Nationwide, evaluating and penalizing teachers rarely works

The Hechinger Report


“Throughout the whole country, we didn’t get a return on investment,” said Joshua Bleiberg, one of the researchers involved in the study at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. “It’s important to emphasize that this is an average. There are some places where it did work well.”

The study, The Effect of Teacher Evaluation on Achievement and Attainment: Evidence from Statewide Reforms, was posted on the Annenberg website in December 2021. It is a working paper, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Researchers were curious to understand why some teacher evaluation programs were more successful than others. The exact design of the program didn’t seem to make a difference. Some states relied on teacher observations for rating teachers. Others also factored in student test scores and surveys of parents and students. In some states, teachers were given extra training and time to improve their craft before being let go. Bonuses for good teachers varied in size and in the share of teachers who got them. Some used the ratings to decide who gets tenure. Some didn’t. Yet, researchers saw each of these permutations succeed, fail and produce nothing.


Click here to read full article.