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Teacher Evaluation in Rural Schools. Laura Goe, Ph.D. Research Scientist, ETS, and Principal Investigator for the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality. Institute for Educational Leadership. Washington, DC  September 17, 2012. Laura Goe, Ph.D.

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teacher evaluation in rural schools

Teacher Evaluation in Rural Schools

Laura Goe, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, ETS, and Principal Investigator for the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality

Institute for Educational Leadership

Washington, DC  September 17, 2012

laura goe ph d
Laura Goe, Ph.D.
  • Former teacher in rural & urban schools
    • Special education (7th & 8th grade, Tunica, MS)
    • Language arts (7th grade, Memphis, TN)
  • Graduate of UC Berkeley’s Policy, Organizations, Measurement & Evaluation doctoral program
  • Principal Investigator for the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality
  • Research Scientist in the Performance Research Group at ETS
multiple standards based measures of teacher effectiveness
Multiple Standards-based Measures of Teacher Effectiveness
  • Affords many benefits to a comprehensive evaluation system
    • Ability to triangulate results increases confidence in evaluation outcomes
    • More complete picture of teacher strengths and weaknesses
    • Each type of measure provides a different type of evidence
  • All work together to better inform professional development decisions
more than test scores
More than test scores…
  • How successful are teachers at working with students in need of a lot of support?
    • Evaluate teachers’ efforts to address students’ physical, social, and emotional needs
    • Evaluate efforts at making contacts with and establishing relationships with parents
    • Value and acknowledge teachers’ efforts to encourage, inspire and engage students
    • Some things we value can’t be measured with a test score
results inform professional growth opportunities
Results inform professional growth opportunities
  • Are evaluation results discussed with individual teachers?
  • Do teachers collaborate with instructional managers to develop a plan for improvement and/or professional growth?
    • All teachers (even high-scoring ones) have areas where they can grow and learn
  • Are effective teachers provided with opportunities to develop their leadership potential?
  • Are struggling teachers provided with coaches and given opportunities to observe/be observed?
a well aligned evaluation system goe et al 2012
A well-aligned evaluation system (Goe et al., 2012)
  • In a well-aligned system, evidence of practice as it relates to high-quality teaching standards will:
    • Form the basis for a professional growth plan
    • Give structure and consistency to coaching and mentoring by providing the basis for shared expectations and a common language, and possibly suggesting a direction for development
    • Provide a diagnostic approach to understanding inadequate student learning growth (i.e., determining which standards are not being met and considering how they might relate to student outcomes)
    • Offer a set of criteria to help principals, consulting teachers, mentors, and others identify areas in which teachers are successful and areas for improvement
high quality professional growth opportunities
High-quality professional growth opportunities
  • The ultimate goal of teacher evaluation should be to improve teaching & learning
    • Individual coaching/feedback on instruction
      • Trained coaches, not just “good teachers”
    • Observing “master teachers”
      • Provide opportunities to discuss specific practices
      • May be especially helpful at beginning of year when master teachers are creating a “learning environment”
    • Group professional development
      • Opportunity to grow together as a cohort
effectiveness can be improved
Effectiveness can be improved!
  • Most teachers are doing the best they can
    • Help them do better with feedback, support, coaching, and a focus on classroom environment and relationships with students
  • Teachers who are discouraged may need to see successful teachers with similar kids
  • Teachers who are consistently effective should be encouraged to model and teach specific practices to less effective teachers
  • Classroom learning environment is key: helping teachers create and maintain a better classroom learning environment improves student oucomes
evaluating teachers rural challenges
Evaluating teachers: Rural challenges
  • Teachers who are seen as “outsiders” in the community may have problems engaging wary student in learning and in building positive relationships with parents
    • Help teacher get connected to community by assigning a community mentor to help teacher integrate into local culture
