Investing in Development: Six High-Performing, High-Poverty Schools Implement Massachusetts' Teacher Evaluation Policy

Abstract:

We studied how six district, turnaround, and charter schools located in one Massachusetts city implemented the state's new teacher evaluation policy.  All schools served high-poverty, high-minority communities and had received the state's highest accountability rating.  To learn how these successful schools approached classroom observations, feedback, and summative ratings, we interviewed 142 teachers and administrators and studied relevant documents.  We analyzed data using sense-making theory (Spillane, Reiser, & Reimer, 2002), which considers how individuals' knowledge and beliefs, the context in which they work, and the policy stimuli they encounter affect implementation.  All schools prioritized the goal of developing teachers over holding them accountable.  Each school operated in a district policy context, which affected its approach to implementation.  We discuss implications for policy, practice, and research.

Last updated on 06/29/2016