Best Practices in the Middle Grades Identified
Using students’ test scores as one part of evaluations for teachers, principals, and superintendents is associated with better academic performance at schools serving the middle grades, a report released this week has found.
Linking students’ test scores with evaluations was one of the “best practices” that high-performing schools serving students in grades 6 to 8 have in common, the report found. The practices were true of high-performing schools regardless of whether they enrolled primarily students from low-income families or mostly from middle-income families.
The study was released by EdSource, a Mountain View, Calif.-based research organization, and was funded by Reed Hastings, the chief executive officer of the DVD-rental company Netflix and a former president of the California state board of education.
Researchers analyzed the relationship between students’ spring 2009 scores on California’s tests in mathematics and English/language arts and answers to surveys by 303 principals, 3,752 English and math teachers, and 157 superintendents in the state. The test scores for 200,000 students from 303 schools were examined.
“There is a lot of discussion and national debate about how to evaluate teachers,” Michael Kirst, a professor emeritus of education at Stanford University and the principal investigator for the study, said in a Feb. 24 conference call to discuss it. “This study makes it clear that we need to have the same debate about principals and superintendents.”...Read more
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