Educator Effectiveness Timeline

 

During the past 20 years, the discussion of educator effectiveness, informed by both policy and research, has evolved. This Educator Effectiveness Timeline highlights seminal research reports and federal initiatives that have promoted the educator effectiveness conversations in states and districts across the country.

To view the research and policy from a particular year, move the indicator directly beneath the respective year.

Downloadable Version (Acrobat PDF)

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March 1996

Research

Good, T. L. (1996). Teaching effects and teacher evaluation. In J. P. Sikula, T. J. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (2nd ed., pp. 617–665). New York: Macmillan. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=ED400230

This report discusses the technical, research, and social issues associated with performance evaluation and suggests that the technical complexity within teacher evaluation should not be underestimated.

November 1996

Research

Sanders, W. L., & Rivers, J. C. (1996). Cumulative and residual effects of teachers on future students' academic achievement. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Value-Added Research and Assessment Center. Retrieved from http://www.cgp.upenn.edu/pdf/Sanders_Rivers-TVASS_teacher%20effects.pdf

This report analyzes more than three million data records from the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) and examines teacher effects on student mathematical achievement.

January 1998

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Higher Education Act (HEA) amendments

The HEA amendments ushered in a focus on accountability in federal education policy by requiring that institutes of higher education (IHEs) be accountable for the performance of their graduates. These amendments required that states and IHEs report on several components of their teacher preparation programs, including the following:

  • Passing rates for state licensure exams
  • Whether a preparation program is low performing and ineligible for federal student aid

Plans for and data on improved retention and placement of graduates

June 1998

Research

Haycock, K. (1998). Good teaching matters: How well-qualified teachers can close the gap. Washington, DC: The Education Trust. Retrieved from http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/publications/files/k16_summer98.pdf

This report advocates for providing students who are disadvantaged with effective teachers as a mechanism to close the achievement gap and suggests developing strong systems to identify, prepare, and support teachers.

January 1999

Research

Cheng, Y. C., & Tsui, K. T. (1999). Multimodels of teacher effectiveness: Implications for research. The Journal of Educational Research, 92(3), 141–150. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ580709

This report suggests moving away from a narrow conception of teacher effectiveness by describing seven possible models of effectiveness and includes implications for research. 

September 2000

Research

Koretz, D. (2000). Limitations in the use of achievement tests as measures of educators' productivity. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Education Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ654972

This research report discusses three issues that arise in attempting to link teacher performance with student achievement: limitations of the measures, difficulties with inferring causes of student gains in performance, and perverse incentives.

January 2002

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2002 Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

Also known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the 2002 reauthorization of ESEA was markedly different from previous iterations because of its strong focus on accountability for teachers, schools, and districts. It introduced two important provisions: the definition of a highly qualified teacher (HQT) and the concept of equitable distribution. The HQT requirements were intended to improve overall teacher quality as a means to improve student achievement by requiring that every core academic subject was taught by a HQT.  NCLB required that all teachers of core academic areas (elementary teachers and core subject areas in middle and high school) be highly qualified by the end of the 2005–06 school year. To be highly qualified, teachers must

  • Hold a bachelor's degree.
  • Obtain full state certification (through traditional or alternate routes).
  • Demonstrate subject-matter expertise in each core academic subject taught (as defined by the state).

NCLB also required states to "ensure that poor and minority children are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers," which is the premise of equitable distribution. States were required to report their progress on meeting the 100 percent HQT goal and take steps to ensure the equitable distribution of teachers in their state. HQT plans were an important reporting requirement for states and received significant public attention.

September 2003

Research

Muijs, D., & Reynolds, D. (2003). Student background and teacher effects on achievement and attainment in mathematics: A longitudinal study. Educational Research and Evaluation, 9(3), 289–314. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ770820

In this study of Welsh and English primary schools, the authors investigated the relationships among student social background, classroom social context, classroom organization, teacher behaviors, and mathematical achievement.

