The MET Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, partnered with 3,000 teacher volunteers who opened up their classrooms. In its research, it looked at:
- Classroom observation instruments, including the Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching;
- Student perception surveys; and
- Student achievement gains on state tests and on more cognitively challenging assessments.
- Effective teaching can be measured,
- Balanced weights indicate multiple aspects of effective teaching, and
- Adding a second observer increases reliability significantly more than having the same observer score an additional lesson.
In 2010, in response to early and encouraging findings from the MET project, the Idaho State Department of Education began sponsoring trainings for administrators and teachers around the state based on research from the MET study. Idaho administrators and teacher leaders have had the opportunity to access the same training and earn the same certification required of the evaluators who participated in the three-year research project. Idaho participants have consistently confirmed that the trainings have been key in their growth as evaluators, and that they are more competent in identifying and measuring teacher performance with accuracy.
Over the last two years, 81 administrators have been involved in training in northern Idaho, 150 in eastern Idaho, and 164 in southwestern Idaho. Of those, 308 have taken advantage of the opportunity to become certified evaluators using the technology developed through the MET study. Additionally, 1,500 teacher licenses were purchased by the State Department of Education to allow teachers greater access and understanding of the Framework, and to facilitate collaborative conversations around effective teaching.
The State Department of Education will use this and other extensive research as it works with the multiple stakeholders across Idaho through the Educator Evaluation Task Force in the coming months on developing effective teacher and administrator performance evaluations to improve the craft of teaching.
We encourage all Idaho educators and interested stakeholders to review the MET policy brief.