Teacher Evaluation and Support Systems: A Roadmap for Improvement

The goal of every teacher evaluation system should be strengthening teacher practice to improve student learning. As states assume more autonomy under the Every Student Succeeds Act, they have a significant opportunity to make progress toward this essential goal by taking stock of their evaluation and support systems and refining them for the better. Teacher Read more about Teacher Evaluation and Support Systems: A Roadmap for Improvement[…]

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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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Evaluating Teacher Preparation: The problems with inputs — and outputs

In a recent article in RealClear Education, Ashley LiBetti Mitchel and Chad Aldeman explore the difficulty with evaluating teacher preparation. Excerpts of “Our Failed Investments in Teacher Preparation” appear below: Each year, new teachers collectively spend about $4.85 billion dollars and 302 million hours on their preparation work. But there is no evidence that any Read more about Evaluating Teacher Preparation: The problems with inputs — and outputs[…]

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How the Recession Helps Student Math Scores

When teachers enter the profession during a recession, they’re more effective at boosting student test scores in math, a new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds. Recession-era teachers didn’t have as much of an effect on student reading scores. The study considers data for 33,000 fourth and fifth grade teachers in Read more about How the Recession Helps Student Math Scores[…]

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Giving Teachers the Feedback and Support they Deserve

Teachers need helpful feedback and support to improve their instruction and own their professional growth. Over the past four years, 30 states have changed how they evaluate teachers, and another 14 states are slated to do so in the next two years. As many of those states are learning, however, simply developing new evaluation tools Read more about Giving Teachers the Feedback and Support they Deserve[…]

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The Bush Institute releases Teacher Effectiveness Research

It is a well-accepted tenet of education research at this point that teacher quality is the biggest school-based factor in student achievement, but how much is teacher quality associated with education background and certification status? This is the question that new research from the Bush Institute seeks to answer. One report in particular stands out: Read more about The Bush Institute releases Teacher Effectiveness Research[…]

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Despite Reports to the Contrary, New Teachers Are Staying in Their Jobs Longer

Anyone following education policy over the past several years has most likely read a headline along the lines of this: “Disgruntled New Teachers Leave the Profession in Droves.” Despite such recent education policy stories, the picture since 2007 has been decidedly rosier: Fully 70 percent of beginning teachers stay in the profession for at least Read more about Despite Reports to the Contrary, New Teachers Are Staying in Their Jobs Longer[…]

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To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap

Linda Darling-Hammond sees the recent PISA and TALIS results as a strong indictment of the direction of American education over the last two decades. Her answer, as she explains in an article for the Huffington Post Education, is to focus on teachers. Below is an excerpt from the article: For years now, educators have looked Read more about To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap[…]

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Teaching Teaching

One of the classic questions about education is whether teaching can be taught. Is a teacher born or made? A recently released book, Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone) by Elizabeth Green, answers with a definitive, “Yes, it can be taught!” Green’s book is another one to Read more about Teaching Teaching[…]

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Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers

The Alliance for Excellent Education has released a new webinar and report on Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers. Webinar: Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers This webinar highlighted current trends in the teaching workforce, the research on induction programs, and a systems approach to creating supportive teaching and learning conditions. In conjunction with the Read more about Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers[…]

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Vergara vs. California: Teachers Unions on Trial

An oft-cited question in education circles is how much poorly-performing teachers are able to continue to collect paychecks because of tenure systems and powerful teachers’ unions.  This question becomes even more contentious when it is combined with the argument that more poorly performing teachers usually teach at underprivileged schools. In other words, the inability for Read more about Vergara vs. California: Teachers Unions on Trial[…]

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Right-sizing the Classroom: Making the Most of Great Teachers

In the overwhelming majority of American classrooms, pupils are divided roughly equally among teachers of the same grade in the same school. Parceling them out uniformly is viewed as fair to teachers-and doing otherwise might be seen as unfair. Parents might wonder, too. But what if more students were assigned to the most effective teachers, Read more about Right-sizing the Classroom: Making the Most of Great Teachers[…]

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New teachers outpace their veteran peers on SAT scores

A new report from Education Next demonstrates the academic differences between those entering the teaching profession in recent years and those entering in decades past. The numbers suggest that the teaching profession is benefiting from higher numbers of academic high achievers than has been the case in the past. Dan Goldhaber and Joe Walch, writing Read more about New teachers outpace their veteran peers on SAT scores[…]

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TFA Teachers Shown to Boost Secondary Math Learning

Teach for America is no stranger to controversy. For some, they are the poster child for the new wave of urban education and should be commended for the way that they are able to recruit highly talented, motivated college graduates to devote at least 2 years to teaching in nigh-needs schools.  For others, TFA is Read more about TFA Teachers Shown to Boost Secondary Math Learning[…]

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ED Attaches More Strings to NCLB Waiver Renewals

Michele McNeil at Education Week describes in a recent article how the Education Department, under Secretary Arne Duncan, continues to use NCLB waivers to enforce its policy goals.  The situation, which we have blogged about before here and here, is essentially that Congress has yet to pass a new version of the Elementary and Secondary Read more about ED Attaches More Strings to NCLB Waiver Renewals[…]

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5 Tips for Principals to Put New Teachers on the Right Path

This tipsheet is a complement to TNTP’s latest report, Leap Year: Assessing and Supporting Effective First-Year Teachers, which shares what TNTP learned after radically evolving the way they train and evaluate new teachers. It is based on a simple idea: The first year is the most important year of a teacher’s career—a critical window of Read more about 5 Tips for Principals to Put New Teachers on the Right Path[…]

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