- Evaluating and supporting educators
- Transitioning accountability systems
The purpose of this session is to provide research-supported guidance to states and other jurisdictions seeking to report findings from measures of teacher effectiveness. A white paper developed with support from members of more than twenty state and local education agencies and nationally respected report-writing authorities will be shared. This paper spotlights reporting practices from a number of jurisdictions, and representatives from three of these will be present to describe the evolution of their reporting practices within the context of teacher-level accountability. Specific recommendations for addressing core report elements and particular cautions related to legal requirements are discussed.
Under NCLB, states receiving Title I funding are required to report specific information about teacher qualifications via public report cards and accountability workbooks for peer review. These requirements are aimed at holding SEAs accountable for improving student learning outcomes through documentation of teachers’ qualifications and monitoring of the distribution of highly qualified teachers across each state. Under the Obama administration, the focus of federal requirements has shifted away from documenting teachers’ qualifications and toward examining teachers’ instructional effectiveness. States that have received Race to the Top funding and/or have been granted NCLB flexibility are required to annually measure and report on the effectiveness of their teachers. At a minimum, they must report results in aggregate in their state accountability workbooks. While ESEA reauthorization discussions are still underway, it appears likely that states receiving certain types of federal funding will be required to develop and implement plans that show they are holding their teachers accountable for contributing to students’ annual academic growth.
Little attention has been paid to the issues that these agencies face in determining how best to report these results. As they consider how, when, and to whom to report findings from measures of teacher effectiveness, SEAs and LEAs will want to consider the rights, needs, and diverse interests of many different stakeholder groups. Opportunities and challenges have emerged for those responsible for collecting and reporting this information, not only in determining what to report to whom, but also in identifying the optimal reporting format . Also to be considered are the professional, legal, and political implications associated with each strategy.
States and districts clearly have many issues to consider as they weigh tradeoffs, wrestle with public and private rights and interests, and commit to a plan for reporting results from measures of teacher effectiveness. While there are no easy answers to this dilemma, research- and best practice-based guidelines suggest that attending to certain considerations early on in this process increases the likelihood that outcomes will be intentional and defensible. Such considerations may help states and districts develop strategies for fairly and clearly reporting information about a teacher’s instructional effectiveness that can be used to improve teaching and learning.
This session is intended to support states and other jurisdictions at all stages of planning and development as they move forward with implementing systems for reporting on measures of teacher effectiveness. In this forum, we seek to raise important questions, to provide research- and best-practice-supported guidelines for several features of a comprehensive teacher effectiveness reporting system, and to share illustrative examples from jurisdictions that have developed reporting tools and strategies.