In the wake of national interest in teacher evaluation, this book examines what we have learned about how and whether teacher evaluation holds teachers accountable and improves their practice.
Drawing on literature in psychology, economics, and sociology, this multi-disciplinary and multi-perspectival book explores teacher evaluation’s intended goals of development and accountability, as well as its unintended consequences, especially as they relate to equity. Blending theory from diverse disciplines with decades of research, this book provides new insights into how teacher evaluation has played out in schools across the United States and offers recommendations for research, policy, and practice in the years to come. Insights include how to embed teacher evaluation in a larger culture of continuous learning; rethinking assumptions on accountability and development aims; and highlighting the importance of equity in the design, implementation, and outcomes of teacher evaluation.
Every chapter concludes with practical recommendations informed by theory and research to guide policymakers, researchers, and district and school leaders as they seek to understand, design, and implement better teacher evaluation systems.
Table of Contents
SECTION 1—DISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES ON TEACHER EVALUATION
Chapter 2—Teacher Evaluation Through the Lens of Psychology
Chapter 3—Teacher Evaluation Through the Lens of Economics
Chapter 4— Teacher Evaluation Through the Lens of Sociology
SECTION 2—THE CONSEQUENCES OF TEACHER EVALUATION
Chapter 5--Teacher Evaluation as an Accountability Mechanism
Chapter 6--Teacher Evaluation as a Developmental Enterprise
Chapter 7—The Potential and Actual Downsides of Teacher Evaluation Reform
Morgaen L. Donaldson is Professor of Educational Leadership and Director of the Center for Education Policy Analysis, Research, and Evaluation at the University of Connecticut, USA.
"Policymakers have long touted teacher evaluation as a powerful remedy for the ills of public schools. In her illuminating new book, Morgaen Donaldson provides a comprehensive, clear-eyed assessment of such expectations. Drawing on concepts from psychology, economics, and sociology, Donaldson situates evaluation in the larger context of school improvement and then examines its record for appraising and developing teachers’ practice. This book is essential reading for policymakers, practitioners, and scholars who want to understand teacher evaluation’s potential and pitfalls."
--Susan Moore Johnson, Jerome T. Murphy Research Professor and Director of Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University
"This book does a superb job of illuminating the challenges and opportunities created by teacher evaluation. It brilliantly combines the breadth and depth of insight that comes from applying a wide range of social science theories with the practical understanding of a former teacher and school founder. Before you make any changes to your teacher evaluation policies, read this book."
--William A. Firestone, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
"Donaldson has done what few of us can could pull off—a book that leverages theory to clear the brush, uses research to address the empirical questions (including what were the unintended consequences), and lays out concrete implications to inform policy and practice moving forward. I only wish she had been able to write this book before the educational elites became dogmatically convinced teacher evaluation was the next great policy idea in public education. The sophistication and subtlety of this book would have deepened the debate, shaped the policy parameters, and made us all the better for it. Perhaps there is still time."
-- Richard Lemons, Executive Director, CT Center for School Change and Instructor, Yale Educational Studies Program