Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Taubman Center

Study Highlights Factors Influencing Teacher Performance Ratings Across Evaluation Systems

November 1, 2017 Education Week

Recent research on teacher performance evaluation systems by Taubman affiliate and assistant professor of education and economics Matthew A. Kraft is featured in Education Week’s Teacher Beat blog. The research finds that teachers with similar underlying scores can receive very different evaluation ratings across systems.

In particular, the paper by Kraft and co-author Matthew P. Steinberg (UPenn) illustrates the central role that two equally important yet relatively under-researched system design features--performance measure weights and summative evaluation ratings thresholds--play in shaping teachers’ summative evaluation ratings, and in measuring the share of teachers deemed to be professionally proficient.

This research offers insights to policymakers and administrators working in the context of federal incentives and pressure to institute major reforms to their teacher evaluation systems, and greater autonomy to redesign existing evaluation systems since the 2015 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Teacher Beat: Using Test Scores Tends to Lower Teacher-Evaluation Ratings, Study Shows (Research by Matthew Kraft cited in Education Week)

The Sensitivity of Teacher Performance Ratings to the Design of Teacher Evaluation Systems,’ Educational Researcher, Vol. 46 No. 7, pp. 378–396