Teacher Evaluation and Teacher Compensation

On the topic of teacher evaluation and teacher compensation, many feel the emotional and political drive to comment on the topics, but few have legitimacy to convey ideas on the topics.

In a brand-new book about to hit the shelves and online stores Marcus Winters, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute has completed Teachers Matter.  I was given an advance copy at the Manhattan Institute offices on Thursday.  Winters has done a superb job of teasing out the relevant data, documenting, thoroughly, sources and sticking to rigorous examples of prior research to make his concluding cases:

1.  In our current efforts we must find meaningful ways to evaluate teachers. When I reconcile Winters impressive work with my own research the various ways we end up evaluating teachers must be VERY different that current methods.  A mix of qualitative (behavioral) data and quantitative (student performance data) must be employed.  One without the other is unfair to teachers and kids.

2.   Remove Unnecessary Barriers to Teaching.  Winters reveals the artificial barriers wrapped in the traditional teacher training venues and certification hurdles that no longer stand up against students performance points of evidence.

3.  Remove Ineffective teachers.  Enough said. Use Winters’ data points to stir your own call to action.

4.  Pay great teachers more–a lot more.  While I have been a career-long advocate of paying all teachers more, and will continue tone, Winter’s does make the case that base salaries are not the barriers to accelerating achievement in America’s schools.  Read the book.  What do you think about pages 76-78?  Like me if you strive for objectivity it might at least give you pause.

The only flaw I see in Winter’s book is failing to fulling capture the positive effect of Teach for America corps teachers.  When examining their NWEA MAP data, there seems to be an across-the-board advantage in student achievement performance among TFA teachers when compared to traditionally sourced teachers.  We need the Portland-based Kingsbury Center to help clarify and build upon Winters’ work.

I hope every education leader and teacher union leader gets a copy of this book.  I warrants entry into the national discussion on teacher evaluation and teacher compensation.

What did I miss on this one?


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