Teacher Evaluation in Public Education
In this report, Thomas Toch and Robert Rothman examine the causes and consequences of the crisis in teacher evaluation,as well as its implications for the current national debate about performance pay for teachers. The report also examines a number of national, state and local evaluation systems that serve as models for how to improve teacher evaluations.