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ERIC Number: ED539750
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Teachers' Perspectives on Evaluation Reform
Donaldson, Morgaen L.
Center for American Progress
Despite growing momentum to reform teacher evaluation in order to increase its impact on teachers' practice and persistence in the profession, very little research examines how current reforms influence teachers' attitudes or reported instructional practices. Do the new evaluation systems lead to enhancements in teachers' instruction overall? And are there real consequences--penalties--for persistently underperforming teachers? Are there rewards for those whose instruction is consistently outstanding? To answer these and other questions related to teacher evaluation, the author and her colleagues conducted a small-scale study that sought to provide evidence to inform the debate among policymakers on how teacher evaluation should be changed to yield the greatest impact. This report provides findings based on a study conducted in one northeastern, urban, and medium-sized school district, which they will call Studyville to maintain confidentiality. A leader in teacher-evaluation reform, Studyville implemented a new system in 2010--the Teacher Evaluation Program, or TEP, which evaluates teachers based on their students' growth on academic performance measures and more conventional observation-based data. This report presents the views of teachers on the district's evaluation reform and the extent to which it has affected their instructional practice. It is based on interviews conducted with 92 educators, including teachers and school leaders during the 2011-2012 school year, which was the evaluation program's second year of existence. This report focuses on how the experiences and views of teachers differed according to their evaluation rating--ratings which ranged from a low of 1 (needs improvement) to a high of 5 (exemplary). In general the teachers in this study viewed the district's new teacher-evaluation program more positively than negatively, although a substantial minority of teachers said that they would not recommend the evaluation program to other school districts, citing concerns ranging from fairness to feedback. This paper briefly reviews what is known about teacher evaluation and pays particular attention to findings that inform current reforms. The paper describes in detail the setting in which this study took place and the specific teacher-evaluation reform that was the subject of this inquiry. It also describes the methods used to collect and analyze data. Finally, it details the findings, concluding with a number of specific recommendations for policymakers. (Contains 20 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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
IES Cited: ED552484