Wednesday, November 2, 2016

First year implementation of performance measures for teachers and principals

An evaluation of three performance measures for evaluating teachers and principals found that the measures provided some information to distinguish educator performance and led to increased feedback, according to a report released today (Nov. 2).

The study, sponsored by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), examined the first year implementation of a set of three study-implemented performance measures: Observations of teachers’ classroom practices; value-added measures of teacher performance; and a 360-degree survey assessment of principals’ leadership practices.

A group of elementary and middle schools were randomly assigned within each of eight school districts to either a treatment group that implemented all three of the study’s performance measures or a control group that did not. A total of 127 schools participated in the study.

Key findings include:

•    The study’s performance measures were implemented generally as planned. Teachers and principals received multiple rounds of ratings and feedback on their practices. However, fewer principals and teachers accessed their value-added reports than the study intended;

•    Both classroom observation and student growth measures differentiated teacher performance, although observation scores were mostly at the upper end of the scale. Overall, observation scores varied across teachers, and both value-added scores and average classroom observation scores over the year had sufficient reliability to capture performance differences among some teachers;

•    The principal leadership measure differentiated performance, but principal self-ratings, teachers’ ratings of the principal, and the principal’s supervisor’s ratings of the principal often differed;

•    Both teachers and principals in schools selected to implement the intervention reported receiving more feedback on their performance than did their counterparts. For example, teachers and principals in intervention schools reported spending more total time in performance feedback sessions across the year than teachers and principals in the control schools.

A second and final report will examine impacts on teacher classroom practice, principal leadership, and student achievement after two years as well as implementation findings in the second year.

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