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The Progress of Education Reform: Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness PDF - This issue highlights recent research that attempts to explore the relationship between traditionally accepted measures of teacher quality – teacher certification and in-class performance – and teacher effectiveness as assessed through student academic performance. It also includes links to additional resources on teacher quality and teacher evaluation methods.(Tricia Coulter, Education Commission of the States, October 2007)...

The Cost of Effective Teachers: Making the Case to Policymakers MS Word - Trying to determine the costs to prepare, develop and retain effective teachers is an extremely complex undertaking. We have an opportunity to get strong support for improving the quality of teaching in hard-to-staff schools, but teacher preparation and development are of secondary import in that effort. We have to be willing to be much more creative in our thinking about what we mean by teacher preparation, about who delivers it, and about how they deliver it if we want to make any real progress in assessing what it needs to cost. (Michael Allen, ECS, February 2003)...

Student Results and Teacher Accountability MS Word - This policy brief details the status of teacher accountability and highlights new accountability approaches meant to determine teacher effectiveness. It also discusses why such accountability measures have not been used to tie student performance to teacher evaluation in order to reward or punish teachers. Finally, this brief offers specific recommendations to states wanting to improve teacher accountability. (Michael Allen, Education Commission of the States, May 1999) ...

Combining Multiple Performance Measures: Do Common Approaches Undermine Districts' Personnel Evaluation Systems? - Identifying high and low performers in teaching and school leadership is difficult. Researchers used simulations to test three commonly used systems to evaluate teachers and principals and conclude the numeric model is the preferred approach. The hybrid and profile models introduce a bias favoring teachers. Authors recommend states and districts clearly articulate the evaluation system's target criterion and understand how the adopted performance measures predict that target criterion. (Michael Hansen, Mariann Lemke and Nicholas Sorensen, American Institutes for Research, August 2013)...

Improving Teacher Quality Around the World: The International Summit on the Teaching Profession - This document discusses lessons shared during a two-day event held in New York City in March 2011. The summit marked the first-ever convening of education ministers, teachers, and union leaders from high-performing and rapidly improving countries and regions. Discussions were framed around four overarching themes: teacher recruitment and preparation; development, support, and retention of teachers; teacher evaluation and compensation; and teacher engagement in reform. Plans are already underway to convene a second international summit in spring 2012. (Asia Society, March 2011)...

Improving Mathematics and Science Education: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Relationship Between Reform-Oriented Instruction and Student Achievement - Reform-oriented teaching describes a collection of instructional practices that are designed to engage students as active participants in their own learning and to enhance the development of complex cognitive skills and processes. This report presents the findings of a multiyear National Science Foundation-funded study of the effectiveness of reform-oriented science and mathematics instruction. It builds on an earlier RAND study, called the Mosaic project, which found “a weak but positive relationship” between reform-oriented practices and student achievement. This study – called Mosaic II – extends the earlier research in two important ways. First, it incorporates more-diverse indicators of student exposure to reform-oriented practices, including innovative, vignette-based measures. Second, it follows students for three years in order to measure the relationship after longer exposure to reform practices. Also available is a document summary. (Vi-Nhuan Le, Brian M. Stecher, J. R. Lockwood, Laura S. Hamilton, Abby Robyn, Valerie L. Williams, Gery Ryan, Kerri A. Kerr, Jose Felipe Martinez and Stephen P. Klein, RAND, September 2006) ...

Everyone's Doing it, But What Does Teacher Testing Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness? - This paper explores the relationship between teacher testing and teacher effectiveness using a unique dataset from North Carolina that links teachers to their individual students. The report finds a small positive relationship between teacher licensure tests and student achievement. The findings also suggest that states face significant tradeoffs when they require particular performance levels as a precondition to becoming a teacher, as "some teachers whom we might wish were not in the teacher workforce based on their contribution toward student achievement are eligible to teach based on their performance on these tests, while other individuals who would be effective teachers are ineligible." (Dan Goldhaber, Center for Reinventing Public Education, April 2006) ...

