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Teacher Evaluation as a Policy Target for Improved Student Learning: A Fifty-State Review of Statute and Regulatory Action since NCLB

Abstract

"This paper reports on the analysis of state statutes and department of education regulations in fifty states for changes in teacher evaluation in use since the passage of No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. We asked what the policy activity for teacher evaluation is in state statutes and department of education regulations, how these changes in statutes and regulations might affect the practice of teacher evaluation, and what were the implications for instructional supervision from these policy actions. Teacher evaluation statutes and department of education regulations provided the data for this study, using archival records from each state's legislature and education departments that were placed into a comparison matrix based on criteria developed from the National Governors Association (NGA) goals for school reform (Goldrick, 2002). Data were analyzed deductively in terms of these criteria for underlying theories of action (Malen, 2005), trends, and likely effects on teacher evaluation and implications for supervision. The majority of states adopted many of the NGA strategies, asserted oversight and involvement in local teacher evaluation practices, decreased the frequency of veteran teacher evaluation, and increased the types of data used in evaluation. Whether or not the changes in teacher evaluation will improve student learning in the long run remains to be seen."

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