The Importance of a Teacher of Record: Definition and Roster Verification for High-Stakes Decision Making

Issue Brief
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Sep 30, 2015
Cassie Pickens Jewell and Kristin Hallgren

Key Findings:

  • Develop a definition that reflects all professionals and educational settings (for example, co-teaching).
  • Provide guidance to districts on how to implement the statewide ToR definition.
  • Allow district autonomy, as long as it aligns with the state’s educational prioriĀ­ties and use of the data for high-stakes decision making.
  • Pilot statewide RV systems before full implementation.
  • Ensure that staff familiar with the students and their classroom experiences approve the rosters. 
When states and districts make high-stakes decisions based on teacher evaluation results that include student achievement growth, the data must be correct. To ensure that teacher-student data are accurately linked, states can use a statewide ToR definition and an RV system. This is particularly important if states generate teacher evaluation results and then share those results with districts. This brief highlights strategies for implementing statewide ToR definitions and RV systems and identifies potential pitfalls states should consider when implementing these elements to ensure that teacher-student data links are valid.  

Strategic Data Use in Education


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Time Frame


Senior Staff

Kristin Hallgren
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