Mapping America’s Teacher Evaluation Plans Under ESSA

One of my doctoral students — Kevin Close, one of my former doctoral students — Clarin Collins, and I just had a study published in the practitioner journal Phi Delta Kappan that I wanted to share out with all of you, especially before the study is no longer open-access or free (see the full article as currently available here). As the title of this post (which is the same as the title of the article) indicates, the study is about research the three of us conducted, by surveying every state (or interviewing leaders at every state’s department of education), about how each state’s changed their teacher evaluation systems post the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

In short, we found states have reduced their use of growth or value-added models (VAMs) within their teacher evaluation systems. In addition, states that are still using such models are using them in much less consequential ways, while many states are offering more alternatives for measuring the relationships between student achievement and teacher effectiveness. Additionally, state teacher evaluation plans also contain more language supporting formative teacher feedback (i.e., a noteworthy change from states’ prior summative and oft-highly consequential teacher evaluation systems). State departments of education also seem to be allowing districts to develop and implement more flexible teacher evaluation systems, with states simultaneously acknowledging challenges with being able to support increased local control, and localized teacher evaluation systems, especially when varied local systems present challenges with being able to support various local systems and compare data across schools and districts, in effect.

Again, you can read more here. See also the longer version of this study, if interested, here.

1 thought on “Mapping America’s Teacher Evaluation Plans Under ESSA

  1. Thank you for making this detailed analysis available. I live in Ohio where VAM is still used. Even more troubling is the use of an A-F grading system for each school, with poorly rationalized weightings, transformations, and additions of subscores into a final score.
    I have seen some of these transformations of multiple measures into a 100 point scale. The CORE districts in California CORE stands for California Office to Reform Education, an NGO. The CORE districts make use of the 100 point scheme and include results from a handful of surveys (questionable in my opinion) purporting to assess school climate. Responses come from students, parents, instructional staff, and non-instructional staff. In any case the 100 point system is also being used by the Great Schools.org website for school ratings. That website leases metrics and can push ratings for a fee. Among the major pay-to-play customers are Zillow, Scholastic, and charter schools.

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