February 2004

Research

Carey, K. (2004). The real value of teachers: Using new information about teacher effectiveness to close the achievement gap. Thinking K–16, 8(1), 1–3. Retrieved from http://www.education-consumers.org/briefpdfs/4.2-value_of_teachers.pdf

The report discusses the TVAAS and Dallas Independent School District value-added models (VAMs) and their use in teacher assignment and professional development alignment.

September 2004

Research

Nye, B., Konstantopoulos, S., & Hedges, L. V. (2004). How large are teacher effects? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 26(3),
237–257. Retrieved from http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/uploads/002/834/127%20-%20Nye%20B%20%20Hedges%20L%20%20V%20%20%20Konstantopoulos%20S%20%20(2004).pdf

The authors used data from a four-year experiment in which teachers and students were randomly assigned to one of three types of classrooms and found that teacher effects were larger than school effects.

December 2004

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Reauthorization of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA further strengthened NCLB's teacher quality and accountability provisions by aligning the HQT requirements with those for special education (SPED) teachers. Like NCLB, IDEA also defined teacher quality through qualifications. Under IDEA, SPED teachers must

  • Meet the NCLB HQT requirement and have full state certification or licensure as a special education teacher.
  • Demonstrate knowledge appropriate to the instruction of alternative achievement standards (as determined by the state).
  • Demonstrate competence for all sujects taught in a way comparable to general education teachers. 

Demonstrate competence for all subjects taught in a way comparable to general education teachers.

March 2005

Research

Rivkin, S. G., Hanushek, E. A., & Kain, J. F. (2005). Teachers, schools, and academic achievement. Econometrica, 73(2), 417–458. Retrieved from http://fourpercentgrowthproject.com/downloads/theInstitute/educationReform/AREL/AREL_Framework-Bibliography/Rivkin-Hanushek-and-Kain--Teachers-Schools-and-Academic-Achievement.pdf

Using three cohorts of Texas schools' data, the researchers examined the effects of class size and teacher characteristics on student achievement.

January 2006

Research

Clotfelter, C. T., Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor, J. L. (2006). Teacher-student matching and the assessment of teacher effectiveness. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w11936

This report examines the impact of teacher qualifications (e.g., experience, licensure test scores, and advanced degrees/certification) on student achievement. 

February 2006

Research

Muijs, D. (2006). Measuring teacher effectiveness: Some methodological reflections. Educational Research & Evaluation, 12(1), 53–74. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ729222

This report overviews the approaches to measuring teacher effectivness, including basic skills tests, classroom observations, teacher questionnaires, and interviews.

March 2006

Research

Kane, T. J., Rockoff, J. E., & Staiger, D. O. (2006). What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City. Economics of Education Review, 27(6), 615–631. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w12155.pdf  (prepublication version)

These researchers evaluated the effectiveness of recently hired teachers who were traditionally trained versus alternatively trained and found that a teacher's performance during the first two years in the classroom is the best predictor of future effectiveness.

November 2006

Research

Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF)

The first Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grants were made (Cohort 1).  The TIF program was created to provide grants to states, districts, and partner organizations to develop performance-based compensation programs for teachers and principals in high-need schools. These grants supported the design and implementation of rigorous educator evaluation systems and the linking of highly effective educator performance to financial incentives. The TIF program was created to provide grants to states, districts and partner organizations to develop performance-based compensation programs for teachers and principals in high-need schools.  See sentence above, though – much of the early TIF grants was focused on putting the educator evaluation systems in place. TIF was one of the first programs to incentivize the promotion of teacher effectiveness (outputs) rather than teacher qualifications (inputs) as a measure of teacher quality. The 16 Cohort 1 winners can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/2007-awards.html.

June 2007

Research

Jacob, B. A., & Lefgren, L. (2007). Can principals identify effective teachers? Evidence on subjective performance evaluation in education. Journal of Labor Economics, 26(1), 101–136. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/522974

This report examines how well principals can distinguish between more effective and less effective teachers as compared to value-added measures, teacher education, and teacher experience.

