Surveys let students grade teachers

In addition to value-added measures and classroom observations, teachers could be evaluated by their students, reports Ed Week‘s Teaching Now. At a Center for American Progress event, the Tripod student-perception survey was discussed.

Developed by Ronald Ferguson of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University in partnership with Cambridge, the Tripod surveys have been used in 3,000 classrooms across the U.S. as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Measures of Effective Teaching Project. . . . Teachers are rated on the research-based “7 C’s”—care, control (of the classroom), clarify, challenge, captivate, confer, and consolidate.

Tiffany Francis, a Pittsburgh teacher, said her second-grade students’ views were “enlightening.”  All rated her highly on “care,” but scores were lower for “control,” and on the statement, “to help us remember, my teacher talks about things we already learned.” She plans to make changes in her teaching.

The Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers supports the use of student surveys, as well as the use of value-added measures, despite heavy criticism from other union affiliates, said William Hileman, vice president of PFT.  Other union affiliates  “We have to get better about instructing children,” he said.