Friday, January 11, 2013


The Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project published a policy brief this week, titled Ensuring Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching, which analyzes findings from its three-year study on how a set of measures can identify effective teach­ing fairly and reliably.

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:
  1. Classroom observation instruments, including the Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching;
  2. Student perception surveys; and
  3. Student achievement gains on state tests and on more cognitively chal­lenging assessments.
This final policy brief from the MET project’s three-year study highlights three key findings in Ensuring Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching:
  • 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.
This validates the work we have done in Idaho since 2008 to improve teacher performance evaluations by developing a statewide framework for performance evaluations and then working with local school districts to implement the framework at the local level.

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.

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