New Paper from SMHC on Measuring Teaching Practice

In this rich working paper, Anthony Milanowski, SMHC Senior Researcher, with contributions from Herbert G. Heneman, III, Dickson-Bascom professor (Emeritus) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Steve Kimball, SMHC and CPRE researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reviews the current state of the art in teaching assessment by examining seven assessment systems. This study is the latest contribution from SMHC to the national dialogue on the rising importance of measurements of teacher effectiveness. Under Race to the Top, all states have given President Obama the assurance that they will array teachers by effectiveness. Support for this requirement drives the research by Milanowski, who writes, “Teacher performance in the classroom is the lifeblood of the educational enterprise… The assessment of teaching performance is a critical part of any attempt to develop a coherent system for the strategic management of teacher human capital.”

However, in spite of states’ assurance to array teachers by effectiveness, no state currently has the capacity to do so. Even those states that do have value-added assessment systems only cover 15 to 35 percent of teachers. In his study, Milanowski works to develop a “specification” for a state of the art performance assessment system, to help states or districts think about how they want to develop their own teaching competency model and what assessment approaches fit best with different uses of this model.

Through the SMHC State and District Reform Networks, SMHC will be working with states and districts on measurement systems and new measurement tools coming from the Gates foundation, to create a system that successfully arrays teachers credibly by effectiveness.

The working paper is available here. The final paper will come out this Fall.

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