NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED556494
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
Adding Eyes: The Rise, Rewards, and Risks of Multi-Rater Teacher Observation Systems. Issue Brief
White, Taylor
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
New teacher evaluation systems have emerged as the cornerstone of the recent movement to improve public school teaching. Fueled by incentives from the federal government, state and local policymakers have sought to replace the often-cursory evaluation models of the past with more comprehensive ones. In contrast to past evaluations, which often relied on a single classroom visit by an untrained administrator, new models evaluate teachers on the basis of their students' achievement, on surveys that capture students' perceptions of their teachers' practice, and on improved classroom observations. But as these new systems roll out, there is mounting evidence that principals alone cannot bear the time burden they impose. Nor can a single principal be depended upon to deliver effective feedback across content areas to teachers with vastly different strengths, weaknesses, and teaching assignments. In response to these challenges, a growing number of districts have adopted multi-rater systems, in which several observers watch teachers at work, score their performance, and provide feedback. Sometimes the raters observe together, sometimes independently. And more and more, they come to the process from different vantage points: Many districts now rely on combinations of peer teachers, master teachers, and administrators from different schools. By adding more eyes to these evaluations, districts aim not only to relieve principals but, more important, to lend new perspectives, deeper expertise, and greater objectivity to the evaluation process. This report explores the use of multi-rater evaluation systems in 16 districts with widely varying student populations, resources, and policy priorities. The districts range from New York City, the nation's largest school system, to Transylvania County, NC, which educates just 3,500 students each year. Drawing on document reviews and interviews with district officials, it examines the districts' varying aspirations for multi-rater models, as well as how the models are designed, how they operate, and the challenges they pose.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 51 Vista Lane, Stanford, CA 94305. Tel: 650-566-5102; Fax: 650-326-0278; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Joyce Foundation; Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Colorado; Connecticut; District of Columbia; Florida; Georgia; Louisiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Tennessee
IES Funded: Yes