July 2007

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Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF)

The second round of TIF grants were funded in July 2007. The 18 Cohort 2 winners can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/2007-awards.html.

October 2007

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Higher Education Act (HEA) Title II Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants

The Title II Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants amended previous Title II Teacher Quality initiatives to improve K–12 teacher preparation programs at IHEs, including data linkages between K-12 and IHEs and certification policies. This amendment also reflected a move toward a focus on educator effectiveness (i.e., their impact on student achievement and learning), rather than teacher qualifications as a measure of teacher quality.

August 2008

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Higher Education Act Reauthorization

The reauthorization of HEA changed the title of the act to the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The reauthorization also changed the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants program to the Teacher Quality Partnerships program, which allowed for the following key uses of the funds:

  • Compensation for teachers who act as mentors to teachers in preparation programs
  • Grants for programs that help prepare general education teachers to effectively teach students with disabilities
  • Grants for programs that prepare teachers of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects
  • Grants for programs that create partnerships between IHEs and high-need LEAs.

These additions reflected the needs of teachers to be prepared to teach students with disabilities because those students were more likely to be included in general education classrooms after IDEA (2004) and the need to prepare more science and mathematics teachers.

February 2009

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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

There were many components to ARRA funding for education, including TIF grants, Race to the Top funds, and State Fiscal Stabilization Funds. For TIF grants, districts submitted applications; for Race to the Top funding, state education agencies submitted applications, and for State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, governors submitted applications, all to the U.S. Department of Education. While each of these programs had specific foci and requirements, for all program applications, states had to provide several assurances related to improving teacher and leader effectiveness and address the effective educator equitable distribution challenge. States used State Fiscal Stabilization funds through ARRA in a wide variety of ways to make significant investments in educational infrastructure, especially for state data systems and interventions. These investments helped states invest in teacher quality through professional development and compensation strategies for recruitment, retention, and effectiveness. The ARRA legislation and the programs generated through this fund highlighted the Obama administration’s vision for improving teacher quality, moving the policy conversation from highly qualified to highly effective educators.

June 2009

Research

Weisberg, D., Sexton, S., Mulhern, J., & Keeling, D. (2009). The widget effect: Our national failure to acknowledge and act on differences in teacher effectiveness. Brooklyn, NY: The New Teacher Project. Retrieved from http://widgeteffect.org/downloads/TheWidgetEffect.pdf

This report examines the evaluation systems in 12 districts across four states and concludes that 99 percent of teachers receive a satisfactory rating.

September 2009

Research

McCaffrey, D., Sass, T., & Lockwood, J. (2009). The intertemporal stability of teacher effect estimates. Education Finance and Policy, 4(4), 572–606. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ863346

This study examines the year-to-year variability in value-added scores for elementary and middle school mathematics teachers in five large Florida districts.

October 2009

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Investing in Innovation Grant (i3)

i3 used American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to provide competitive grants to districts, nonprofit organizations that serve districts, and consortiums of schools to develop innovative, best practice models for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps. Applicants had to apply under one of four absolute priorities, one of which is effective teachers and school leaders. Projects funded under this priority would "promote practices, strategies, or programs to increase the number and percentage of effective teachers and school leaders, or help reduce the inequities in the distribution of effective teachers and school leaders."

December 2009

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School Improvement Grant (SIG) Fund

SIGs are awarded to states. States can use SIGs for competitive subgrants to schools and districts. To receive the funding, these schools and districts had to be designated as high need and had to demonstrate how they will use the funds to substantially raise achievement. SIG schools must use one of four intervention models: Turnaround (replace the principal and up to half the staff), Restart (convert to a charter under different management), Closure (divert students to other high-achieving institutions), or Transformation (replace the principal and institute reforms). Schools that chose the Transformation Model also were required to develop comprehensive teacher and leader effectiveness systems.

