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Report: State Education Agencies Stymied by Achievement-Based Teacher Compensation and Evaluation Systems
A Recovery Act
requirement for state education agencies to support linking educator
compensation and evaluation to student achievement has presented significant
challenges, and fewer than 10 SEAs supported that goal by the end of the 2010-2011
school year, according to a new report from the
United States Department of Education (ED).
The report, "State
Implementation of Reforms Promoted Under the Recovery Act," evaluated
state-level adoption of educational reforms implemented under the Recovery Act
in the years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. The Recovery Act required SEAs to commit to
four key areas of reform in order to qualify for funding under the Act. One of
those key areas was improved teacher effectiveness. The other areas were
adoption of Common Core State Standards,
establishment of data systems for performance improvement and support for
The Recovery Act outlined six key indicators of educator workforce reform.
Three of those indicators were related to increasing the number of teachers, and
the majority of SEAs implemented those reforms by the end of the 2010-2011 school
year. The other three indicators were related to linking educator evaluation and
compensation to student achievement, and those areas presented considerable
difficulty for SEAs.
Implementation rates of educator evaluation and compensation reforms by the
end of the 2010-2011:
- Only 4 percent of SEAs supported use of multi-level ratings, multiple
observations and student achievement gains for teacher evaluation, although
a greater number of SEAs supported use of one or two of those methods;
- 18 percent of SEAs supported use of student achievement gains for
principal evaluation; and
- 18 percent of SEAs supported differentiating teacher compensation
based on student achievement gains.
Almost all SEAs struggled with at least one of these reforms. The biggest
challenge, which was reported by 91 percent of SEAs, was difficulty measuring
student growth for teachers of non-tested subjects. Also, roughly three-quarters
of SEAs reported opposition from educators as another major challenge to
implementing achievement-based compensation and evaluation. And about two-thirds
said they didn't have enough capacity or expertise to develop reliable and fair
methods of using student achievement in educator performance evaluations.
The full report, "State Implementation of Reforms Promoted Under the Recovery
Act," is available as a downloadable PDF from the
Institute of Education Sciences
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at email@example.com.