Essential Elements of Teacher Policy in ESEA: Effectiveness, Fairness, and Evaluation

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Currently, performance evaluation systems used to assess teachers in virtually every school system in the United States fail to differentiate between individual teachers who boost student learning and those who need to improve. As a result, the students who need the most from their teachers are far less likely to get those who can help them achieve at high levels.

In this report, the Center for American Progress and The Education Trust recommend ways to strengthen the teacher provisions of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA. These recommendations call for states to begin developing criteria for evaluations including a statewide measure of teacher impact on student growth and multiple observations, among other factors. Meanwhile, until those new evaluation systems are in place, districts and states must use available indicators of teacher quality to ensure that all students have access to strong teachers.

Publication date: 
February 22 2011