January 2010

Research

Braun, H., Chudowsky, N., & Koenig, J. A. (2010). Getting value out of value-added: Report of a workshop. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12820

A committee of experts in education and measurement participated in a workshop to discuss the appropriate uses of value added in education and provide policymakers with research-based guidance.

February 2010

Research

Rothstein, J. (2010). Teacher quality in educational production: Tracking, decay, and student achievement. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125(1), 175–214. Retrieved from http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/staiger/files/rothstein%2Bteacher%2Beffects%2Bqje2010.pdf

This report describes falsification tests for three VAM specifications and concludes that assumptions underlying common VAMs are incorrect, in part because of nonrandom classroom assignments.

March 2010

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Race to the Top Phase One

The Race to the Top (RTTT) fund was the largest federal competitive school reform grant. Its purpose was to encourage and reward states that promote education reform in four areas:

  • College- and career-ready standards and assessments
  • Longitudinal data systems that can measure and report on student growth, student achievement, and instructional needs
  • Educator effectiveness, including recruiting, developing, retaining, and rewarding effective teachers and principals
  • School turnaround in the lowest-achieving schools

     

RTTT officially began in July 2009 when the US Department of Education announced the competition.  Two states (Tennessee and Delaware) won RTTT funds in Phase One. More information on RTTT can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html

March 2010

Research

Harris, D., & Rutledge, S. A. (2010). Models and predictors of teacher effectiveness: A comparison of research about teaching and other occupations. Teachers College Record, 112(3), 914–960. Retrieved from http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=15898

This report notes that cognitive ability and experience predicts effectiveness in teaching and finds that because there are four models for teaching, performance measurement is more complicated.

August 2010

Research

Race to the Top Phase Two

Nine states (Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island) and the District of Columbia won RTTT funds in Phase Two. More information on RTTT can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html

September 2010

Research

Kane, T. J., Taylor, E. S., Tyler, J. H., & Wooten, A. L. (2010). Identifying effective classroom practices using student achievement data. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from http://jhr.uwpress.org/content/46/3/587.full.pdf

Using district data from Cincinnati, Ohio, the authors combined the results from teacher observations with value-added scores and found that classroom-based measures of teaching effectiveness are related to student test scores.

September 2010

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Teacher Incentive Fund Cohort 3

Cohort 3 was focused on creating educator compensation systems that promoted teacher and leader effectiveness and allowed for opportunities for professional growth, including career ladders. TIF 3 grantees were required to develop plans in five core areas: communication, stakeholder involvement, teacher and principal evaluation systems, data systems, and professional development. The Cohort 3 winners can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/apps/index.html.

November 2010

Research

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE): Blue Ribbon Panel

NCATE's Blue Ribbon Panel report calls for teacher preparation programs to be more clinically based to meet the current needs of the teaching workforce and highlights several exemplar programs.

February 2011

Research

Rockoff, J., & Speroni, C. (2011). Subjective and objective evaluations of teacher effectiveness: Evidence from New York City. Labour Economics, 18(2011), 687–696. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537111000315

This reports determines whether subject evaluations can predict gains made by teachers' students.

December 2011

Research

Race to the Top Phase Three

In the third phase of the RTTT competition, the US Department of Education invited finalists from Phase Two to re-submit portions of their Phase Two applications for funding. Of the nine finalists, seven states (Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) won RTTT funds in Phase Three. More information on RTTT can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html

February 2012

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Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waivers

The U.S. Department of Education invited all states to request flexibility for specific NCLB requirements, including HQT status, adequate yearly progress, funding allocations, and the requirement that all students demonstrate proficiency by the end of the 2013–14 school year. To receive a flexibility waiver, states had to develop rigorous and comprehensive plans to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the overall quality of instruction. States described their plans for three principal requirements:

  • College- and career-ready standards for all students, including high-quality assessments
  • Differentiated accountability, recognition, and support systems for all subgroups of students, including identifying lower-performing schools, districts, or subgroups and appropriate interventions
  • Teacher and leader evaluation systems that include growth in student achievement

To date, 45 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Bureau of Indian Education have submitted requests, and 42 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have had their requests approved. One state, Washington,  had their waiver revoked.

