A variety of methods for measuring student achievement is the best way to assess and improve high school teaching, according to a new brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Measuring and Improving the Effectiveness of High School Teachers, made possible with the support of MetLife Foundation, looks at effectiveness—demonstrating contributions to growth in student learning—as a critical attribute of a high-quality teacher.
“Student outcomes, as much as teacher qualifications, should be the measurement of success,” says Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “Using effectiveness as a way for teachers to build on their strengths and improve any weaknesses can only result in a more effective teaching force and, in turn, higher student achievement.”
According to research, students with effective teachers benefit dramatically. Appropriate measurement is difficult, but essential to ensuring that effective teachers are leading our nation’s classrooms. The brief argues that the best way to measure teacher effectiveness is to measure the amount of growth a student makes over time. The brief delves into the pros and cons of “value-added,” a complex statistical method for determining the impact a teacher or school has on student achievement, which becomes more complicated at the high school level. Other methodologies are weighed, as well, including benchmark exams and measuring teacher knowledge and skill.
The brief considers how effectiveness can be improved, by methods that include enhancing professional development and teacher preparation, strengthening evaluations and career development, and revamping accountability policies so that they reflect the efforts of the school as a whole.
Measuring and Improving the Effectiveness of High School Teachers is available here.
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MetLife Foundation was founded in 1976 and supports programs that increase opportunities for young people to succeed, give students and teachers a voice in improving education, create connections between schools and communities, and strengthen relationships among parents, teachers, and students. For more information about MetLife Foundation, please visit: http://www.metlife.org/.
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit www.all4ed.com.