In the “Eye of the Tiger” It is (mostly) about Improvement
Improving Teaching: What we would like to happen Number of Teachers “Teacher Effectiveness” How far will personnel evaluation take us?
Suppose We Were Evaluating 10,000 Teachers: Ideal Result 2500 1 2 3 4 Observational rubric designation Value added designation
What We Will Likely See in Practice: 10,000 teachers with ρ =.30 940680520350 680690620530 520620690670 350530670940 1 2 3 4 Observation rubric designation Valued added designation Lots of mixed patterns of evidence
Use the Average of the Two Indicators: Does this help?
Empirical Teacher Effectiveness Distributions: A small percent outliers… a huge group in the middle
So can we use teacher evaluation rankings to improve teaching? Simple, but naïve idea— “You’re category 2…improve!” Not mostly a problem of effort, intentions or attention. For most teachers it is a question of “Well, exactly how do I improve?” Classic Edward Deming observation…
So what in the teacher evaluation data might actually inform improvement? Value added—some use for targeting but even here pretty unreliable. Classroom observation protocols should be of value. But, even here there is a complication.
Measurement For Improvement vs Measurement for Evaluation Measurement for personnel evaluation – Reliability is paramount – Low inference premium, clearly observable behaviors – Generality for all Measurement for improvement – Focus on signaling what we value – Timely, woven into the web of work – High inference OK within professional community, low stakes – Aligned to specific work of instruction
An Instructional-System Specific Protocol Text Selection Text Introduction During the Reading After Reading Word Work Guided Reading: A High Leverage Daily Activity in Grade 1-3 Comprehensive Literacy Classrooms Five Elements Form the Practice:
Guided Reading—After Reading (one of two rubric elements) __Does not engage students in discussion of the text. __Engages children in some discussion, but talk is often unfocused or off topic. __Engages children in some discussion of text. Some student comments indicate they are thinking about the text. __Engages children in a rich discussion of the meaning of the text that is evident in students comments about their thinking.
A General Standards-Based Protocol Instruction: Feedback to Students __Teacher’s feedback to students is of poor quality and not provided in a timely manner. __Teacher’s feedback to students is uneven and its timeliness is inconsistent. __Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality. __Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality, and students make use of the feedback in their learning.
So the good news…we are beginning to focus on the right problem – Moving out problematic teachers must happen —truncate off the extreme negative tail. – And it is also about improving teaching –move the overall distribution.
But… It is far from clear that we are equipping districts with the right observational tools to inform such improvements.
Provides common language for teachers, coaches, school and district leaders along a continuum expertise development. Serves as a guide for self-reflection on the part of individual teachers (and coaches) Encourages greater specificity in what we are after and reflections about what it will take to accomplish this… And this, after all, is the essence of continuous improvement! Practical Significance