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The abstracts used in this resource were taken from the websites of organizations supplying the referenced documents.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (2013). Ensuring fair and reliable measures of effective teaching: Culminating findings from the MET project's three-year study. Policy and Practice Brief, MET Project. Seattle, WA: Author.
States and districts have launched unprecedented efforts in recent years to build new feedback and evaluation systems that support teacher growth and development. These systems depend on trustworthy information about teaching effectiveness--information that recognizes the complexity of teaching and is trusted by both teachers and administrators. To that end, the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project set out three years ago to investigate how a set of measures could identify effective teaching fairly and reliably. With the help of 3,000 teacher volunteers along with scores of academic and organizational partners, the researchers have studied, among other measures: (1) Classroom observation instruments; (2) Student Perception surveys; and (3) Student achievement gains. This final brief from the MET project's three-year study highlights new analyses that extend and deepen the insights from the researchers' previous work. These studies address three fundamental questions that face practitioners and policymakers engaged in creating teacher support and evaluation systems.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (2010). Learning about teaching: Initial findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching project. Seattle, WA: Author.
In fall 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project to test new approaches to recognizing effective teaching. The project's goal is to help build fair and reliable systems for teacher observation and feedback to help teachers improve and administrators make better personnel decisions. With funding from the foundation, the data collection and analysis are led by researchers from academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and several private firms and are carried out in seven urban school districts.
Coggshall, J., Bivona, L., & Reschly, D. (August, 2012). Evaluating the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs for support and accountability. Washington, DC: The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.
To meet the new and more rigorous college- and career-ready standards for student learning, all of today's students must have access to effective teaching--every day and in every classroom. As teachers and their school leaders are increasingly held accountable for implementing consistently effective teaching, calls for holding the programs that prepare them accountable have increased in kind. State and federal policymakers are therefore seeking to change how teacher preparation programs are evaluated--for the purposes of accountability and support. This brief explores research that points to the opportunities and the challenges that evaluating teacher preparation programs differently presents.
Darling-Hammond, L., & Rothman, R.,. (2011). Teacher and leader effectiveness in high-performing education systems. Washington, D.C: Alliance for Excellent Education.
The issue of teacher effectiveness has risen rapidly to the top of the education policy agenda, and the federal government and states are considering bold steps to improve teacher and leader effectiveness. One place to look for ideas is the experiences of high-performing education systems around the world. Finland, Ontario, and Singapore all have well-developed systems for recruiting, preparing, developing, and retaining teachers and school leaders, and all have attained high levels of student performance and attribute their success to their teacher-effectiveness policies. This report examines lessons from these high-performing systems that the United States can apply, and provides detailed descriptions of the policies from each system.
Gabriel, R., & Allington, R. (2012). The MET Project: The wrong 45 million dollar question. Educational Leadership, 70(3), 44-49.
In 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the investigation of a $45 million question: How can we identify and develop effective teaching? Now that the findings from their Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project have been released, it's clear they asked a simpler question, namely, what other measures match up well with value-added data?
Glazerman, S., Loeb, S., Goldhaber, D., Raudenbush, D., Staiger, D., & Whitehurst, G.J. (2010). Evaluating teachers: The important role of value-added. Washington, DC: The Brookings Brown Center.
The evaluation of teachers based on the contribution they make to the learning of their students, value-added, is an increasingly popular but controversial education reform policy. In this report, the authors highlight and try to clarify four areas of confusion about value-added.
Hanushek, E. (2010). The economic value of higher teacher quality. (CALDER Working Paper No. 56). Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.
Most analyses of teacher quality end without any assessment of the economic value of altered teacher quality. This paper combines information about teacher effectiveness with the economic impact of higher achievement.
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Hanushek, E., & Rivkin, S. (2010). Using value-added measures of teacher quality. (CALDER Brief No. 9). Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.
Extensive education research on the contribution of teachers to student achievement produces two generally accepted results. First, teacher quality varies substantially as measured by the value added to student achievement or future academic attainment or earnings. Second, variables often used to determine entry into the profession and salaries--including postgraduate schooling, experience, and licensing examination scores--appear to explain little of the variation in teacher quality so measured. (Early experience is the exception.) The precise method of attributing differences in classroom achievement to teachers is the subject of considerable discussion and analysis.
Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2011). Teacher training, teacher quality and student achievement. The Journal of Public Economics, 95(7-8), 799-812.
