Two New Views on Improving Teacher Quality

“Highly-effective teachers” is just one of the phrases used to describe a goal of education reform. In addition to trying to define this phrase, education analysts have long asked how to effectively improve teacher performance. Two new studies, examined in TIME magazine, look at influences on teacher quality and why there is still a lot of experimentation ahead.

  • A paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research by Eric Taylor and John Tyler studied the effect of teacher evaluation on student performance in Cincinnati schools. The results showed that performance (as measured by math achievement of students) increased in schools during the teacher evaluation year as well as in the following years.
  • Jim Simpkins of the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington focused on a program from Washington state that would increase a teacher’s salary by $5,000 for earning the National Board credential and an additional $5,000 for teaching in a high-poverty school. He discovered that while the number of National Board certified teachers is increasing in high-poverty schools, it is because teachers already at those schools are earning the credential, rather than teachers moving to the schools.

Read more, “Better Teachers: More Questions Than Answers,” TIME.

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May 2011


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