Teacher Effectiveness

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Although many personal, family, and neighborhood factors contribute to a student's academic performance, a large body of research suggests that—among school-related factors—teachers matter most. RAND researchers examine and evaluate methods of measuring teacher effectiveness, as well as the critical relationship between teacher effectiveness and student achievement.

  • apple and chalkboard

    Project

    Measuring Teacher Effectiveness Website

    Oct 1, 2012

    Research suggests that, among school-related factors, teachers matter most to students' academic performance. What's less clear is how to measure an individual teacher's effectiveness. RAND's reports, fact sheets, blog posts, and research briefs provide clarity on this important issue.

  • Young student taking a test in class

    Research Brief

    Can New Tests Lead to Better Teaching and Deeper Learning?

    Feb 28, 2014

    New “deeper learning” tests tied to the Common Core State Standards could improve teaching practice. Tests that mirror high-quality instruction, that are part of a systemic change effort, and that are accompanied by training and support to help teachers interpret and use test scores effectively could have the best chance at positive impact.

Explore Teacher Effectiveness

  • Mathematics teacher pointing to the blackboard and talking to his class

    Commentary

    Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Recommendations to Improve Teaching Effectiveness

    Policies aimed at boosting teaching effectiveness are a key component of a strong ESEA reauthorization. Addressing discrepancies in teacher quality helps teachers improve, retains effective teachers, and makes the teaching profession an attractive option for those contemplating careers.

    Feb 3, 2015

  • A group of children study the globe with their teacher

    Journal Article

    Is It Possible to Distinguish Good Teaching from Classroom Composition?

    Measuring disadvantaged students' access to effective teachers requires examining the relationship between teachers' value-added estimates and the characteristics of their students. Research simulations investigate this relationship and may also help inform analysts' choices for the appropriate value-added models.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • Students listen to their teacher during a lesson

    Journal Article

    Implementing Measures of Teacher Effectiveness

    Teachers and leaders in pilot sites say the evaluation systems are beneficial, and leaders say they're well-prepared for their new responsibilities, even as they worry about increased workload and stress from the new expectations.

    Jan 13, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Measuring Value-Added in Higher Education: Possibilities and Limitations in the Use of Administrative Data

    This paper develops a general methodology for measuring the value added of institutions of higher education using commonly available administrative data.

    Aug 25, 2014

  • A teacher talking to a student at his desk

    Commentary

    Flexibility Is Key in Administration's Call for Teacher Equity Plans

    Thirteen years of research have clarified that metrics like teacher experience and licensure reveal little about teachers' impact on student learning. The focus should be on disadvantaged students' access to effective teachers.

    Aug 22, 2014

  • group of young children in art class

    Project

    Innovative Preschool Academy Project

    RAND is helping bring evidence-based practice into Hopkins House's Innovative Preschool Academy (IPA), an early childhood education center located in Northern Virginia.

    Jun 13, 2014

  • Young student taking a test in class

    Research Brief

    Can New Tests Lead to Better Teaching and Deeper Learning?

    New “deeper learning” tests tied to the Common Core State Standards could improve teaching practice. Tests that mirror high-quality instruction, that are part of a systemic change effort, and that are accompanied by training and support to help teachers interpret and use test scores effectively could have the best chance at positive impact.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • young principal

    Report

    Leadership Matters: How to Help Principals Promote Teaching Effectiveness

    As schools and districts move toward performance-based teacher evaluation as a way to improve teaching effectiveness and student outcomes, the principal's role in teacher evaluations is becoming even more important.

    Dec 24, 2013

  • young principal

    Content

    Leadership Matters: How to Help Principals Promote Teaching Effectiveness

    As schools and districts move toward performance-based teacher evaluation as a way to improve teaching effectiveness and student outcomes, the principal's role in teacher evaluations is becoming even more important.

    Dec 23, 2013

  • teacher wearing green sweater talking to elementary students

    Blog

    RAND's Teacher Bonus Research Recognized by U.S. Dept. of Education

    The U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences recognized a RAND report on the effects of teacher bonuses in New York City public schools last week. IES added the report, A Big Apple for Educators, to its What Works Clearinghouse™.

    Sep 24, 2013

  • math teacher with students, attention, blackboard, chalk, class, classroom, discussing, drawing, education, elementary, expertise, explaining, group, hall, high school, instructor, knowledge, learning, lecture, lesson, listening, making, math, notes, occupation, people, professor, pupil, school, secondary, seminar, student, studying, talking, teacher, teaching, teenage, teenagers, trainee, training, tutor, tutorial, wisdom, writing, young, teamwork

    Report

    New Assessments, Better Instruction?

    The role of tests will be enhanced by policies that ensure that they mirror high-quality instruction, are part of a larger, systemic change effort, and are accompanied by specific supports for teachers.

    Sep 3, 2013

  • calculus teacher at the chalkboard

    Solution

    Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher Pay-for-Performance

    RAND's substantial body of work on teacher pay-for-performance provides policymakers with a strong evidence base on the design, implementation, and potential results of pay-for-performance programs.

    Aug 1, 2013

  • air force cadets

    Report

    The Mix of Military and Civilian Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy

    The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) provides cadets with both military training and a four-year college education similar to that offered at civilian institutions. Unlike at civilian institutions, however, USAFA academic classes are taught by a mix of active-duty military officers and civilian professors.

    Mar 15, 2013

  • secondary school students raising their hands in class

    Commentary

    A Better Method for Estimating Teacher Performance

    Structured observation protocols for assessing how teachers provide lessons to their students offer the opportunity to provide teachers with valuable feedback on how their practices could be improved, writes Terrance Dean Savitsky.

    Feb 19, 2013

  • Report

    RAND Review: Vol. 36, No. 3, Winter 2012-2013

    Stories discuss the promotion of tolerance and critical thinking in the Arab world through children's media, the challenges faced by the United States in an era of fiscal austerity, and promising models for measuring teacher performance.

    Feb 5, 2013

  • Periodical

    Distinctive Teacher Evaluation Programs Could Provide Lessons for Others

    Judging teachers' performance by that of their students is fraught with the potential for error and unintended consequences, but several states and districts have been striving to incorporate student performance data in ways that are accurate and fair.

    Feb 5, 2013

  • teacher with elementary school student

    Commentary

    Grading Teachers

    Research is starting to demonstrate that teaching, like all professions, is something that can be learned, continuously improved upon, and subject to the conditions under which it occurs, writes V. Darleen Opfer.

    Jan 16, 2013

  • Teacher and middle school student at whiteboard

    Commentary

    States Tackle Education's Holy Grail: Measuring a Teacher's Effectiveness

    An accurate combined measure of teacher effectiveness would be the gold standard to capture and communicate information about the quality of educators. While the challenges to building such a measure are significant, research can help guide the way.

    Jan 11, 2013

  • Teacher writing on blackboard

    Journal Article

    A Composite Estimator of Effective Teaching

    Using data from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, researchers developed a model to compile data from multiple sources that could be used to make inferences about a teacher's impact on student achievement.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • teacher and student at chalkboard

    Journal Article

    Validating Measures of Effective Teaching Using Random Assignment

    Random assignment of students to teachers is crucial in controlling for variables apart from teacher influence that may influence student achievement. This report captures the technical methods, findings, and implications of the MET project's random assignment study of teaching effectiveness measures.

    Jan 1, 2013

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