The State of Teacher Evaluation Reform

Learning Teaching: News Digest
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The Obama administration’s Race to the Top competitive grant program initiated an unprecedented wave of state teacher-evaluation reform across the country. To date, most of the scholarly analysis of this activity has focused on the design of the evaluation instruments or the implementation of the new evaluations by districts and schools. But little research has explored how states are managing and supporting the implementation of these reforms. As U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan has remarked: “…because teacher evaluation systems are still a work in progress, it is vital that school leaders and administrators continue to solicit feedback, learn from their mistakes, and make improvements.” It has become increasingly clear that the role of state education agencies will be critical as school districts enter what for most will be uncharted territory. As Edward Crowe argued in his recent Center for American Progress report on teacher preparation, “The capacity and commitment of states to implement these Race to the Top activities will determine success or failure.” And as highlighted in recent news reports, many states are struggling to implement their new teacher-evaluation systems and most of the Race to the Top winners have asked to extend their timetables for completing this work. This report is available at the Center for American Progress website.

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