Panel: Evaluating Teacher Performance: Observations, Feedback, and Instructional Skill Assessment

Friday, November 9, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
8219 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Katharine Strunk, Michigan State University
Discussants:  Eric Taylor, Harvard University and Ayesha K. Hashim, University of Southern California

Teacher Skill Development: Evidence from Performance Ratings By Principals
Matthew Kraft1, John Papay1 and Olivia L. Chi2, (1)Brown University, (2)Harvard University

Does Feedback Matter? Understanding the Relationship between Evaluation Feedback and Teacher Productivity
Matthew Springer, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Karin Gegenheimer, Vanderbilt University, Seth Hunter, George Mason University and Cory Koedel, University of Missouri

Educator evaluation systems have become a central piece of recent education reforms as states increasingly come to view teacher quality as a key determinant of student achievement.  Evaluation systems are implemented with the belief that measuring teacher performance and providing teachers with feedback and support will lead to instructional improvement.  The bulk of research on teacher evaluation, however, tends to miss the developmental aspect of evaluation.  While a large body of work has focused on the validity of measures of teacher effectiveness, researchers have given less attention to the extent to which evaluation systems promote teacher development and instructional improvement.  Further investigation into the relationship between teacher evaluation and growth is merited, as preliminary evidence suggests a positive association between comprehensive evaluation systems and teacher productivity.


As a core component of educator evaluation systems, performance evaluations represent a primary mechanism by which teachers can improve their practice.  Performance evaluations often include one or more classroom observations by school or district leaders during which observers rate teachers on several indicators of instruction and provide feedback on such indicators of interest.  Although districts and states devote large sums of resources to creating comprehensive observation rubrics, ensuring the accuracy of observations, and providing teachers with meaningful feedback, the relationship between performance evaluations and instructional improvement is largely unknown.  The papers in this panel use administrative data from four different states to explore how performance evaluations influence teacher growth and development, with an emphasis on skill development and overall teacher effectiveness, as well as student outcomes and teacher retention decisions.

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