June 2012

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Teacher Incentive Fund Cohort 4

Cohort 4 was specifically focused on STEM staffing issues and schoolwide or districtwide human capital management systems driven by educator evaluations. The cohort was also the first to require that districts implement teacher evaluation systems as part of their human capital management reforms. Since the program was introduced in 2006, 122 schools, districts, states, and organizations have been awarded TIF grants. The 35 Cohort 4 winners can be found here:

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/2012awards.html.

October 2012

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District Race to the Top (Phase Four)

The district Race to the Top is a competitive grant program at the district level designed to build on lessons learned from the state-level Race to the Top competition and support local innovations in teaching and learning in the following areas:

  • Personalized learning environments
  • College- and career-ready standards and assessments
  • Longitudinal data systems that can measure and report on student growth, student achievement, and instructional needs
  • Educator effectiveness, including teacher, principal, and superintendent evaluations, in place by 2014–15.

February 2013

Research

Ronfeldt, M., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2013). How teacher turnover harms student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 50(1), 4-36.  Retrieved from http://aer.sagepub.com/content/50/1/4

Longitudinal data on 850,000 New York City fourth- and fifth-graders indicate that students in schools with high teacher turnover showed lower achievement test scores in both English language arts and mathematics.  

March 2013

Research

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (2013). Ensuring fair and reliable measures of effective teaching: Culminating findings from the MET Project's three-year study. Seattle, WA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.metproject.org/downloads/MET_Ensuring_Fair_and_Reliable_Measures_Practitioner_Brief.pdf

This large-scale multiyear national study analyzes the results from three types of measures: classroom observations, student perceptions, and student learning growth.

April 2013

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State Teacher Evaluation Policies Database: states that have passed updated educator evaluation legislation and rules

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have updated educator evaluation legislation and rules. Of the five states that have not yet updated educator evaluation legislation or rules,

  • Alabama passed legislation in 2009 implementing educator evaluations, but at that time the evaluations did not include summative ratings or student growth. Alabama, along with New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Vermont, plans to use its updated ESEA flexibility plans as educator evaluation policy.
  • California has not yet passed legislation or rules.

1Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming

April 2013

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Cohen-Vogel, L., Feng, L., & Osborne-Lampkin, L. T. (2013). Seniority provisions in collective bargaining agreements and the “teacher quality gap.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 35(3). Retrieved from http://epa.sagepub.com/content/35/3/324.abstract

Authors found little evidence to support claims that collective bargaining agreements lead to seniority-based transfer patterns that disadvantage poor, minority, and low-performing schools.

April 2013

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Wiswall, M. (2013). The dynamics of teacher quality. Journal of Public Economics, 100, 61-78. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272713000194

The author uses a North Carolina data set that matches teacher-student data and a new analytic model (compared with previous researchers’ models) to explore how teacher experience affects performance. The author finds that there are returns to experience in later years of mathematics.

August 2013

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Winters, M. A., & Cowen, J. M. (2013). Who would stay, who would be dismissed?  An empirical consideration of value-added teacher retention policies. Educational Researcher, 42(6), 330-337. Retrieved from http://edr.sagepub.com/content/42/6/330.short

Using data from Florida, the authors compare the number of teachers who would be dismissed using different policies as well as teacher performance thresholds. They conclude that setting higher standards for teachers and then dismissing teachers who do not meet those standards results in better performance for students.

September 2013

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Clark, M. A., Chiang, H. S., Silva, T., McConnell, S., Sonnenfeld, K., Erbe, A., & Puma, M. (2013). The effectiveness of secondary math teachers from Teach for America and the Teaching Fellows programs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Retrieved from http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/Education/HSAC_final_rpt_9_2013.pdf

Mathematics teachers from New York Teaching Fellows and Teach for America were compared with all other math teachers in the same schools using value-added to determine effectiveness. Teach for America teachers were found to be more effective than other math teachers, while Teaching Fellows were not significantly different than other math teachers.

