Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness
Where observations work
Despite a welter of policy proposals to promote teacher quality (including incentives in the Race to the Top competition), little has changed in teacher evaluations, pre-service training, or professional development, according to Education Next. One factor has been disagreement over how best to identify and measure effective teaching. A new article in Education Next’s journal looks at results from an ongoing study of teacher classroom observation in the Cincinnati Public Schools. The article finds that Cincinnati’s evaluations, based on well-executed classroom observations, do in fact identify effective teachers and teaching practices, and teachers’ scores under the system reliably predict achievement gains by students in math and reading. During the yearlong Teacher Evaluation System (TES) process, jointly developed by the local teachers union and the district, teachers are typically observed and scored four times: three times by a peer evaluator external to the school and once by a local school administrator. The TES scoring rubric describes the practices, skills, and characteristics that effective teachers should possess and employ. In the view of the authors, the study’s findings about TES efficacy support the idea that teacher evaluation systems need not be based on test scores alone.
See the report: http://educationnext.org/evaluating-teacher-effectiveness/
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