Report: Give teachers more input in teacher quality debate
There's a big disconnect between what teachers say are the best ways to measure and improve their effectiveness, and what policy makers are pushing, says a new report based on the results of a national survey of teachers.
A bare majority of teachers (56 percent) say student performance on standardized tests is a good or excellent way to gauge teacher effectiveness, says the survey by Learning Point Associates and Public Agenda. But far more teachers say good indicators are the level of student interest and engagement (92 percent), how much their own students learn compared to other students (72 percent) and feedback from principals and administrators (70 percent).
The survey also found teachers don't think better evaluations and performance pay are the best ways to improve their effectiveness. For that, more teachers said give us smaller classes and/or address student discipline.
"There's a conventional wisdom that teachers uniformly resist the idea of measuring teacher effectiveness, but in fact, teachers are open to a number of different ways of doing it, including looking at how much their own students learn compared to other students," Jean Johnson, director of Education Insights at Public Agenda, said in a press release. "It's way past time to get teachers themselves involved in these crucial discussions about how to judge teacher effectiveness."