Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Teacher Evaluations Tied to Student Achievement

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Teacher Evaluations Tied to Student Achievement

Article excerpt

Teachers may not have a level playing field when it comes to classroom observation of teachers' instructional practice.

Researchers Matthew Steinberg and Rachel Garrett found prior academic achievement of students is a significant predictor of teacher success in the high-stakes evaluation system. "When information about teacher performance does not reflect a teacher's practice, but rather the students to whom the teacher is assigned, such systems are at risk of misidentifying and mislabeling teacher performance," Steinberg and Garrett write in a study published in January in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Among their findings:

* Math teachers were six times more likely to be among the top performers when assigned students who were the highest achievers the previous year. English language arts (ELA) teachers with high achievers in their classroom were twice as likely to be among top performers.

* Only 37% of ELA teachers and 18% of math teachers assigned the lowest-performing students were highly rated based on classroom observation scores.

* When teachers were assigned a class with higher incoming achievement, they were more likely to see an increase in their measured performance. …

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