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Tech Report  August 1, 2015

Research Brief: Implementation of the Educator Evaluation Framework in Massachusetts

Citation

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Comstock, M., Harless, E., Hsieh, T., & Mitchell, N. (2015). Implementation of the Educator Evaluation Framework in Massachusetts. Research Brief. Menlo Park: SRI International.

Abstract

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 Massachusetts case study districts.

This research brief summarizes the following key findings from the independent evaluation:

  1. Educators were divided about whether the EEF is focused on professional growth and development. Educators’ experiences with and perceptions of the Educator Evaluation Framework appeared strongly linked to districts’ communication efforts about its purpose and uses.
  2. Educators had mixed views of whether individual components of the evaluation improved instruction. Staff and principals valued the components of the Educator Evaluation Framework that provided opportunities to collaborate and reflect on instructional practices, such as goal-setting, observations, and feedback.
  3. Districts have made significant progress toward developing and implementing district-determined measures (DDMs) of student learning, though educators had mixed perceptions about their utility and fairness. Interviewed staff and principals were more likely to report positive perceptions of the implementation of DDMs when they had been involved in the identification and development process and when their districts had emphasized the purpose and uses of the DDMs for informing practice.
  4. Surveyed principals and staff were confident that evaluators had the appropriate knowledge and skills to effectively conduct evaluations. Nevertheless, evaluators indicated that they struggled to balance their responsibilities and ensure consistency. Perceived inconsistencies have led educators to question the system’s fairness.

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