Isn’t Friday supposed to be “take out the trash” day in the news cycle? Instead, today has been chock full of major education news stories. Here are the highlights:
A new study by Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, and Jonah E. Rockoff found that elementary and middle school teachers who raised their students’ standardized test scores seem to have long-term positive effects on their students. Students of teachers with high value-added scores showed higher adult earnings, greater rates of college matriculation, and lower teenage pregnancy rates than similar students whose teachers had lower, or even average, value-added scores. The researchers tracked 2.5 million students in an urban district over 20 years, making the study one of the most comprehensive investigations into individual teacher effects.
Around noon, the Gates Foundation released the second preliminary findings of the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project. With the help of 3,000 teachers, the goal of the MET project is to identify the best tools for fairly and consistently measuring teacher effectiveness. The first set of findings, released in December 2010, analyzed the use of student perception surveys in teacher evaluation. This second set focuses on classroom observation and builds on the initial results to provide guidance on creating high-quality observation systems. The findings demonstrate the importance of multiple measures of teacher evaluation: combining observation scores, student achievement gains, and student feedback provided the most reliable and predictive assessment of a teacher’s effectiveness.
To complete the trifecta, House Republicans released two draft bills this afternoon aimed at limiting the scope of No Child Left Behind—which will be celebrating its 10th birthday this weekend— by scaling back the federal government’s role in accountability. The draft bills also eliminate the unpopular highly-qualified teacher provisions and, unlike the bipartisan Senate proposal, require districts to develop teacher evaluation systems based in part on student outcomes and use the results in personnel decisions.
Stay tuned to the Quick and the Ed for more in-depth analysis of these developments next week.