The task of building better teachers evaluation systems is as difficult as it is important. Many hurdles stand in the way of rating teachers fairly on the basis of their students’ achievement, the solution favored by many education experts today. And it’s increasingly clear that it’s not enough merely to create more-defensible systems for rewarding or removing teachers. Teacher evaluations pay much larger dividends when they also play a role in improving teaching.
In this 2008 report, authors Thomas Toch and Richard Rothman explore the causes and consequences of the crisis in teacher evaluation. And it examines a number of national, state, and local evaluation systems that point to a way out of the evaluation morass. Together, they demonstrate that it’s possible to evaluate teachers in much more productive ways than most public schools do today.