NEPC Resources on Teacher Evaluation
NEPC Review: Making a Difference: Six Places Where Teacher Evaluation Systems Are Getting Results (National Council on Teacher Quality, October 2018)
State-Level Assessments and Teacher Evaluation Systems after the Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act: Some Steps in the Right Direction
NEPC Review: 2018 State Teacher Policy Best Practices Guide (National Council on Teacher Quality, March 2018)
NEPC Review: Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Final Report on Implementation and Impact of Pay-for-Performance Across Four Years (Institute of Education Sciences, December 2017)
NEPC Review: Teacher Absenteeism in Charter and Traditional Public Schools (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, September 2017)
Education Interview of the Month: Greg Smith Interviews Alyssa Hadley Dunn on Viral Teacher Resignation Letters
This report from the Center for American Progress offers 10 recommendations for improving the public perceptions of and experiences of classroom teachers. While elements of these recommendations would likely be beneficial, they also include policy changes that would increase surveillance of teachers, reduce teachers’ job security, evaluate teachers by students’ test scores, and create merit pay systems that would likely have the opposite effect.
The Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth About Our Quest for Teacher Development argues for fundamental changes in the way public school districts think about teacher growth. Using original data collected from teachers and administrators in three public districts and one charter network, the authors contend that although the public districts invest heavily in teacher professional development, what is offered is often a poor fit to teacher needs and ultimately ineffective as a means to improving teacher evaluation scores.
Promoting a legal strategy to achieve one set of ends can open the door for very different uses; in this case, that of teacher job protections and education rights litigation. In their eagerness to take on teacher job protections, the plaintiffs in Vergara v. State of California and follow-up litigation in New York may be inviting litigation with very different goals for school policy and reform.
Critics of typical “single-salary” pay scales for teachers argue they under-compensate great teachers and over-compensate inept teachers. As a result, many pay-for-performance plans have been tried, with mixed results. This report proposes yet another variable compensation plan: paying the top quartile of teachers in a district a bonus for accepting up to three additional students into their existing classes. Without evidence, the report posits that having more students work with more effective teachers would offset any potential sacrifice in student learning.
This report presents the findings of research on parent organizing within what the report calls Education Reform Advocacy Organizations (ERAO), such as Stand for Children and Parent Revolution. The ERAO agendas focus on standards, test-based accountability, teacher tenure reform, and parent choice.
On December 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education released a draft of proposed new Teacher Preparation Regulations under Title II of the Higher Education Act with a call for public comments within 60 days. The proposal enumerates federally mandated but state-enforced regulations of all teacher preparation programs.
NEPC Review: Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates and Measuring the Impacts of Teachers II: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood
Can the quality of teachers be measured the way that a person’s weight or height is measured? Some economists have tried, but the “value-added” they have attempted to measure has proven elusive. The results have not been consistent over tests or over time. Nevertheless, a two-part report by Raj Chetty and his colleagues claims that higher value-added scores for teachers lead to greater economic success for their students later in life. This review of the methods of Chetty et al.
This report examines the extent to which the Texas education system is efficient. It emphasizes x-efficiency, a more extensive concept than productive efficiency that includes incentives, information, and adaptability. Applying the concept of x-efficiency, the authors argue that in key areas—teacher training, teacher evaluation, teacher pay-setting, and use of instructional materials—the Texas education system is unlikely to be efficient or cannot demonstrate efficiency.
Fixing Classroom Observations: How Common Core Will Change the Way We Look at Teaching is an advocacy document. It asserts that current classroom observation rubrics are not aligned with Common Core standards and have too many cumbersome criteria; thus, observers are overloaded, give too many high ratings, and seldom give productive feedback. To remedy these problems, the report proposes two “must-have” changes to observation rubrics: (1) pay more attention to lesson content; and (2) pare observation rubrics down to make them more focused and clear.
