Teacher Effectiveness


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.

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    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.

Explore Teacher Effectiveness

  • Research Brief

    Can New Tests Lead to Better Teaching and Deeper Learning?

    Summarizes how testing of K-12 students affects teaching practice, and identifies characteristics of assessment systems that can promote deeper-learning skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Event

    Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Spring 2013 Conference

    RAND Education experts will present on technology curricula, measuring teacher effectiveness, and classroom observations at the SREE Spring 2013 Conference in Washington, D.C., March 7-9.

    Mar 7, 2013

  • Blog

    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

  • Blog

    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

  • Blog

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Multimedia

    Daniel McCaffrey Answers Questions on Teacher Effectiveness

    RAND's Daniel McCaffrey and colleagues answer questions about a multi-year project examining the impact of financial incentives for teachers on student test scores. Students of teachers eligible for bonuses did not outperform students whose teacher was not eligible.

    Oct 17, 2012

  • Blog

    How Should We Measure Teacher Effectiveness?

    Some of the most urgent and contentious debates taking hold in states and school districts around the country revolve around the question of how to accurately measure a teacher's effectiveness. A new RAND Education website provides objective, nonpartisan insights that can help inform the discussion.

    Oct 3, 2012

  • Content

    Understanding Teachers' Impact on Student Achievement

    Research suggests that, among school-related factors, teachers matter most when it comes to a student's academic performance. Nonschool factors do influence student achievement, but effective teaching has the potential to help level the playing field.

    Oct 1, 2012

  • Content

    Multiple Choices: Options for Measuring Teaching Effectiveness

    Teaching is a complex activity that should be measured with multiple methods. Some examine teachers' practices directly, while others emphasize student outcomes. Each method has trade-offs, and no single method provides a complete picture of a teacher's effectiveness.

    Oct 1, 2012

  • Content

    What Student Achievement Tests Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness

    In addition to helping students learn reading and math, we also trust teachers to teach students to think, reason, and work cooperatively with one another. Students' scores on achievement tests tell us something—but by no means everything—about how teaching are meeting these expectations.

    Oct 1, 2012

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