Measuring Teacher Effectiveness Research and Commentary

RAND researchers are nationally recognized for having examined and evaluated methods of measuring teacher effectiveness, as well as the critical relationship between teacher effectiveness and student achievement.

Below, you can explore the Measuring Teacher Effectiveness Fact Sheet Series, as well as the latest blog posts, multimedia, research briefs, and full reports.

Blog Posts

  • Learning How to Measure Social and Emotional Learning

    Jan 11, 2018

    Educators and policymakers are increasingly focusing on non-academic competencies, known as social and emotional learning. To support growth in these areas, teachers need assessments that can help them understand how well students are learning these skills, and what instructional approaches work best.

  • What Emerging Research Says About the Promise of Personalized Learning

    Aug 16, 2017

    Personalized learning holds promise as an innovation that can lead to improved educational outcomes for students. But implementers should have modest expectations for the magnitude of the benefits, and patience for the full benefits to emerge.

  • Personalized Learning: The Latest Buzz in Classroom Instruction

    Aug 22, 2016

    Students in personalized learning classrooms made greater gains in math and reading than their peers in other schools. But there are barriers to fully personalized learning, including rigid state standards and time demands on teachers.

  • Inspiring Better Teacher Planning and Instruction or Just Adding Noise?

    Jul 20, 2016

    Teachers can and should have the freedom to select and develop at least some of their own instructional resources. But whether sites like Amazon Inspire will actually save teachers time and help them find high-quality resources is up for debate.

  • The Opt-Out Reckoning

    May 10, 2016

    Criticism of standardized testing is nearly as old as the testing itself. Will the opt-out movement promote meaningful and enduring changes in the educational system, and will these changes benefit the most at-risk and disadvantaged students?

  • Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Recommendations to Improve Teaching Effectiveness

    Feb 3, 2015

    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.

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

    Aug 22, 2014

    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.

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

    Sep 24, 2013

    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™.

  • A Better Method for Estimating Teacher Performance

    Feb 19, 2013

    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.

  • Grading Teachers

    Jan 16, 2013

    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.

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

    Jan 11, 2013

    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.

  • How Should We Measure Teacher Effectiveness?

    Oct 3, 2012

    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.

  • Evidence Should Guide Chicago Teachers Dispute

    Sep 11, 2012

    The Chicago Teachers Union strike erupted over classic issues: an extended day, a new evaluation system and hiring and firing. Yet, somewhat classically, neither the union nor Chicago Public Schools has put forth research evidence to support their stance, writes Darleen Opfer.

  • The Debate over Teacher Merit Pay: A Freakonomics Quorum

    Sep 20, 2011

    Motivation alone does not improve schools. Even if incentives inspire staff to improve practices or work together, educators may not have the capacity or resources to bring about improvement, writes Julie Marsh.


Research Briefs and Periodicals


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