Case Study Brief: Shrewsbury Public Schools’ Approach to Using Evaluation Data in Human Resources Decision-Making


Brigham, N., & Tiell, S. (2015). Shrewsbury Public Schools’ Approach to Using Evaluation Data in Human Resources Decision-Making. Case study brief. Menlo Park: SRI International.


In 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education contracted with SRI International and its research partners, Abt Associates, Nancy Brigham Associates, and J Koppich and Associates, to conduct an independent study of the implementation of Massachusetts’ Educator Evaluation Framework. During the 2014-15 school year, the research team administered a statewide survey of principals and school staff and conducted educator interviews and focus groups in seven case study districts. In the case study districts, the team focused on exploring promising practices related to use of evaluation data for human resources decisions, implementation of district-determined measures of student learning, and capacity of evaluators to conduct fair and thorough evaluations. This brief is the first in a three-part series dedicated to sharing these promising practices with other districts in Massachusetts.

This case study brief focuses on Shrewsbury Public Schools’ use of evaluation data to inform human resources practices and policies. In 2014–15, the team found that administrators are using data from the new evaluation system to better inform decisions about renewal for beginning or struggling teachers. Moreover, both new and experienced educators have leveraged evaluation data to inform instructional improvement.

Among Shrewsbury’s accomplishments are several practices that may be instructive for other districts:

  1. A large team of district and school leaders developed a robust messaging and communications plan that eased the district’s transition into using evaluation data for human resource decision-making.
  2. The district incorporated evaluation data into preexisting structures to streamline and strengthen key human resource decisions.
  3. The district leveraged teacher leadership by identifying and training teacher leaders at each school site to facilitate questions about the evaluation system.
  4. District and school leaders emphasized the positive features of the evaluation framework, focusing on its value for data-driven instructional improvement.

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