Examining the Validity of Ratings From A Classroom Observation Instrument for Use in A District's Teacher Evaluation System

By Andrea Lash, Loan Tran, Min Huang

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Description

States and districts across the country are creating new systems to evaluate teachers — through classroom observations, by the amount their students learn, or by some combination of these and other measures.

Considering the high stakes for teachers, it is critical to examine the quality of the measures used to evaluate teachers. Recognizing this, Washoe County School District (NV) requested assistance from Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) to examine qualities of the teacher ratings derived from the observation instrument that the district planned to use in evaluating teachers.

This study examines the validity of ratings from a classroom observation instrument in a teacher evaluation system adapted from the Danielson Framework for Teaching.

Key Findings

  • On each element on which they were judged most teachers were rated as effective or highly effective
  • The component ratings are consistent in the information they provide about teachers
  • Teachers’ scores on the classroom observation instrument are related to measures of their students’ learning

While the study takes place in one school district, these findings may be of interest to other districts and states that are using or considering using the Danielson Framework.