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Defining and Measuring Effectiveness

Measuring teaching effectiveness accurately provides the foundation of a system that aims to ensure that every student has a high-performing teacher. 

What is the challenge?

The typical teacher evaluation process currently involves infrequent reviews based on a handful of classroom observations, augmented with subjective and anecdotal knowledge from a principal or supervisor of the teacher’s effectiveness and contribution.

Without good information about how a teacher is performing, it is not possible to give her the support she needs, recognize her for her contributions, and remove her from the school if necessary.

"Put simply, current systems fail to distinguish great teaching from good, good from fair, and fair from poor." -The Widget Effect, The New Teacher Project

Step-By-Step Analysis

Evaluations that occur only once every two or three years are not enough to assess teacher performance or to identify what kinds of support each teacher needs to improve his practice.

Increasing the frequency of reviews will require additional time and support for evaluators who may already be stretched just to meet the current schedule of evaluations. Span of review is a measure of current principal workload. Download our worksheet to learn how to analyze principal span of review in your district.

Take Action

  • Adopt district-wide teaching performance standards to measure teaching effectiveness
  • Develop a robust system to track student progress
  • Develop a comprehensive teacher-evaluation system
  • Increase principal and evaluator capacity and accountability
  • Increase the effectiveness of teacher evaluation by bringing more people into the process
  • Develop data systems to collect information on teacher effectiveness, support, and assignment and link these to other areas of human capital management
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