Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Roundtable: Bridging the Gap Between Research, Policy, and Practice: The Implementation and Study of Massachusetts’ Educator Evaluation Framework

Thursday, November 12, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Tequesta (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Roundtable Organizers:  Amy Checkoway, Abt Associates, Inc.
Moderators:  Matthew Kraft, Brown University
Speakers:  Amy Checkoway1, Carrie Conaway2, Claire Abbott2 and Dianne Kelly3, (1)Abt Associates, Inc.(2)Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education(3)Revere Public Schools

In 2011, the Board of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) adopted new regulations for the evaluation of all Massachusetts educators. A significant portion of the state’s Race to the Top grant was allocated to support implementation of the new evaluation framework at both the state and district level. This session will focus on how researchers and policymakers can collaborate to identify and leverage timely and useful findings to support the implementation of Massachusetts’ Educator Evaluation Framework (EEF). The Massachusetts EEF is designed to: promote growth and development of leaders and teachers; place student learning at the center, using multiple measures of student learning, growth and achievement; recognize excellence in teaching and leading; set a high bar for professional teaching status; and shorten timelines for improvement. In 2012, the ESE contracted with an independent research team to conduct a multi-year evaluation of the implementation of the EEF. The goal of this research was to obtain frequent information about implementation progress and challenges to inform policy decisions and ongoing program development. In 2014–15, the research team continued to examine progress and challenges with implementation, with a focus on identifying and disseminating examples of successful implementation strategies to enhance the progress of implementation locally. The study has included statewide teacher and principal surveys, case studies of select districts, an analysis of educator evaluation files, and identification and selection of artifacts of evaluation-related practices, materials, and tools that support EEF implementation. Over the course of the study, ESE and the research team prioritized timely feedback and quick turnaround reporting and tools that support districts’ implementation of the EEF. The roundtable discussion will include reflections on this research from multiple perspectives including: research and program leadership from ESE, the research team, and a Massachusetts superintendent. Discussion will focus on several topics: (1) how ESE approached this research, including the questions of interest, research product designs, and communication of findings, (2) how the research team’s diverse methods and products have contributed critical information to the design and implementation of educator evaluation policies and how this type of research differs from many other studies, and (3) how districts have leveraged this research to better understand implementation and inform local decision making.
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