September 2013

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Sun, M., Penuel, W. R., Frank, K. A., Gallagher, H. A., & Youngs, P. (2013). Shaping professional development to promote the diffusion of instructional expertise among teachers. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 35(3). Retrieved from
http://epa.sagepub.com/content/35/3/344.abstract

Using longitudinal data from 39 schools, the study shows that teachers’ participation in professional development impacts their instructional practice and is associated with “spillover” effects by providing more help to colleagues on instruction.

October 2013

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Master, B. (2013). Staffing for success: Linking teacher evaluation and school personnel management in practice. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (forthcoming). Retrieved from http://epa.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/10/04/0162373713506552

In this charter school study using multiple measures of effectiveness, the author found that formative midyear ratings were strongly associated with subsequent decisions on teacher performance.

November 2013

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Mathematica. (2013). Transfer incentives for high-performing teachers: Final results from a multisite randomized experiment (Talent Transfer Initiative Study). Retrieved from http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/education/tti.asp

Mathematica led this study on the impact of performance pay for high-performing teachers on teacher retention, staffing in low-performing schools, and student achievement. Researchers found that performance pay had a positive impact on all three outcomes.

November 2013

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Isenberg, E., Max, J., Gleason, P., Potamites, L., Santillano, R., Hock, H., & Hansen, M. (2013). Access to effective teaching for disadvantaged students. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.Retrieved from
http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/education/effective_teaching_disadvantaged_students.pdf

Using value-added measures, the authors found that disadvantaged students were more likely to be taught by less effective teachers and that unequal access to effective teachers was primarily due to the school assignment (of teachers and students) rather than the assignment of students to teachers within the school.

November 2013

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Glazerman, S., Protik, A., Teh, B., Bruch, J., & Max, J. (2013). Transfer incentives for high-performing teachers: Final results from a multisite randomized experiment. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20144003/pdf/20144003.pdf

Teachers with high value-added scores were offered incentives of $20,000, paid in installments over a two-year period, to teach in schools serving the most disadvantaged students. A large pool of teachers was needed to fill targeted positions, with only about 20 percent completing the application process. The authors found that the teachers had a positive impact on test scores in both years in reading and math. 

January 2014

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Herlihy, C., Karger, E., Pollard, C., Hill, H. C., Kraft, M. A., Williams, M., & Howard, S. (2014).  State and local efforts to investigate the validity and reliability of scores from teacher evaluation systems. Teachers College Record. Retrieved from http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/mkraft/files/herlihy_et_al._teacher_evaluation_systems_tcr.pdf

Using interviews with state education officials and document analysis about training, certification, and reliability of evaluators, this study concludes that states could increase the validity and reliability of evaluation scores through “periodic rater retraining and recertification, a stiff program of rater monitoring, and the use of multiple raters per teacher.” 

March 2014

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Teach to Lead Initiative

This initiative of the U.S. Department of Education seeks to empower teacher leaders to transform teaching and learning and improve policies that affect their work. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced this initiative at the 2014 Teaching and Learning Conference and has received ongoing support from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in implementing this work. The U.S. Department of Education has held several convenings of teacher leaders around the country to date and continues to hold events through 2015. The Teach to Lead initiative has three goals:

  • Highlight existing state and district systems working to support teacher leadership
  • Share resources and ideas to create new opportunities for teacher leadership
  • Encourage educators at all levels to commit to supporting and expanding teacher leadership opportunities

http://teachtolead.org/

April 2014

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Cooper, K. S. (2014). Eliciting engagement in the high school classroom: A mixed-methods examination of teaching practices. American Educational Research Journal, 51(2), 363–402. Retrieved from http://aer.sagepub.com/content/51/2/363.

This case study examines three theories of student engagement in 581 classes in a diverse high school and, through factor analysis of student surveys, finds that “connective instruction” (which emphasizes individual students) predicts student engagement more than seven times as accurately as “academic rigor” or “lively teaching.”

