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ERIC Number: EJ763325
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
When Principals Rate Teachers: The Best--and the Worst--Stand out
Jacob, Brian; Lefgen, Lars
Education Next, v6 n2 p58-64 Spr 2006
Elementary- and secondary-school teachers in the United States traditionally have been compensated according to salary schedules based solely on experience and education. Concerned that this system makes it difficult to retain talented teachers and provides few incentives for them to work to raise student achievement while in the classroom, many policymakers have proposed merit-pay programs that link teachers' salaries directly to their apparent impact on student achievement. Implementing a merit-pay system, however, comes with challenges. These challenges include knowing which teacher to reward, determining the merit of a teacher in a year, and assessing the impact of a teacher during a teaching year. One option is to turn to principals and ask them to help determine the size of pay raises. Such subjective performance assessments are already used to evaluate untenured teachers, and they play a large role in promotion and compensation decisions in other occupations. While principals can and do judge teachers' performance, however, there is little good evidence on the accuracy of their judgments. The research reported in this paper fills this gap. The authors found that principals in a western school district did a good job of assessing teachers' effectiveness. In fact, principals were quite good at identifying those teachers who produced the largest and smallest standardized achievement gains in their schools (the top and bottom 10-20 percent). They were less able to distinguish among teachers in the middle of this distribution (the middle 60-80 percent), suggesting that merit-pay programs that reward or sanction teachers should be based on evaluations by principals and should be focused on the highest- and lowest-performing teachers. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States