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ERIC Number: ED539748
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Reforming Teacher Evaluation: One District's Story
Donaldson, Morgaen L.; Papay, John P.
Center for American Progress
In recent years policymakers have seized on teacher evaluation as a primary lever for improving schools. Of all school factors--from expanded school calendars to smaller class sizes to community and family engagement programs--teachers contribute the most to student achievement. Policymakers reason that evaluating teachers based on their students' performance will lead to the removal of underperforming educators and an improvement in the overall quality of the teacher workforce. Furthermore, there is growing evidence that effective evaluation systems may prompt all educators to improve. Some districts have prioritized a collaborative approach to developing new evaluation systems and can provide valuable lessons for others to follow. This report examines one district's efforts to develop and implement a new teacher evaluation system in a cooperative manner with its teachers. For reasons of confidentiality, the authors refer to this district as the Studyville School District, a medium-sized school system in a northeastern urban center with roughly 20,000 students and 1,600 teachers. It has been recognized at both the national and state level for the collaboration that has characterized the development and implementation of the district's new teacher evaluation program and for the use of student achievement as a benchmark in its the evaluation system. Leaders from the teachers union and district have worked together to adopt a framework for the new evaluation system through the collective bargaining process. In this paper the authors present an in-depth case study charting the evaluation program's progress--from concept to initial design to implementation to the program's current state. The authors examine aspects of policy and practice that have facilitated or impeded the program's success and pay particular attention to developments in labor-management relations at the school and district level affecting the reform's development. Based on their interviews with key district and union leaders and with a cross-section of teachers and school leaders, they are able to make the following observations: (1) Economic, political, and policy factors have facilitated the teacher evaluation program's development and acceptance; (2) Collaboration has been at the heart of the teacher evaluation program's creation and development; (3) The teacher evaluation program represents both a process and a product; and (4) The teacher evaluation program's progress reflects strong leadership coupled with broad input. (Contains 1 table and 15 endnotes.)
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
IES Cited: ED552484