Here's the proof - Evaluator Training Pays Off!

With the deadline for states to submit their plans to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) behind us,  MDRC administered a survey to compile information about professional development systems across the country. The survey was administered in five school districts in four states. Nearly all full time middle and high school teachers and administrators in these districts were asked to respond. Of the participants surveyed, 86% of the teachers responded and 93% of the Administrators responded, which is a remarkable return rate. 

Does Merit Pay Improve Student Achievement?

If you are a school leader with money available for teacher bonuses, you may wonder if it’s better to distribute the funds equally or distribute the funds based on merit.  A new study recently released by the federal government suggests that merit-based bonuses are a better way to spend the money.  The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) was established by Congress in 2006 to provide grants to support performance-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in high-need schools.

Does student achievement improve if teachers are mentored?

The benefits of providing mentors for new teachers are widely known.  However, new research indicates that students of teachers with assigned mentors actually score higher on Mathematics and English Language Arts tests.  According to a study from SRI Education, a division of SRI International, using their NTC Induction Model for mentoring new teachers, positive impacts on student achievement were documented. On average, students in grades 4-8 of teachers who participated in the NTC induction model for 2 years outperformed students in the control group in both ELA and Mathematics.  The study was not able to detect differences in practice outcomes for a variety of reasons, but the frequency and duration of mentor-teacher meetings were positively correlated with the student achievement results.

Educational Leadership — Lessons from…. Joe Maddon?

As I settle into my winter routine, I picked up a few books to read. Being a sports fan, one of the books that I selected was “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse” by Tom Verducci. While not a huge Cubs fan, I am interested in how teams are built and what makes some teams good and other teams GREAT, so I thought it might be a good read. While the book talks of how the team was built, just as importantly it speaks of Joe Maddon, the manager of the Cubs, and his leadership style. As is noted in a Huffington Post Article , Joe Maddon is a winner. 

3 Concrete Ways to Improve Teacher Observations in Your District

Truly beneficial teacher evaluations start with solid observation practices. If your teachers are dreading the idea of being observed or if your observers are under-prepared for the task, the information that the observations provide may not meet your teacher’s expectations or be adequate to support their growth.