This report from a think tank called Public Impact begins with two unsupported premises: that only one in four teachers is good enough to help close achievement gaps, and that current efforts to recruit and retain excellent teachers are inadequate. To allow existing excellent teachers to reach more students and to develop excellence in their colleagues, it proposes a model for restructuring teaching.
The U.S. test-based accountability model holds schools and teachers accountable for student outcomes with little attention to school improvement processes. The authors look at an approach used in several European counties, which entails more school-centered accountability efforts, such as school self-evaluation followed by inspection (SSE/I) to examine school quality.
This brief examines policies and practices concerning the use of data to inform school improvement strategies and to provide information for accountability. This twin-pronged movement, termed Data-Driven Improvement and Accountability (DDIA), can lead either to greater quality, equity and integrity, or to deterioration of services and distraction from core purposes. The question addressed by this brief is what factors and forces can lead DDIA to generate more positive and fewer negative outcomes in relation to both improvement and accountability.
Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking is a 10-part brief that takes up important policy issues and identifies policies supported by research. Each section focuses on a different issue, and its recommendations for policymakers are based on the latest scholarship.
A new study funded by Teach for America (TFA) attempts to identify the effect of TFA teachers and alumni on student test scores. The report, by Edvance Research, matched schools and students within those schools on both demographic and achievement characteristics. It then used the matched student data in a multi-level regression analysis to estimate the effect of being taught by a TFA teacher on mathematics and reading test scores for two groups of students: those in grades 4 and 5 and those in grades 6 through 8.
NEPC Review: The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth in Americaâs Public Schools, Part II
The School Staffing Surge, Part II is a companion report to a 2012 report called The School Staffing Surge. The earlier report argued that between 1992 and 2009, the number of full-time-equivalent school employees grew 2.3 times faster than the increase in students over the same period. It also claimed that despite these staffing increases, there was no progress on test scores or drop-out reductions. The new report disaggregates the trends in K-12 hiring for individual states and responds to some of the criticisms leveled at the original report.
The Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project was a multi-year study of thousands of teachers in six school districts that concluded in January 2013. This review addresses two of the final MET research papers. One paper uses random assignment to test for bias in teachers’ value-added scores. The experimental protocol was compromised, however, when many students did not remain with the teachers to whom researchers had assigned them; other students and teachers did not participate at all. This prevents conclusive answers to the questions of interest.
The School Staffing Surge finds that between 1992 and 2009, the number of full-time equivalent school employees grew 2.3 times faster than the increase in students over the same period. The report claims that despite these staffing and related spending increases, there has been no progress on test scores or drop-out reductions. The solution, therefore, is school choice. However, the report fails to adequately address the fact that achievement scores and drop-out rates have actually improved.
Asking Students about Teaching seeks to establish that student surveys provide valid evidence that can be used for evaluation of and feedback for teachers. The report then proceeds to advise practitioners about optimal practices for administering student surveys and using survey information. As the report contends, student surveys are a useful tool in practitioners’ and policymakers’ toolkits, and the report contains many practical pieces of advice that are sensible and worth putting into practice.
Given the experience to date with an overwhelming focus on student achievement scores as a basis for high-stakes decisions, policymakers would do well to pause and carefully examine the issues that make teacher assessment so complex before implementing an assessment plan.
A recent movement toward data-driven decision making in education policy has led many state and local education agencies to scrutinize the condition of their data systems and determine how to use data in more sophisticated ways. This report examines the changing use of data in one area of education policy decisions: teacher quality.
This series of policy briefs examining education reform in Florida finds that the results of the state's aggressive school-reform program have been mixed, and that the state's actions often do not match its rhetoric when it comes to implementing reforms.
Each of the following sections can be found in downloadable format below. The separate Executive Summaries can be found here.
Institution: Rutgers University
A Congressional bill to use federal funds to help promote merit pay programs for public schools ignores years of research suggesting merit pay systems usually don't work, particularly in education.
Publisher Educational Researcher, 16
Page Numbers 22-31