Getting Evaluation Right
How can schools evaluate teachers in nontested grades . . .
weight student performance . . . report and use evaluation
results? A new Public Impact report looks “under the hood”
of teacher evaluation in 10 sites to share how those sites are
addressing challenges related to implementing a high-quality
n Administrators serve as observers of teachers’ practice
in every system reviewed. In several sites, teacher peers and
third-party evaluators unaffiliated with the school also serve
n Several sites are exploring nonacademic measures
teacher evaluation system.
of teacher effectiveness, such as student perceptions
The report studies systems in Delaware; Rhode Island;
(Pittsburgh); growth in student character (Achievement
Tennessee; Hillsborough County, Florida; Houston, Texas;
First and Relay Graduate School of Education); peer
New Haven, Connecticut; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
ratings (Achievement First); and contribution to the school
Washington, D.C.; Achievement First (a network of public
community (Washington, D.C.).
charter schools); and the Relay Graduate School
of Education in New York City. “None of these
systems is perfect,” the report points out, “but
they do show us possible paths forward” (p. 1).
Here are some highlights:
n To assess student achievement in untested
grades and subjects, most sites are choosing
alternate measures, such as existing assessments,
school or teacher-created assessments, and
portfolios. Several sites, such as Houston and Delaware, are
n Sites are taking steps to ensure data validity and accuracy
looking to use multiple measures even when standardized test by training, testing, and rating evaluators; using third-
data are available.
n To calculate student growth, several states have adopted
value-added models. Rhode Island uses a different measure—
student growth percentiles, which show a student’s progress
compared with the student’s academic peers. Some sites
incorporate other methods, such as student growth from
pre-test to post-test or student mastery of standards.
party evaluators; and conducting reviews to resolve any
discrepancies between measures.
Measuring Teacher Effectiveness: A Look Under the Hood of
Teacher Evaluation in 10 Sites was conducted by Public Impact
and written by Daniela Doyle and Jiye Grace Han. The report
is available at http://conncan.org/sites/conncan.org/files/
Raising the Bar Down Under
In New South Wales, Australia, more than half the state’s public school teachers
may soon be required to meet the same rigorous standards and undergo the same
testing used to assess and train new teachers. At present, teachers who entered the
profession before 2004 can advance through the salary scales on the basis of tenure
alone; they’re not required to demonstrate improvement or show they’re regularly
updating their professional skills. The government proposal points out that because
many senior teachers train and mentor new teachers, they should be subject to the
same professional requirements as those they supervise.