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ERIC Number: EJ1137831
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
The Teacher Evaluation Revamp, In Hindsight: What the Obama Administration's Signature Reform Got Wrong
Aldeman, Chad
Education Next, v17 n2 p60-68 Spr 2017
When President Obama took office in 2009, his administration quickly seized on teacher evaluations as an important public-policy problem. Today, much of his legacy on K-12 education rests on efforts to revamp evaluations in the hopes of improving teaching across the country, which his administration pursued via a series of incentives for states. In response, many states adopted new systems in which teachers' performance would be judged, in significant part, on their contributions to growth in student achievement. Those moves have paid off in some ways, but in others, they backfired. Teacher evaluations today are more nuanced than they were eight years ago, and they have contributed to better decision-making and enhanced student achievement in some districts, but progress was uneven, hampered by both design flaws and capacity challenges. The changes were unpopular, helping generate a backlash against much of the reform playbook for the last few decades--as well as a strong federal role in education policy writ large. Looking ahead into the next four or eight years, an honest reflection can yield useful lessons about the potential, and limits, of federally-led reform. This article assesses what went right, what went wrong, and what we can learn from the Obama administration's efforts to improve teacher evaluation systems.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Race to the Top
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A