The District of Columbia’s teacher evaluation system — with rewards for the best and firing for the worst — is working, according to a a new study. “Teachers on the cusp of dismissal under D.C.’s IMPACT evaluation system improved their performance by statistically significant margins, as did those on the cusp of winning a large financial bonus,” reports Ed Week.
D.C.’s IMPACT evaluation system relies on a complex mix of factors to score each teacher, including both multiple observations and measures of student achievement. Teachers deemed ineffective under the system can be dismissed, while those scoring at the “minimally effective” level, the second lowest, get one year to improve. Those teachers who earn the “highly effective” rating are eligible for bonuses of up to $25,000. Earning successive “highly effective” ratings also permits teachers to skip ahead several steps on the salary scale.
The much-reviled Michelle Rhee started IMPACT when she was chancellor, jump-starting the evaluation program with foundation grants.
Are D.C. students learning more? The study didn’t look at student achievement.