Studies Focus on Professional Development and Teacher Evaluations

The Center for American Progress has released two new studies on teachers. I think both are interesting and thought you might be interested, too.

The first study about teacher professional development highlights what many of us in the field already know–that the ubiquitous teacher PD “workshop” is basically useless and that advanced degrees don’t, on average, add value to a teacher’s knowledge and skills. This study goes one step further to recommend an approach that does work with incorporates coaching, individualized feedback, and modeling of great teaching through the use of video clips. I am particularly intrigued by the online aspects of this approach and the video clips, since I think many teachers don’t have the opportunity to see great instruction, even when it does occur in their own school.

The second study about teacher evaluation is interesting primarily because it looks at the question of evaluation at a particular level: high school. As you know, Mississippi is in the process of designing our state’s first-ever statewide teacher evaluation, and several of the ideas noted in this study may very well end up in the state system, as we have recommended some of them (value-added, student learning objectives) to MDE.

Coming soon: Mississippi’s NAEP data and how to use the NAEP data tools to analyze our scores

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