Recent Research

  • Linking Teacher Evaluation to Professional Development: Focusing on Improving Teaching and Learning. The recent increased attention to teacher evaluation has raised questions about the relationship between evaluation and student outcomes. This brief provides an informal framework for using evaluation results to target professional growth opportunities for teachers within an aligned system of evaluation, leading to higher levels of teacher practice and student learning. It discusses the six components that are essential to include in a teacher evaluation system that can be effectively used for professional development.
  • Measuring Teacher Effectiveness: A Look "Under the Hood" of Teacher Evaluation in 10 Sites.This report profiles and compares 10 early implementers of evaluation reforms: Delaware, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Hillsborough County (FL), Houston (TX), New Haven (CT), Pittsburgh (PA), Washington (D.C.), Achievement First (CMO), and Relay Graduate School of Education. Drawing upon information from public documents and site interviews, the report describes the structure and implementation of its featured sites. The report is structured into a foreword, an introductory brief, a cross-case analysis that includes a discussion of implementation challenges across sites, and 10 site profiles.
  • Designing and Implementing Teacher Performance Management Systems: Pitfalls and Possibilities. This paper discusses key themes, takeaways, and six core principles on designing and implementing teacher performance management systems and policies. Using examples from the field, the paper expands on the principles and challenges that emerge when policymakers focus on comprehensive systems rather than "fixes" for discrete problems.
  • Approaches to Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness: A Research Synthesis.This research synthesis examines how teacher effectiveness is measured and provides practical guidance for evaluating teacher effectiveness. It evaluates the research on teacher effectiveness and different instruments used to measure it. In addition, it defines components and indicators that characterize effective teachers, extending this definition beyond teachers’ contributions to student achievement gains to include how teachers affect classrooms, schools, and colleagues, as well as how teachers contribute to other important outcomes for students.
  • Challenges in Evaluating Special Education Teachers and English Language Learner Specialists. This brief provides a summary of current research and practice in teacher evaluation. It offers policy and practice recommendations for regions, states and school districts to help their efforts in creating valid, reliable and comprehensive evaluation systems for all teachers.
  • Measuring Teachers’ Contributions to Student Learning Growth for Non-tested Subjects and Grades. The purpose of this research and policy brief is to help states consider options for assessing student learning growth for the majority of teachers who teach content that is not assessed through standardized tests. It provides information about options for states to explore, as well as factors to consider when identifying and implementing measures. It also focuses specifically on federal priorities to help ensure that evaluation systems meet the high expectations set for teacher evaluation. Finally, the brief emphasizes the importance of fairly measuring all teachers, including them in the evaluation process, and ensuring validity in measurement.
  • Measuring Teacher and Leader Performance: Cross-Sector Lessons for Excellent Evaluations. This brief reports on the staff evaluation systems used by government agencies, nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies and how they can inform the development and implementation of teacher evaluation systems.
  • A Practical Guide to Designing Comprehensive Teacher Evaluation Systems. This guide outlines eight key steps for developing and implementing comprehensive teacher evaluation systems. These steps consist of specifying evaluation system goals, securing and sustaining stakeholder investment and cultivating a strategic communication plan, selecting measures, determining the structure of the evaluation system, selecting and training evaluators, ensuring data integrity and transparency, using teacher evaluation results, and evaluating the system.
  • Creating Coherence. This Special Issues Brief from the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) introduces an approach to creating coherence among three potentially transformative instructional reforms: implementation of the Common Core State Standards for student learning, new standards-based teacher evaluation systems, and job-embedded professional learning designs.