Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2012 Issue »

    Refocusing the Debate

    Assessing the Purposes and Tools of Teacher Evaluation

    John Papay
    In this article, John Papay argues that teacher evaluation tools should be assessed not only on their ability to measure teacher performance accurately, but also on how well they inform and support ongoing teacher development. He looks at two major approaches to teacher evaluation reform: value-added measures and standards-based evaluations. Papay analyzes these two approaches both as measurement tools and as professional development tools, illuminating the advantages, drawbacks, and untapped potential of each. In the process, attention is refocused towards a broader conception of the purpose of teacher evaluation.

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    John P. Papay is an assistant professor of education at Brown University, where he studies teacher policy, the economics of education, and teacher labor markets. His recent research has focused on teacher evaluation, value-added models, teacher career development, and standards-based reform. His work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Econometrics, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. With Susan Moore Johnson, he recently coauthored Redesigning Teacher Pay: A System for the Next Generation of Educators (Economic Policy Institute, 2009). Papay is a former high school history teacher.
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    Spring 2012 Issue


    “A Few of the Brightest, Cleanest Mexican Children”
    School Segregation as a Form of Mundane Racism in Oxnard, California, 1900–1940
    David G. García, Tara J. Yosso, and Frank P. Barajas
    Changing Our Landscape of Inquiry for a New Science of Education
    Gary Thomas
    Institutional Racist Melancholia
    A Structural Understanding of Grief and Power in Schooling
    Sabina Vaught
    Symposium: By What Measure?
    Mapping and Expanding the Teacher Effectiveness Debate
    Contextual Influences on Inquiries into Effective Teaching and Their Implications for Improving Student Learning
    Anthony Bryk, Heather Harding, and Sharon Greenberg
    Having It Both Ways
    Building the Capacity of Individual Teachers and Their Schools
    Susan Moore Johnson
    Refocusing the Debate
    Assessing the Purposes and Tools of Teacher Evaluation
    John Papay
    A Collaborative Effort
    Peer Review and the History of Teacher Evaluations in Montgomery County, Maryland
    Jeremy P. Sullivan
    “We Are the Ones in the Classrooms—Ask Us!”
    Student Voice in Teacher Evaluations
    Boston Student Advisory Council

    Book Notes

    Our Difficult Sunlight
    Georgia A. Popoff and Quraysh Ali Lansana

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