Identifying Effective TeachersBased on Performance on the Job By Thomas J. Kane Harvard Graduate School of Education
Trad Cert Program Alt Cert Program Tenure Hurdle The Idealized Teacher Pipeline Education majors. Probationary Pool of other college graduates.
NBPTS Process Trad Cert Program Alt Cert Program Tenure Hurdle Notice that all the attention to teacher quality is focused on recruitment and well into teachers’ careers– not at the tenure hurdle. The Reality Education majors. Probationary Pool of other college graduates.
Reasons to Focus on Tenure Reform: • Recruitment is too early to discern between effective and ineffective teachers, NBPTS process is too late. • Performance during probationary period predicts later performance. • Principals’ interests are not the same as parents’/districts’ interests. • Policy should depend on source of teacher differences: • Talent/Skill? → Tenure reform. • Effort? → Merit pay (incentives). • The work of schools is organized differently from most private employers. In a school, there is no “mailroom” for disappointing hires. • More effective teachers also learn faster on the job. (Training and screening are complements.)
Costs much more. Design Issues: • Identify rubrics, train peer observers and supervisors. • External input: e.g. National Board • Link students/teachers and incorporate “value-added” • Setting a threshold: relative or absolute or a hybrid of the two. • A tenure hurdle means hiring more novices. • Two types of mistakes: • Tenuring ineffective teachers. vs. • Failing to tenure good ones. • Add bonuses for most effective teachers at low-income schools.
Conclusion: • For forty years, research has told us two things: • Teachers matter most. • Qualifications don’t help much to discern between effective and ineffective teachers. • Our tenure policy should reflect these facts.