The Hangover: Thinking About the Unintended Consequences of the Nation’s Teacher Evaluation Binge

New teacher evaluation systems adopted over the past three years have real potential to foster a more performance-oriented public education culture that gives teachers meaningful feedback about the quality and impact of their work. This paper seeks to move the debate beyond ideology and technical issues by highlighting four key tensions that policymakers, advocates, and educators must consider in the development of new teacher evaluations; namely, the issues of (1) flexibility versus control with regards to the issue of school autonomy, (2) the process of evaluation in an educational system which is constantly evolving, (3) the different purposes for implementing these evaluations and the tensions between them, and (4) the evaluation of teachers as professionals, which requires an element of subjective judgments which some new teacher evaluations seek to do. This paper offers a number of policy recommendations in response to these questions.

Click here to read the full publication →