April 2014

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Master, B. (2014). Staffing for success:  Linkng teacer evaluation and school personnel management in practice.  Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(2), 207-227. Retrieved from http://epa.sagepub.com/content/36/2/207.full

In this charter school study using multiple measures of effectiveness, the author found that formative midyear ratings were strongly associated with subsequent decisions on teacher performance.  

April 2014

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Whitehurst, G.J., Chingos, M.M., & Lindquist, K.M. (2014). Evaluating teachers with classroom observations: Lessons learned in four districts. Washington, DC: Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2014/05/13%20teacher%20evaluation/evaluating%20teachers%20with%20classroom%20observations.pdf.

This study sought to describe the strength of classroom observations as an evaluation measure by comparing student growth and observation scores as part of teacher evaluations in four districts. This study produced several key findings, including findings related to observation scores. Researchers found that although observation scores were more stable year-to-year than value-added (student growth) scores, observation scores tended to be higher for teachers of students with better initial academic performance than teachers of students with lower initial performance. This study highlights a challenge in ensuring that evaluation results are fair and accurate for all teachers, including those of previously low-performing students.

July 2014

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Excellent Educators for All Initative

This initiative of the U.S. Department of Education revives the effort to ensure that states measure the extent to which students from low-income and minority backgrounds are taught by less experienced, less effective teachers and principals, and that states support school districts in addressing inequities in access to great educators where they exist. It has three components:
  • Comprehensive educator equity plans: Chief state school officers will be required to submit comprehensive educator equity plans describing their approach to ensuring that all students have equitable access to effective educators.
  • Equity support network: An investment of $4.2 million will launch a technical assistance network to support states in developing new model plans to ensure access to great educators.
  • Educator equity profiles: States will receive a data file from the U.S. Department of Education that highlights key data points relating to equitable access to quality teaching in their state.

http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/new-initiative-provide-all-students-access-great-educators

November 2014

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ESEA Renewal

The U.S. Department of Education invited states with an approved ESEA waiver for the 2014–15 school year to apply for renewal through the 2017–18 school year by March 31, 2015. States with approved waivers for the 2012–13 school year were eligible to apply for a four-year renewal and expedited review process. To be eligible for renewal, states were required to demonstrate that they have completed the milestones included in their previous flexibility request, such as implementing college- and career-ready standards and assessments for all students and submitting educator evaluation guidelines for peer review.

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/eseaflex/secretary-letters/cssorenewalltr.html

December 2014

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Lankford, H., Loeb, S., McEachin, A., Miller, L. C., & Wyckoff, J. (2014). Who enters teaching? Encouraging evidence that the status of teaching is improving. Education Researcher, 43(9), 444–453. Retrieved from http://edr.sagepub.com/content/43/9/444.full.

This study analyzed 25 years of data on the academic ability of teachers in New York State, finding that since 1999 the academic ability of individuals certified and individuals entering the teaching profession has steadily increased. Researchers found that these gains have been widespread and have led to a more equitable distribution of teachers’ academic abilities between high- and low-poverty schools and between white and minority teachers. Researchers conclude that these results indicate that the status of teaching is improving, leading to more individuals with higher academic ability entering the profession.

July 2015

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Goldhaber, D., Lavery, L., & Theobald, R. (2015). Uneven playing field? Assessing the teacher quality gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Education Researcher, 44(5), 293–307. Retrieved from http://edr.sagepub.com/content/44/5/293.full.

This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the inequitable distribution of teacher quality using both input measures (such as degree attainment) and output measures (such as evaluation scores and student learning measures).Researchers found that there is an inequitable distribution of effective teachers as identified by every measure of teacher quality examined across every indicator of student disadvantage, including free and reduced-price lunch status, minority status, and prior academic performance. Researchers also found that patterns of teacher sorting at the district and school levels contribute to overall gaps in teacher quality and trends in inequitable distribution.