Professional Practice, Student Surveys, and Value-Added: Multiple Measures of Teacher Effectiveness in the Pittsburgh Public Schools

Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic
Jul 08, 2014
Duncan Chaplin, Brian Gill, Allison Thompkins, and Hannah Miller
  • All three measures of teacher effectiveness being developed by the Pittsburgh Public Schools—professional practice, student surveys, and value- added measures—have the potential to differentiate teacher performance. 
  • The measures are positively, if moderately, correlated, suggesting that they are valid and complementary measures of teacher effectiveness. 
  • Variation across schools on the professional practice rating (which is assigned to teachers by the school principal) suggests that principals’ standards might not be fully consistent across schools and that the measure might be improved by using more than one rater for each teacher.

Responding to federal and state prompting, school districts across the country are implementing new teacher evaluation systems that aim to increase the rigor of evaluation ratings, better differentiate effective teaching, and support personnel and staff development initiatives that promote teacher effectiveness and ultimately improve student achievement. States and districts are implementing richer measures of professional practice alongside "value- added" measures of student achievement growth and in some cases are incorporating additional measures, such as student surveys. In this REL Mid-Atlantic study, data on three types of newly implemented teacher effectiveness measures were analyzed: (1) observations of professional practices, (2) student surveys, and (3) teachers’ value-added contributions to student achievement growth. The goal of this analysis was to inform further refinements of Pittsburgh Public Schools’ teacher effectiveness measures to create a rich, valid, and comprehensive combined measure.

Senior Staff

Duncan Chaplin
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