We study the effects of various types of education and training on the productivity of teachers in promoting student achievement. Previous studies on the subject have been hampered by inadequate measures of teacher training and difficulties in addressing the non-random selection of teachers to students and of teachers to training. We address these issues by estimating models that include detailed measures of pre-service and in-service training, a rich set of time-varying covariates, and student, teacher, and school fixed effects.
Loeb, S., Soland, J., & Fox, L. (2013). Is a good teacher a good teacher for all? Comparing value-added of teachers with their English learners and non-English Learners. (Working Paper). Stanford, CA: Center for Education Policy Analysis.
Value-added models are being used with increasing frequency to evaluate educational policies and programs, as well as teachers individually. Despite their prevalence, little research assesses whether value-added measures (VAM) are consistent across student subgroups. Are teachers who are effective with one group of students also effective with others? If they are not then it may be worthwhile to develop separate measures of teacher effectiveness for different student groups; if they are a single, average measure will likely suffice.
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. (2006). What makes a teacher effective?:What research says about teacher preparation. Washington, DC: Author.
This report presents current research findings on teacher preparation and effectiveness. While some critics question the role of teacher preparation as a key to teacher effectiveness, this report contends that available research supports the importance of high quality teacher preparation
Taylor, E., & Tyler, J. (2012). Can teacher evaluation improve teaching? Education Next, 12(4), 78-84.
The modernization of teacher evaluation systems, an increasingly common component of school reform efforts, promises to reveal new, systematic information about the performance of individual classroom teachers. Yet while states and districts race to design new systems, most discussion of how the information might be used has focused on traditional human resource-management tasks, namely, hiring, firing, and compensation. By contrast, very little is known about how the availability of new information, or the experience of being evaluated, might change teacher effort and effectiveness. In this research, the authors study one approach to teacher evaluation: practice-based assessment that relies on multiple, highly structured classroom observations conducted by experienced peer teachers and administrators
Taylor, E., & Tyler, J. (2011). The effect of evaluation on performance: Evidence from longitudinal student achievement data of mid-career teachers. (NBER Working Paper No. 16877). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.
The effect of evaluation on employee performance is traditionally studied in the context of the principal-agent problem. Evaluation can, however, also be characterized as an investment in the evaluated employee's human capital. We study a sample of mid-career public school teachers where we can consider these two types of evaluation effect separately. Employee evaluation is a particularly salient topic in public schools where teacher effectiveness varies substantially and where teacher evaluation itself is increasingly a focus of public policy proposals. We find evidence that a quality classroom-observation-based evaluation and performance measures can improve mid-career teacher performance both during the period of evaluation, consistent with the traditional predictions; and in subsequent years, consistent with human capital investment. However the estimated improvements during evaluation are less precise. Additionally, the effects sizes represent a substantial gain in welfare given the program's costs.
Stronge, J., Ward, T., & Grant, L. (2011). What makes good teachers good? A cross-case analysis of the connection between teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Journal of Teacher Education, (62) 4, 339-355.
This study examined classroom practices of effective versus less effective teachers (based on student achievement gain scores in reading and mathematics). In Phase I of the study, hierarchical linear modeling was used to assess the teacher effectiveness of 307 fifth-grade teachers in terms of student learning gains. In Phase II, 32 teachers (17 top quartile and 15 bottom quartile) participated in an in-depth cross-case analysis of their instructional and classroom management practices. Classroom observation findings (Phase II) were compared with teacher effectiveness data (Phase I) to determine the impact of selected teacher behaviors on the teachers' overall effectiveness drawn from a single year of value-added data.
Weisberg, D., Sexton, S., Mulhern, J., & Keeling, D. (2009). The widget effect: Our national failure to acknowledge and act on differences in teacher effectiveness. New York, NY: The New Teacher Project.
The Widget Effect is a wide-ranging report that studies teacher evaluation and dismissal in four states and 12 diverse districts, ranging from 4,000 to 400,000 students in enrollment. From the beginning, over 50 district and state officials and 25 teachers' union representatives actively informed the study through advisory panels in each state. Panel members provided ongoing feedback and perspective and were invited to submit unedited written responses to the study's findings and recommendations. Their insights supplemented survey responses from over 15,000 teachers and 1,300 principals, and data from more than 40,000 teacher evaluation records.