Evaluating Value-Added: Findings and Recommendations from the NASBE Study Group on Value-Added Assessments - For decades, education policymakers have wanted to go beyond traditional ways of analyzing test score data that only looks at the particular status or "proficiency level" that students have attained. To address these issues, many education policymakers have turned to value-added assessments. This paper looks at how value-added assessments fit with other aspects of testing, the accuracy of results and the best uses for this kind of assessment. Included are 14 findings and recommendations on the uses and limitations of value-added models. The study found that value-added assessment has significant potential when used with other measures as a tool to improve teaching and show potential for improving the effectiveness of teacher training. (National Association of State Boards of Education, October 2005)...

Using Student Progress to Evaluate Teachers: A Primer on Value-Added Models - Using value-added models (VAMs) to evaluate teachers based on individual students' academic gains has grown in popularity in recent years. This report argues that the implementation of VAMs raise a host of practical, technical and philosophical issues, and is intended to serve as a layperson's guide to these important issues. (Henry I. Braun, Educational Testing Service, September 2005)...

The Market for Teacher Quality - Using value-added as its measure for teacher quality, this paper finds: (1) substantial variation in the quality of instruction, most of which occurs within rather than between schools; (2) although teaching quality appears to be unrelated to advanced degrees or certification, experience matters — but only in the first year of teaching; and (3) good teachers tend to be effective with all student ability levels, plus students benefit by being matched with teachers of the same race. The paper also finds that teachers staying in the sample of urban schools tend to be as good as or better than those who exited, indicating the main cost of turnover is the introduction of first-year teachers, and there is little or no evidence that districts that offer higher salaries and have better working conditions attract the higher-quality teachers among those who depart the urban district. (Eric A. Hanushek, John F. Kain, Daniel M. O'Brien and Steven G. Rivkin, National Bureau of Economic Research, February 2005)...

Principals as Agents: Subjective Performance Measurement in Education - This paper compares subjective principal assessments of teachers to the traditional determinants of teacher compensation – education and experience – and another compensation mechanism – value-added measures of teacher effectiveness based on student achievement gains. The paper finds that subjective principal assessments predict future student achievement better than teacher experience, education or actual compensation, though not as well as value-added teacher quality measures. The paper also finds principals' overall rating of a teacher to be a better predictor of future parent requests for that teacher than either teacher experience, education and current compensation or the teachers value-added achievement measure. (Brian A. Jacob and Lars Lefgren, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, June 2005)...

Evaluating Value-Added Models for Teacher Accountability - This paper asserts the importance of policymakers, practitioners and value-added model (VAM) researchers working together so that research is informed by the practical needs and constraints facing users of VAM, and also that implementation of the models is informed by an understanding of the inferences and decisions the research currently supports. The report concludes that the research base is currently insufficient to support the use of value-added models (VAM) for high-stakes decisions about individual teachers or schools. (Daniel F. McCaffrey, Daniel M. Koretz, J.R. Lockwood and Laura S. Hamilton, RAND, 2004)....

Teachers Matter: Evidence from Value-Added Assessments - This research brief summarizes how value-added measurement has proven that very good teaching can enhance student learning; that family background does not determine a student’s destiny; and that decisions made about teacher hiring, placement, and training make a difference for academic achievement. The report argues that effective policymaking needs to focus on improving teacher practices, not just measuring how teachers compare to other teachers, and includes a list of what policymakers should do to reach this aim. (Research Points, American Educational Research Association, Summer 2004)...

National Board Certification Successfully Identifies Effective Teachers - This two-page brief summarizes the findings of a study on the effectiveness of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification in identifying teachers who raise student achievement. Findings include: National Board Certified Teachers (1) are more effective at raising student achievement than teachers who pursue, but fail to obtain NBPTS certification; (2) are more effective at raising student achievement – outside of the year in which they apply – than teachers who do not pursue NBPTS certification; and (3) have a greater impact with younger and low-income students. Questions on the cost effectiveness of NBPTS certification have yet to be resolved. The full report also is available online. (Dan Goldhaber and Emily Anthony, Center on Reinventing Public Education, March 2004)...


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