Seeking Tangible Results for Effective Teaching

Article excerpt

WITH ONE YEAR UNDER ITS belt, Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools embarks on its second school year of collecting data to evaluate teacher effectiveness. The two-year project, currently underway in five other districts nationwide, began in fall 2009 with a Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The data collection strategies include digital video recording, student assessments, student surveys, and teacher surveys. This data--combined with figures from other districts--will ultimately be used to generate a more effective model for measuring teacher effectiveness.

The MET project works in conjunction with the Empowering Effective Teaching (EET) grant at Hillsborough. The data collected through the MET project will be used to inform the EET initiative to develop a more comprehensive evaluation system, improve professional development and to focus on the recruitment and retention of effective teachers.

Hillsborough's new evaluation system, which will begin this fall, is based on 30 percent principal evaluations, 30 percent expert teacher or peer evaluations, and 40 percent student achievement. Through this data, says Tracye Brown, director of communications and project management with the EET program at the Hillsborough district, researchers can pinpoint the practices and characteristics of an effective teacher. …