Report: Measuring teacher effectiveness

13 Jun

Public Impact has a produced a report, Measuring Teacher Effectiveness: A Look “Under the Hood” of Teacher Evaluation in 10 Sites which examines teacher evaluation efforts in three states. So, how is teacher effectiveness measured? Well, kids know good teaching when they see it. Donna Gordon Blankinship of AP reports in the Seattle Times article, How Do You Find An Effective Teacher? Ask A Kid

Adults may be a little surprised by some of the preliminary findings of new research on what makes a great teacher.

How do you find the most effective teachers? Ask your kids. That’s one of four main conclusions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its research partners after the first year of its Measures of Effective Teaching Project.

Preliminary results of the study were posted online Friday; a more complete report is expected in April, according to the foundation….

The first four conclusions of the study are as follows:

-The average student knows effective teaching when he or she experiences it.

-In every grade and every subject, a teacher’s past success in raising student achievement on state tests is one of the strongest predictors of his or her ability to do so again.

-The teachers with the highest value-added scores on state tests, which show improvement by individual students during the time they were in their classroom, are also the teachers who do the best job helping their students understand math concepts or demonstrate reading comprehension through writing.

-Valid feedback does not need to come from test scores alone. Other data can give teachers the information they need to improve, including student opinions of how organized and effective a teacher is….

See, Students Know Good Teaching When They Get It, Survey Finds

Here is the press release about ConnCan’s teacher effectiveness report which was produced by Public Impact:

New Report Analyzes How Multiple Measures Can Be Used to Evaluate Teacher Effectiveness

ConnCAN-Commissioned Report Looks at the Teacher Evaluation Implementation in 10 Sites, including New Haven, to Begin Charting Best Practice


Contact:  Patrick Riccards, ConnCAN

Tel:  203-772-4017 x15


New Haven, Conn

NEW HAVEN (May 31, 2012) – As states and school systems across the nation work to implement processes for evaluating educator effectiveness, a new research report offers a detailed look at 10 teacher evaluation models, looking at how they tackled key evaluation components such as student achievement measures, classroom evaluation, and other non-academic measures.

Conducted by Public Impact, Measuring Teacher Effectiveness: A Look “Under the Hood” of Teacher Evaluation in 10 Sites examines teacher evaluation efforts in three states (Delaware, Rhode Island, and Tennessee), five large districts (Hillsborough County, FL; Houston, TX; New Haven, CT; Pittsburgh, PA; and Washington, DC), one charter management organization (Achievement First), and the Relay Graduate School of Education. ConnCAN and 50CAN jointly commissioned the report, with support of the H.A. Vance Foundation.

There are few factors as important to student success than that of an effective educator,” ConnCAN CEO Patrick Riccards said. “To ensure that every child has that effective educator, we must implement comprehensive evaluation models. Measuring Teacher Effectiveness is an important tool in understanding what teacher evaluation leaders are doing and what components must be factored into a meaningful evaluation model.”

As part of this effort, Public Impact, ConnCAN, and 50CAN have provided a research brief, a cross-site analysis that looks across all 10 sites, 10 detailed profiles of the teacher evaluation systems in each of the featured sites, and a library of documents that are the building blocks of the 10 systems. All of these products can be found at:

The report pays particular attention to the design and implementation challenges that many states and districts face in putting an evaluation system into place. These challenges focused on five areas: 1) student achievement measures; 2) classroom observations; 3) other non-academic measures; 4) accuracy, validity, and reliability; and 5) reporting and using evaluation results.

Each site is working to continuously improve their evaluation systems with the belief that the challenges they encounter can be overcome. As Measuring Teacher Effectiveness reports, “None of these systems claims to have cracked the code for teacher evaluation. Nonetheless, we consistently heard that the perfect should not be the enemy of the good.”

There is no magic bullet when it comes to effective educator evaluation,” Riccards said. “But there is also no need to reinvent the wheel. By taking a close look at many of our evaluation trailblazers, we can see the necessary components for evaluation, the challenges our states and districts face in doing it right, and the unanswered questions we must still pursue if we are to provide all students with exemplary teachers.”

The findings of Measuring Teacher Effectiveness are particularly important as Connecticut is in the midst of developing the state evaluation model that will be in line with the teacher evaluation framework unanimously adopted by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) in January 2012 and approved by the State Board of Education in February of 2012. This fall, the state plans to begin the evaluation pilot established under S.B. 458.

The analyses of New Haven Public Schools and Achievement First, in particular, provide policymakers, educators, and administrators with a solid understanding of the good work currently being done in Connecticut,” Riccards said. “These case studies, along with the other eight, serve as important tools in the completion of Connecticut’s educator evaluation system.”


Doyle, D., & Han, J.G. (2012). Measuring teacher effectiveness: A look “under the hood” of teacher evaluation in 10 sites. New York: 50CAN; New Haven, CT: ConnCAN; and Chapel Hill, NC: Public Impact. Re­trieved from

©2012 50CAN, ConnCAN, and Public Impact

The authors encourage the free use, reproduction, and distribution of this paper for noncommer­cial use. We require attribution for all use. For more information and instructions on the commercial use of our materials, please contact us at


Please contact ConnCAN at or 203 772 4017


85 Willow Street

New Haven, CT 06511

Every population of kids is different and they arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Schools and teachers must be accountable, but there should be various measures of judging teacher effectiveness for a particular population of children. Perhaps, more time and effort should be spent in developing a strong principal corps and giving principals the training and assistance in evaluation and mentoring techniques. Really, it comes down to each population of kids should have solutions tailored for their needs. There really should not be a one size approach to education.


The attempt to evaluate teacher colleges is getting nasty

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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