Study: Teacher evaluation lifts scores

Evaluation can improve mid-career teachers’ effectiveness in math, but not reading, according to a study of Cincinnati’s Teacher Evaluation System (TES), reports Education Next.

 . .  . teachers are more effective at raising student achievement during the school year when they are being evaluated than they were previously, and even more effective in the years after evaluation. A student instructed by a teacher after that teacher has been through the Cincinnati evaluation will score about 11 percent of a standard deviation (4.5 percentile points for a median student) higher in math than a similar student taught by the same teacher before the teacher was evaluated.

Well-designed performance evaluation “can be an effective form of teacher professional development,” conclude researchers Eric S. Taylor and John H. Tyler.

During the yearlong TES process, teachers are observed in the classroom four times, once by the principal or another administrator and three times by a “high-performing, experienced teacher who previously taught in a different school.”

The evaluation measures classroom management, instruction, content knowledge, and planning, among other topics.

After each classroom observation, peer evaluators and administrators provide written feedback to the teacher and meet with the teacher at least once to discuss the results. At the end of the evaluation school year, a final summative score in each of four domains of practice is calculated and presented to the evaluated teacher.

. . . For beginning teachers (those evaluated in their first and fourth years), a poor evaluation could result in nonrenewal of their contract, while a successful evaluation is required before receiving tenure. For tenured teachers, evaluation scores determine eligibility for some promotions or additional tenure protection, or, in the case of very low scores, placement in a peer assistance program with a small risk of termination.

Teachers who were the least effective in raising student scores before the evaluation and those who earned relatively low TES scores showed the greatest improvement. Despite the high cost — $7,500 per teacher — TES is a cost-effective way to improve student performance, the study found.

Also on Ed Next, Thomas Kane, who led the Gates Foundation’s project on measuring teaching, writes on Capturing the Dimensions of Effective Teaching.

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  1. This will not work for the “reformers”. They need to be able to fire as many teachers as possible, if not all of them, to bring in low cost, uneducated replacements they can interchange and make the most profit off of.

    They would not stand for a teacher, much less an experience teacher, doing evaluations on other teachers and offering them help.

  2. Roger Sweeny says:

    Who are these “reformers” of whom you speak? Maybe I’m just lucky, but I’ve never met one or read anything by one.

    • Michelle Rhee? Anyone associated with the Broad Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? The Fordham Foundation?

      • Roger Sweeny says:

        Michelle Rhee is making a profit? Anyone associated with the Broad Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? The Fordham Foundation?

        I just don’t see it.

        Are you saying that they are tools (perhaps unwitting tools) in a long-run plan to turn schools over to corporations which will then make profits from them?

        • Michelle Rhee doesn’t have a real job, she just travels around the country bashing teachers. Someone has to pay for that. As for the others, they make big bucks bashing teachers and public schools. Do you think all the venture capitalists are licking their chops just to help kids out?

          First they have to create the crisis, then they can step in to save the day. In fact, there’s a book you should read called, “The Manufactured Crisis”.

          • And if you’re going to read anything by those two hacks, Biddle and Berliner, you might want to read a critique of their deathless prose –

            It’s no surprise that Mike simply adores them. If you believe, as Mike does, that the only thing wrong with the public education system is that teachers aren’t in absolute charge of it, including deciding their own compensation, then you’ll love Biddle and Berliner. If you think the purpose of the public education system ought to be to educate kids, not so much.

  3. Unfortunately, Mike is exactly right. I’ve seen many a good, experienced teacher get their contract unrenewed, and then replaced by a much cheaper, unexperienced temp, just to save money.

  4. As always, Allen tries to divert attention away from facts by making dubious arguments and attacking my integrity.

    Here is Berliner’s reply to Stedman’s “critique”