Widget Report Draws Praise

Raymond Pecheone, co-executive director of the Stanford University School Redesign Network and director of the Performance Assessment for California Teachers, and Ruth Chung Wei, director of Assessment Research and Development at the Stanford University School Redesign Network, recently reviewed The New Teacher Project’s report The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Teacher Differences. Tim Daly, president of The New Teacher Project, is a member of the SMHC Task Force.

According to Pecheone and Wei, due to the report’s extensive analysis of teacher evaluation systems the authors “build a compelling case for the inadequacy of the current teacher evaluation processes, uses, and policies in the four states.” Additionally, Pecheone and Wei assess the report’s four recommendations – that systems fairly and accurately differentiate between teachers’ effectiveness, have trained evaluators who are held accountable, use evaluations to inform key decisions, and have dismissal policies that offer due process and provide lower-stakes options for ineffective teachers to exit. According to Pecheone and Wei, these recommendations “appear to represent reasonable strategies for improving a broken teacher evaluation system.”

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