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Performance Evaluations

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Students and Teachers Fare Better Under Effectiveness-Based Teacher Layoffs, Studies Find (Press Release)

Faced with budget shortfalls, states and localities are considering cuts to K-12 education, including reductions in teaching staff. Consequently, governors, lawmakers, and school officials are taking a second look at seniority provisions in their collective bargaining agreements and weighing the costs and benefits of the prevailing system under which the last hired is typically the first fired.

Posted to Web: March 08, 2011Publication Date: March 08, 2011

Violence Prevention in Schools: A Case Study of the Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School (Research Report)
Jocelyn Fontaine, Sara Debus-Sherrill, P. Mitchell Downey, Samantha S. Lowry

This report is based on research conducted by the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center on the violence prevention activities taking place at the Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School during the 2008-2009 school year. Based on an assessment of the school's violence prevention approach using qualitative and quantitative data from stakeholder interviews, field observations, programmatic records, and surveys with students and faculty, this report includes: a logic model of the school's violence prevention approach; detailed information on each of the violence prevention activities within the violence prevention approach and how they compare to national best practices; student and faculty perceptions of the school climate and the violence prevention approach; and recommendations to the school administrators on how to strengthen their violence prevention approach based on the assessment findings. The report concludes with brief remarks on next steps in school violence prevention research.

Posted to Web: August 27, 2010Publication Date: August 01, 2010

Who Helps Public Schools? Public Education Support Organizations in 2010 (Research Report)
Erwin de Leon, Katie L. Roeger, Carol J. De Vita, Elizabeth T. Boris

There are more than 19,000 nonprofit organizations devoted to supporting public education in the United States. These organizations include booster clubs, parent-teacher groups, public education funds, scholarship funds, high school alumni associations, and others. This report assesses the current status of education support organizations; provides details on the activities, capacities, and resources of public education funds; and compares Public Education Network member organizations with other types of education funds. On the basis of a survey of public education funds and an analysis of the latest data available from the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the report identifies key similarities and differences among the groups.

Posted to Web: June 09, 2010Publication Date: June 09, 2010

Rural Schools Need Realistic Improvement Models (Opinion)
Luke C. Miller, Michael Hansen

Race to the Top's prescribed models for turning around the nation's lowest-performing schools are designed for urban areas and leave rural districts out of the high-stakes money game. This omission needs to be fixed.

Posted to Web: April 22, 2010Publication Date: April 16, 2010

Assessing the Potential of Using Value Added-Estimates of Teacher Job Performance for Making Tenure Decisions (CALDER Brief)
Dan Goldhaber, Michael Hansen

Using individual teacher and student-level longitudinal data from North Carolina, this research brief presents selected findings from work examining the stability of value-added model estimates of teacher effectiveness, focusing on their implication for teacher tenure policies and making high stakes personnel decisions. Findings show year-to-year correlations in teacher effects are modest, but pre-tenure estimates of teacher job performance do predict estimated post-tenure performance in both math and reading, and would therefore seem to be a reasonable metric to use as a factor in making substantive teacher selection decisions.

Posted to Web: April 15, 2009Publication Date: November 21, 2008

Measuring Effect Sizes: The Effect of Measurement Error (CALDER Working Paper)
Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, James Wyckoff

This paper estimates the overall extent of test measurement error and how this varies across students using New York City longitudinal data. Results reinforce the importance of accounting for measurement error, as it meaningfully increases effect size estimates associated with teacher attributes. There are important differences in teacher effectiveness that are systematically related to observed teacher attributes. Such effects are important in the formulation and implementation of personnel policies.

Posted to Web: March 12, 2009Publication Date: June 01, 2008

Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement (CALDER Working Paper)
Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, James Wyckoff

In debates over the best way to prepare teachers some argue that easing entry into teaching is necessary to attract strong candidates, while others argue that investing in high quality teacher preparation is most promising. Most agree that we lack a strong research basis for understanding how to prepare teachers. This paper estimates the effects of features of teachers' preparation on teachers' value-added to student test score performance in Math and English Language Arts. Results indicate variation across preparation programs in the average effectiveness of the teachers supplied to New York City schools. Preparation directly linked to practice appears to benefit first year teachers.

Posted to Web: March 10, 2009Publication Date: August 01, 2008

DCPS Human Capital Initiatives: Before the District of Columbia City Council (Testimony)
Jane Hannaway

Testimony of CALDER Director Jane Hannaway before the D.C. City Council on the human capital initiatives of the District of Columbia's Public Schools, given January 16, 2009. Hannaway describes CALDER's work on teacher quality addressing three main findings: (1) Teachers are the most important school factor that affects student learning, and the variation in effectiveness across teachers is large; (2) The variation in teacher effectiveness is greater within schools than the variation between schools; and (3) The variation in teacher effectiveness, both within and between schools, is a management problem that begs for attention. Hannaway argues at least some of this variation is a civil rights problem that demands policy attention and urges DCPS to continue to pursue new human capital management strategies to ensure teacher quality for all students.

Posted to Web: February 06, 2009Publication Date: January 16, 2009

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