Panel Paper: The Impact of Providing Performance Feedback to Teachers and Principals

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Marriott Balcony B - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Michael S. Garet, Andrew J. Wayne, Seth Brown, Jordan Rickles and Mengli Song, American Institutes for Research

This presentation summarizes the results of an IES-sponsored study on the implementation of teacher and principal performance measures that are highlighted by recent research, as well as the impact of providing feedback based on these measures. As part of the study, eight districts were provided resources and support to implement the following three performance measures in a selected sample of schools in 2012–13 and 2013–14:

  • Classroom practice measure: A measure of teacher classroom practice with subsequent feedback sessions conducted four times per year based on a classroom observation rubric.
  • Student growth measure: A measure of teacher contributions to student achievement growth (i.e., value-added scores) provided to teachers and their principals once per year.
  • Principal leadership measure: A measure of principal leadership with subsequent feedback sessions conducted twice per year.

Within each district, elementary and middle schools were randomly assigned to implement the performance measures (the treatment group) or not (the control group) (n = 127 schools in total). No formal “stakes” were attached to the measures—for example, they were not used by the study districts for staffing decisions such as tenure or continued employment. Instead, the measures were used to provide educators and their supervisors with information regarding performance. Such information might identify educators who need support and indicate areas for improvement, leading to improved classroom practice and leadership and boosting student achievement.

The study’s implementation findings were presented at APPAM’s fall 2016 conference. The proposed presentation will focus on the study’s impact findings, based on the final report issued in December 2017:

  • Service contrast. As intended, teachers and principals in treatment schools received more frequent feedback with ratings than teachers and principals in control schools. For example, treatment teachers reported receiving more feedback sessions on their classroom practice with ratings and a written narrative justification than control teachers (3.0 versus 0.7 sessions, based on responses to a teacher survey in the spring of Year 1, and 3.0 versus 0.2 sessions in Year 2).
  • Impact on classroom practice. To assess the impact on classroom practice, the study team video-recorded lessons in both treatment and control schools and coded them with the two observation rubrics used to provide feedback. The intervention had a positive impact on teachers’ classroom practice on one of the two observation rubrics, moving teachers from the 50th to the 57th percentile, but it had no impact on practice as measured by the other rubric.
  • Impact on principal leadership. The intervention also had a positive impact on the two measures of principal leadership examined—instructional leadership and teacher-principal trust—moving teachers from the 50th to the 60th percentile on teacher-principal trust in Year 1, for example.
  • Impact on student achievement. In Year 1, the intervention had a positive impact on students’ achievement in mathematics, amounting to about four weeks of learning. In Year 2, the impact on mathematics achievement was similar in magnitude but not statistically significant. The intervention did not have a statistically significant impact on reading/English language arts achievement in either year.