Published Online: September 21, 2009
Published in Print: October 1, 2009, as Teacher Evaluations Get Poor Grades

Teacher Evaluations Get Poor Grades

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As broadly practiced, teacher evaluations in schools fail to provide a whole lot of useful information, according to a study conducted by the New Teacher Project.

Based on research surveys in 12 districts in four states, the report finds that teacher evaluations “tell us little about how one teacher differs from any other” and are essentially oblivious to gradations in instructional effectiveness.

Evaluation practices, the report says, are generally cursory and poorly implemented, and the vast majority of teachers are simply labeled as “satisfactory.”

Nor is information from evaluations frequently used to inform school instructional policy, including professional development programs. Some 73 percent of the teachers surveyed noted that their most recent evaluation did not specify any areas for professional development.

The report recommends that schools adopt more expansive performance-evaluation systems, including better training for administrators and integration with “human capital policies and functions."

Vol. 3, Issue 1, Page 7

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