Monday, January 30, 2012

MET Made Simple: Building Research-Based Teacher Evaluations

The New Teacher Project is out with a new report on teacher evaluations.  Here's the summary:


January 13, 2012

MET Made Simple: Building Research-Based Teacher Evaluations

Dear Friends,

Have you taken the time to read "Gathering Feedback for Teaching," the new report from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project? You should. The MET project is the most comprehensive study to date on teacher evaluations, an area that has suffered from a scarcity of research – until now.

If you have not yet found the time, or you would like a concise summary that includes specific advice for practitioners, look no further.

Today, we're releasing "MET Made Simple: Building Research-Based Teacher Evaluations." It's a short guide to the most important findings from MET, along with implementation recommendations based on our experience helping states and urban school districts across the country improve teacher evaluation systems. Key points include:

·        Teachers generally appear to be managing their classrooms well, but are struggling with fundamental instructional skills. This is a sobering reality, but it points to enormous untapped potential in the current teacher workforce.

·        Classroom observations can give teachers valuable feedback, but are of limited value for predicting future performance. Observations can help teachers understand their strengths and weaknesses, but they can't accurately predict future success in the classroom. This is significant, because most schools currently evaluate teachers primarily or solely based on observations.

·        "Value-added" analysis is more powerful than any other single measure in predicting a teacher's long-term contributions to student success. It also reflects more than just high standardized test scores. Teachers with high value-added scores helped students master higher-level thinking skills and even helped them enjoy school more.

·        Evaluations that combine several strong performance measures will produce the most accurate results. MET researchers gave an academic seal of approval to the approach to improving teacher evaluations that many states and districts are already developing: a combination of multiple measures, including student learning.

Click here to download "MET Made Simple." If you have any questions about the report or want to learn more, e-mail us at


The most interesting finding to me was the importance of student surveys, which are better at determining teacher effectiveness than classroom observations.

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