TAP's Elements TAP Outcomes Legislation Understanding Value-Added Teacher Quality Resources Teacher Compensation Teacher Evaluation Teacher Recruitment and Retension Student Assessment Federal Policy Teacher Effectiveness Teacher and Principal Leadership The Working Group on Teacher Quality
Teacher Quality Resources@if>
The following is a list of resources, including publications and websites, that provide additional information on the latest research, policies and discussions focused on teacher quality. Check back regularly as we will periodically update this page with additional resources.
As states and districts across the country roll out new teacher evaluation and support systems, a new report from the Gates Foundation provides lessons from leading practitioners about how to ensure the classroom observations that are a lynchpin of those systems produce accurate results. Ensuring Accurate Feedback from Observations offers methodsincluding those used in TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancementto ensure that classroom observations provide teachers with the critical feedback they need to improve their practice and addresses key considerations and lessons from early implementers. The report examines topics from how to select a rubric to training and certifying raters. When done well, classroom observations should be a springboard to providing the supports needed for teachers to continually improve their practice.
Written for CAP by leading education researcher Craig Jerald, this report discusses reforms to teacher evaluation systems in the wake of the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top program. Jerald identifies two prevalent strategies for boosting teacher effectiveness: "movin' it" and "improvin' it." Jerald categorizes state policies that base decisions about tenure, layoffs, and dismissal on results of the new evaluations as "movin' it" strategies. On the other hand, "improvin' it" strategies refer to providing all teachers with useful feedback following classroom observations or using the results of evaluation to individualize professional development. CAP advocates a combination of the two strategies to maximize increases in teacher effectiveness. The organization also argues that federal and state policymakers should incentivize school systems to eradicate ineffectual and unproven professional development and invest in proven models. The TAP system is cited as one promising model.
The NIET Working Paper A Teacher Evaluation System That Works analyzes evidence from TAP's work in the field that validates the strength of TAP's evaluation system in differentiating effective from ineffective teaching; producing classroom evaluations and value-added student growth evaluations that are correlated with and complementary to each other; providing useful information to enable teachers to improve their practice over time; and contributing to an increase in the retention of effective teachers as compared to ineffective teachers. The Research Brief summarizes the findings.
This report outlines eight policy recommendations to better evaluate teacher performance: 1) objective measures of student achievement gains must be a major component of teacher evaluation; 2) clearly defined standards of quality instruction should be used to assess a teacher’s classroom performance; 3) teachers, teacher groups and unions should be included in developing and implementing teacher evaluation systems; 4) teacher evaluation systems themselves must be periodically evaluated and refined; 5) teacher evaluation systems should reflect the importance of supportive administrators and school environment to effective teaching; 6) components of teacher evaluation that rely on observation and discussion must be in the hands of instructional leaders who have sufficient expertise, training and capacity; 7) evaluations must differentiate levels of teaching efficacy to identify opportunities for professional growth, and drive rewards and consequences; and 8) information from teacher evaluations should be comparable across schools and districts, and should be used to address equity in the distribution of teaching talent. TAP is cited as an innovative solution to the current problems with teacher evaluation. More specifically, TAP is highlighted for working in collaboration with teachers and unions to develop and implement a teacher evaluation system.
Written for CAP by Joan Baratz-Snowden—former director of educational issues for the American Federation of Teachers and president of the Education Study Center—this report examines the effectiveness of current tenure practices at maintaining a high-quality veteran teaching force and protecting teachers from arbitrary dismissal. After a review of tenure systems, the paper concludes that teacher tenure must be based on a strong, comprehensive evaluation system specifically designed to support best practice, and one that incorporates due process to support dismissal when necessary. Given these findings, the report recommends that an effective system include the following: 1) rigorous professional standards that reflect the complexity of teaching and learning; 2) a credible evaluation system that is multidimensional and requires multiple data sources, including standardized test scores where available; 3) collaboration between teachers and administrators; 4) evidence of student learning; 5) evidence of teachers' teaching and learning environment; and 6) professional judgment to grant and revoke tenure.
This report examines the teacher evaluation systems of 12 diverse districts across Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio and concludes that evaluation systems do not provide accurate and credible information about individual teachers’ instructional performance. Calling it the "widget effect," The New Teacher Project reveals that the teacher evaluation systems studied treat teachers as interchangeable parts by failing to recognize and address variations in teacher effectiveness. In response, TNTP recommends adopting a comprehensive and integrated performance evaluation system for which evaluators are competently trained and held accountable.
Written for CAP by Morgaen L. Donaldson—assistant professor of educational leadership at the University of Connecticut, research associate at the Center for Policy Analysis and research affiliate of the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers at Harvard University—this report discusses strategies for using teacher evaluation to raise teacher quality. The first section examines the structure of teacher evaluation and the role of student learning in assessments of teachers' effectiveness. The second section draws on research to examine the reasons why teacher evaluation has generally had little effect on instruction, learning and achievement. The third section assesses the current prospects for teacher evaluation reform. The paper concludes by offering seven recommendations to districts and states that seek to reform teacher evaluation to increase its impact on teaching, learning and achievement.
In this report, Thomas Toch and Robert Rothman examine the causes and consequences of the crisis in teacher evaluation, as well as its implications for the current national debate about performance pay for teachers. The report also examines a number of national, state and local evaluation systems that serve as models for how to improve teacher evaluations.
This paper discusses various methods of evaluating teachers that are not related to student performance, such as in-class observation and evaluation of a teacher’s knowledge and skills.
Blanche Lincoln, Former U.S. Senator (AR)
"Teaching is the foundation of our future society and our economy and we should never forget that . . . We need more people to choose teaching and we need to keep the best people we have in the classrooms with our children. TAP is certainly helping to provide teachers with more choices and career opportunities while still allowing them to remain in the classroom . . ."