    • Use place-based learning strategies to engage students and teachers in discovering local history and culture while addressing community needs
    • Provide professional development on “cultural relativism”
evaluating teachers rural challenges1
Evaluating teachers: Rural challenges
  • Lack of family support for schooling may hinder students’ ability to learn and their interest in school success
    • May impact teacher evaluation results
    • Not just a rural challenge but common to high-poverty areas and areas where many parents were not successful in school
  • Evaluate teachers on their willingness and ability to engage parents and community
    • Celebrating student success
    • Sharing student work throughout the year in community exhibits, performances, etc.
    • Asking parents to assist in and contribute their talents and skills to events and to classroom projects
evaluating teachers rural challenges2
Evaluating teachers: Rural challenges
  • Research on learning environment, relationships in classroom and parent/teacher relationships shows link to student achievement
    • Correlates to student learning growth:
      • High ratings on learning environment using Framework for Teaching (Kane et al., 2010)
      • Positive student/teacher relationships (Howes et al., 2008)
      • Parent engagement efforts by teachers and schools (Redding et al., 2004)
      • Responsive Classroom strategies (Rimm-Kaufman et al., 2012)
        • RC builds teacher capacity to establish a learning environment that serves to promote social skills such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control
assessing student growth for teacher evaluation rural challenges
Assessing student growth for teacher evaluation: Rural challenges
  • Highly mobile student populations
    • Short-cycle assessments will be needed for students who are highly mobile (less focus on once-a-year standardized tests)
    • Assess students as soon as possible upon enrollment
  • High student absenteeism
    • Follow state guidelines for how many total days, consecutive days, etc. a student must be on a teacher’s role to “count” for that teachers’ score on contribution to student learning
  • Teachers with multiple preps/grades
    • Develop a plan with individual teachers to focus on specific subjects/grades for evaluation purposes
      • Areas where teacher wants to concentrate efforts at maximizing student growth
      • Priority areas for school and district
rural evaluation regional focus
Rural evaluation: Regional focus
  • Invest in technology and infrastructure that will enable teachers to connect with each other and with internet-based resources
  • Form regional consortiums to share resources including personnel
    • Rural schools may not be able to afford their own data analysts, curriculum specialists, etc.
    • Need a model of sharing personnel across regions
final thoughts
Final thoughts
  • The limitations:
    • There are no perfect measures
    • There are no perfect models
    • Changing the culture of evaluation is hard work
  • The opportunities:
    • Evidence can be used to trigger support for struggling teachers and acknowledge effective ones
    • Multiple sources of evidence can provide powerful information to improve teaching and learning
    • Evidence is more valid than “judgment” and provides better information for teachers to improve practice
  • Goe, L., Biggers, K., & Croft, A. (2012). Linking teacher evaluation to professional development: Focusing on improving teaching and learning. Washington, DC: National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.
  • http://www.tqsource.org/publications/LinkingTeacherEval.pdf
    • Howes, C., Burchinal, M., Pianta, R., Bryant, D., Early, D., Clifford, R., et al. (2008). Ready to learn? Children's pre-academic achievement in pre-kindergarten programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23(1), 27-50.
    • http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ783140
    • Kane, T. J., Taylor, E. S., Tyler, J. H., & Wooten, A. L. (2010). Identifying effective classroom practices using student achievement data. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.
    • http://www.nber.org/papers/w15803
  • Redding, S., Langdon, J., Meyer, J., & Sheley, P. (2004). The effects of comprehensive parent engagement on student learning outcomes. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association
  • http://www.adi.org/solidfoundation/resources/Harvard.pdf
  • Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Larsen, R., Alison Baroody, Curby, T., Merritt, E., Abry, T., . . . Ko, M. (2012). Efficacy of the Responsive Classroom Approach: Results from a three year, longitudinal randomized control trial. Paper presented at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC.
  • https://www.sree.org/conferences/2012f/program/downloads/abstracts/683.pdf

Laura Goe, Ph.D.





National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality

1000 Thomas Jefferson Street, NWWashington, D.C. 20007