George Lucas Educational Foundation

Quantitative teacher evaluation

Quantitative teacher evaluation

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Hi, My name is Julien, graduate student in policy making and research associate with, an educational website whose mission is to inspire and connect people who are passionate about learning. I have a research project to evaluate different ways of measuring teacher performance. My task is to identify the best data to correlate to teacher and student success. I am new to this and interested in all ideas. Some specific questions include: - Sources of data - Effective models - What doesn't work - Etc. In other words, what does it take to be a good teacher? I am writing here hoping that you could share your thoughts with me on teacher evaluation issues, particularly your stance on quantitative evaluation of teachers. What kind of data would you incorporate in the equation? I would greatly appreciate if you could get back to me. You can reach me at 862 266 9552 or email me at I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you, Julien

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Jim Snyder's picture
Jim Snyder
Math Coach and Interventionist

The state of Tennessee is one of the pilot states with its T-Eval System for teacher evaluation. it is completing its first full year of operation and will generate evaluation results once current school test scores and received and entered into the system.

I suggest you look at the multi-dimensional evaluation rubric used in this evaluation process. An issue I see in standardized evaluations is the lack of standard instructional resources and system wide knowledge of available "tools".

Shawn Blankenship's picture

Many generic evaluations are very subjective and rely heavily on qualitative data. However, when I conduct teacher evaluations, I use as much quantitative data as I possible can. It is hard to argue with quantitative data and teachers are more willing to accept constructive criticism if it is measurable.

I encourage you to research and study Charlotte Danielson's "Framework for Teaching" rubric. The rubric or 4 domains can be found at Each of the 76 elements has a rubric which includes descriptions of four performance levels for that element: Unsatisfactory, Basic, Proficient, and Distinguished. The rubrics are a powerful way to develop a common understanding of teaching practices among leaders and teachers. According to Danielson, an effective system of teacher evaluation accomplishes two things: it ensures quality teaching and it promotes professional learning. The quality of teaching is the single most important determinant of student learning; a school district's system of teacher evaluation is the method by which it ensures that teaching is of high quality. Therefore, the system developed for teacher evaluation must have certain characteristics: it must be rigorous, valid, reliable, and defensible, and must be grounded in a research-based and accepted definition of good teaching. The Framework for Teaching provides such a foundation.

I also encourage you to take a look at Kim Marshall's revised version of a teacher evaluation instrument. It consists of 6 domains. I have personally met him at Harvard Leadership Institute and he is outstanding.

What I like so much about this rubric is that it holds high expectations for teachers. Many teachers, if they are honest with themselves, would fall under the "needs improvement" category.

As an administrator, some of the quantitative data that I look for is teacher talk vs. student talk. A great ratio to strive for is a 70% student talk versus 30% teacher talk. Research suggest that students must own the learning. There is a great app to measure this as well as the ability to log negative behavior response. For instance: When a student becomes disruptive or off task, does the teacher ignore, redirect focus, choice given, physical coercion, or verbal coercion. There are many other areas in which you can tie to quantitative data. For teacher evaluations to be effective and for teachers to truly grow and learn, administrators must be honest. However, they also need to be taught how to be an instructional leader. Visiting the classroom once a year will not get it done. For evaluations to be a true snapshot of what goes on every day, a principal must visit and observe at least 15 times throughout the year. The time and day of each visit must vary and it is important to visit three days in a row to assess an instructional sequence.

I could go on and on and on. Let me know what questions you have. I could overwhelm you! Shawn

Cynthia DeMone - 16414's picture
Cynthia DeMone - 16414
10th grade biology teacher

Shawn your links are wonderful and I hope to use them to evaluate my own teaching as this new year is coming up. I especially like your idea that to truly evalute a teacher one needs to see a whole lesson. In my work with going to classrooms as a WASC team member I see only parts of lessons. Timing of visits are very important as well.
I really like the 30/70 idea. This is why I rolled out group work the very first day of class last two terms. The students got to know each other by doing a group activity the very first day and they knew right away that they were being graded on their involvement in their own learning not just on a worksheet or a test.

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