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Trending Toward Reform


New Education Sector report shows more teachers think evaluation is improving and the criteria are fair

A new Education Sector report, Trending Toward Reform: Teachers Speak on Unions and the Future of the Profession, showed that teachers’ attitudes about education reform policy changes are becoming more favorable. The Joyce-funded report, based on a random sample of 1,100 teachers nationwide in 2011, found that 78 percent of teachers surveyed say their most recent evaluation was done carefully and taken seriously by school administration. The 2011 study is a follow-up of Education Sector’s 2007 survey, Waiting to Be Won Over, which asked some of the same questions Other key findings from the 2011 survey include:

  • Teachers think evaluations are fair -- 76 percent of teachers say that the criteria used in their evaluation were fair. This shows an improvement in teacher’s attitudes about evaluation since 2007 when 41 percent of teachers said evaluation were just a formality and 32 percent said evaluations were well intentioned, but not helpful to their teaching practice.
  • Teachers are warming to the idea of using student knowledge measures to measure teacher effectiveness. In 2011, 54 percent of teacher agreed with this idea compared to 49 percent in 2007.
  • Teachers oppose including student test scores as one component of differentiated pay. Just 35 percent support this idea.But, 83 percent of teachers support differentiated pay for teachers who work in tough neighborhoods with low-performing schools. Teachers also supported differentiated pay for their colleagues who earned National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification or teach hard-to-fill subjects.

The Joyce Foundation Education Program works to close the achievement gap by improving the quality of teachers in schools that serve low-income students and communities of color and ensuring all students can read well by the end of third grade. The program’s teacher quality grant portfolio supports research that is focused on making teacher evaluations more meaningful, giving all teachers the tools they need to become great, rewarding teachers for excellence, and attracting more talented adults into the profession. 

Download the Education Sector report.

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