Teachers say evaluation systems are having negative impact on education

U.S. teachers believe that teacher evaluation systems are having a profoundly negative effect on them and on education in general.

“Headlines report teacher shortages in nearly every state,” says the Executive Summary of a report titled; Teachers Talk Back: Educators on the Impact of Teacher Evaluation. The report was published this week by the Network for Public Education.

“One factor reported in almost every story is the discouragement teachers feel from a reform movement that is increasing pressure to raise student test scores, while reducing support,” it states. “This pressure dramatically increased with the inclusion of student test scores in teacher evaluations, with some states using them to account for as much as 50% of evaluation scores. When combined with frameworks, rubrics, and high-stake consequences, the nature of teacher evaluation has dramatically changed, and narratives from educators across the United States document that it has changed for the worse.”

Among the top conclusions of the survey of educators:

  • Teachers and principals believe that evaluations based on student test scores, especially Value Added Measures (VAM), are neither valid nor reliable measures of their work.
  • The emphasis on improving test scores has overwhelmed every aspect of teachers’ work, forcing them to spend precious collaborative time poring over student data rather than having conversations about students and instruction.
  • Over half of the respondents (52.08%) reported witnessing evidence of bias against veteran educators.
  • Teacher professional development tied to the evaluation process is having a stiflng effect on teachers, by undermining their sense of autonomy, and limiting their capacity for real professional growth.

Below is an infographic summarizing the survey results, as well as six recommendations: