Teacher Perceptions of Feedback and Evaluation Systems; Findings from the American Teacher Panel

In recent years, state and local education leaders across the United States have revised their teacher evaluation policies and practices in an effort to enhance the quality of evaluation measures and improve instructional practices. These teacher evaluations are often based on multiple measures of performance, including classroom observations, indicators of teachers’ contributions to their students’ Read more about Teacher Perceptions of Feedback and Evaluation Systems; Findings from the American Teacher Panel[…]

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A Policymaker’s Playbook for Transforming Teaching

District of Columbia Public Schools has been a source of some sensational headlines over the past decade, from an on-camera firing of a school principal to recent revelations of watered-down diplomas. But the school district arguably has done more to modernize public school teaching than any other in the nation. It is powerful work, yielding Read more about A Policymaker’s Playbook for Transforming Teaching[…]

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Gates Foundation bet on Teacher Evaluation Reform Falls Short

Matt Barnum, writing for Chalkbeat, has summarized the findings of a RAND report on the $575 million investment from the Gates Foundation into  teacher evaluation reform. Excerpts of the article appear below: New research commissioned by the Gates Foundation finds scant evidence that changes [related to human capital reform for teachers] accomplished what they were Read more about Gates Foundation bet on Teacher Evaluation Reform Falls Short[…]

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Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance Across Four Years

The Institute of Education Sciences has released the fourth and final evaluation report on the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grants, which were awarded in 2010 to support performance-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in high-need schools. The report, conducted by IES’ National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), provides basic implementation information Read more about Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance Across Four Years[…]

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States’ Sense of Urgency to Improve Teacher Policies Grinds to a Halt

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has released its biannual 2017 State Teacher Policy Yearbook (Yearbook), which finds that the rapid progress made by states over the last decade to modernize their teacher policies has largely slowed. Since the last edition of the Yearbook in 2015, few states have initiated any new actions to Read more about States’ Sense of Urgency to Improve Teacher Policies Grinds to a Halt[…]

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Eight Lessons Learned From Piloting the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach

For the last 18 months, the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the Department, has been working with Mathematica Policy Research and SRI International to build the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach (the RCE Coach). The RCE Coach is a free, open-source, Read more about Eight Lessons Learned From Piloting the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach[…]

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Redefining Accountability to Treat Educators like the Professionals they Are

The Behavioral Science and Policy Association recently published Reimagining Accountability in K–12 Education. This paper reviews the extensive behavioral science literature that shows outcome-based accountability, commonly used in education, is only one of multiple forms of accountability that should be considered for new accountability structures. Author Brian Gill recently commented on the paper in the Read more about Redefining Accountability to Treat Educators like the Professionals they Are[…]

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How to Learn What’s Working in Your Setting

The Regional Educational Laboratories Program has released a new video series that explains how schools, districts, states, and their research partners can use a cost-effective approach, known as “opportunistic experiments,” to test the effectiveness of programs. Under the right circumstances, this type of research study can generate evidence for informing your education decisions. What is Read more about How to Learn What’s Working in Your Setting[…]

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Teachers’ Response to Feedback is Influenced by Perceptions of Usefulness

A new study finds that the usefulness of teacher evaluation feedback and the credibility of the evaluator are important characteristics in how teachers perceive and respond to evaluations. The Regional Educational Laboratory Central study looked at teachers’ perceptions of feedback from evaluators and identified characteristics of feedback that may influence their use of that feedback. Read more about Teachers’ Response to Feedback is Influenced by Perceptions of Usefulness[…]

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Choosing the Best Teacher Observation Instrument

Many states and districts are adopting commercially available teacher observation instruments for the professional practice component of their evaluation systems. A report by Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Mid-Atlantic provides new evidence to help educators choose among five widely used “off-the shelf” teacher observation instruments and decide how much weight to attach to scores on different Read more about Choosing the Best Teacher Observation Instrument[…]

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New Report Examines Measures Used in New Jersey’s Principal Evaluation System

A new study finds both strengths and limitations in the measures used for New Jersey’s new principal evaluation system. The study, released by the Institute of Education Sciences, was conducted by Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic and focused on the statewide principal evaluation system that was fully implemented by the state of New Jersey during the Read more about New Report Examines Measures Used in New Jersey’s Principal Evaluation System[…]

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Instruments for Measuring the Performance of Professional Learning Communities

The Institute of Education Sciences has released a new guide that can help researchers and practitioners who are planning, implementing, and evaluating professional learning communities (PLCs). The guide, from Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic, compiles 49 valid, reliable, and tested measures of key performance indicators of teacher PLCs. The guide features an annotated bibliography that identifies Read more about Instruments for Measuring the Performance of Professional Learning Communities[…]

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Validity of Observation Ratings in Teacher Evaluations

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a new study recently on the validity of evaluation ratings using an instrument adapted from a well-known teacher observation tool, the Danielson Framework for Teaching. The findings of the study, by Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) West, support the use of a single summative rating to evaluate teachers, but Read more about Validity of Observation Ratings in Teacher Evaluations[…]

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Improving Observer Training: The Trends and Challenges

Observations of teacher performance are a critical component of most teacher evaluation systems, and, if done well, they can help teachers better understand and improve their practice. Yet, as critical as observations are to ensuring quality instruction, not much is known about how districts are training and supporting their observers. This report examines recent research Read more about Improving Observer Training: The Trends and Challenges[…]

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Opinion: Schools need to Improve, not Tests

A recent response to the Nation’s Report Card results by the Obama Administration calls for a reduction of redundant tests, in order to improve the nation’s scores in reading and mathematics. Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, believes that this action is “an unfortunate and tragically oversimplified response to the challenges facing our Read more about Opinion: Schools need to Improve, not Tests[…]

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REL Question Line

REL Mid-Atlantic is offering an open question line for education-related research questions. Are you interested in learning what the latest research says about an issue in your district? Need help using data to inform policy decisions or identifying evidence-based curricula or interventions? REL Mid-Atlantic can help at no cost to your school or district. Ask Read more about REL Question Line[…]

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