Generating Teaching Effectiveness: The Role of Job-Embedded Professional Learning in Teacher Evaluation

 
Generating Teaching Effectiveness: The Role of Job-Embedded Professional Learning in Teacher Evaluation
Generating Teaching Effectiveness:

                                              M AY 2 0 1 2
The Role of Job-Embedded
Professional Learning in
Teacher Evaluation

                                     Research & Policy Brief
A Research & Policy Brief

Generating Teaching Effectiveness:
The Role of Job-Embedded Professional
Learning in Teacher Evaluation

May 2012

Jane G. Coggshall, Ph.D., National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality
Claudette Rasmussen, Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center
Amy Colton, Ph.D., Learning Forward of Michigan
Jessica Milton, National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality
Catherine Jacques, National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality
CONTENTS
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Federal Policy on Teacher Evaluation and Professional Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Research on How Teachers Learn Best . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Job-Embedded Professional Learning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
     Learner-Centered Professional Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     Knowledge-Centered Professional Learning  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     Community-Centered Professional Learning  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     Assessment-Centered Professional Learning  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Professional Learning in Teacher Evaluation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
     Evaluation Promotes Learning Through Shared Understanding of Effective Teaching  . . . . . . . . . 7
     Evaluation Promotes Learning Through Evidence-Based Feedback  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     Evaluation Promotes Learning Through the Assessment of Professional Learning and
     Collaboration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Essential Conditions for Professional Learning in Evaluation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Practical Examples of Evaluation Systems That Promote Professional Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Research & Policy Brief                                    1

INTRODUCTION                                                                      FEDERAL POLICY ON
State and district leaders across the country                                     TEACHER EVALUATION
are working intensely to respond to legislation
calling for revised teacher evaluation systems                                    AND PROFESSIONAL
that incorporate multiple measures of student
learning and teacher practice. Whether through
                                                                                  LEARNING
strengthened accountability or more formative                                     The $4.5 billion federal grant program, Race to
support, the primary goal of this work is the                                     the Top, set in motion a host of state and local
continuous improvement of teaching and                                            policies, requiring educators to develop and
learning. To meet this goal, teacher evaluation                                   implement rigorous teacher evaluation systems
systems need to be designed and implemented                                       that assess teacher effectiveness using
with teacher learning and development at                                          student learning as at least one of the multiple
their core, rather than appended later as an                                      measures. The intent of such evaluation
afterthought. Professional development is                                         systems is to help fulfill the Obama
regularly associated with the “results” of                                        administration’s priority of ensuring great
evaluation, instead of recognized as an integral                                  teachers and leaders in our nation’s schools by
part of the evaluation process itself. Thus,                                      casting light on the wide variation in teacher
the power of evaluation to generate greater                                       effectiveness within and between schools and
teaching effectiveness is severely diminished.                                    to help school leaders make better-warranted
                                                                                  personnel decisions (i.e., compensation,
The purpose of this Research & Policy Brief
                                                                                  promotion, tenure, and dismissal decisions)
is to support the thinking and efforts of state
                                                                                  based on teacher performance data.
and district leaders who are designing and
implementing evaluation systems that not only                                     Lost in the clamor generated by these policies
measure teaching effectiveness but generate                                       is the equal weight that Race to the Top
it. The brief begins by describing the federal                                    developers placed on requiring grantees to
policy changes that animate this work. It then                                    use evaluation to inform decisions regarding
highlights the research on how teachers learn                                     “developing teachers and principals, including
best, specifically how teachers learn from                                        by providing relevant coaching, induction, and/
evaluation to generate increased teaching                                         or professional development” (U.S. Department
effectiveness. It also provides guidance on                                       of Education, 2010, Sec. D[2]iv[a]) as well as
how to assess teachers’ engagement in                                             other personnel decisions. Moreover, it required
learning1 and collaboration to incentivize                                        that winning states ensure that participating
teachers’ participation in job-embedded                                           districts “conduct annual evaluations of
professional learning as well as to recognize                                     teachers and principals that include timely and
and account for teachers’ commitment to                                           constructive feedback [and] as part of such
continuous improvement. Finally, the brief                                        evaluation provide teachers and principals with
concludes with a description of the essential                                     data on student growth for their students,
conditions for this important work.                                               classes, and schools” (U.S. Department of
                                                                                  Education, 2010, Sec. D[2]iii).

1
    In this brief, we refer to these activities as job-embedded professional learning rather than job-embedded professional development as we have
    in other TQ Center resources to underscore that a shift is taking place in how experts and practitioners think about the kinds of activities that shape
    and improve teacher knowledge and practice. For a longer discussion of the differences, see Coggshall (2012).
2   Research & Policy Brief

    Recognition of the need for evidence-based         and support systems that: will be used for
    feedback on teacher practice to enhance            continual improvement of instruction; … [and]
    teacher learning and effectiveness is also a       provide clear, timely, and useful feedback,
    common thread among the state policies that        including feedback that identifies needs and
    arose in response to Race to the Top. For          guides professional development….” It further
    example, in Louisiana, state code mandates         specifies that states adopt guidelines for these
    that each teacher, in collaboration with his or    systems and districts develop and implement
    her evaluator, develop a professional growth       systems that are consistent with those
    plan that is designed to assist teachers           guidelines (U.S. Department of Education,
    in meeting the Louisiana standards for             2012, pp. 18–19). So far, 37 states and the
    effectiveness (HB 1033[Act 54], Sec. 3902[2]       District of Columbia have applied for a waiver,
    [a]). In Massachusetts, regulations specify that   indicating their intent to meet the previously
    the districts’ teacher evaluation cycles include   outlined specifications.
    goal setting and the development of an
                                                       Although the federal and state policies and
    educator plan based on teacher evaluation
                                                       associated guidance continue to refer to
    results that would provide them with feedback
                                                       teacher learning as “professional development”
    for improvement, professional growth, and
                                                       rather than “job-embedded professional
    leadership (603 CMR 35.00).
                                                       learning,” the spirit of the policies is clearly
    Moreover, the $4 billion School Improvement        directed toward harnessing teacher evaluation
    Grant (SIG) program specifies that job-embedded    for the continuous improvement of teaching
    professional development be “aligned with the      effectiveness through the provision of evidence-
    school’s comprehensive instructional program       based feedback to teachers.
    and designed with school staff” for teachers in
    turnaround and transformation schools (SEA
    Priorities in Awarding School Improvement
    Grants, 2010, p. 66366). SIG guidance              RESEARCH ON HOW
    documents emphasize job-embedded
    professional development that focuses on
                                                       TEACHERS LEARN BEST
    “understanding what and how students are           Practice, of course, should be guided by
    learning and on how to address students’           research as well as policy. Unfortunately,
    learning needs, including reviewing student        research on how teachers learn and the best
    work and achievement data and collaboratively      ways to educate them is a relatively young field,
    planning, testing, and adjusting instructional     which has developed in distressing isolation
    strategies, formative assessments, and             from research on teaching itself (Grossman &
    materials based on such data”(U.S. Department      McDonald, 2008). As such, we have relatively
    of Education, 2011, p. 30).                        little theoretical grounding and less empirical
                                                       evidence of how teacher practice develops
    In addition, the U.S. Department of Education’s    along a continuum from novice to proficient to
    Elementary and Secondary Education Act             expert. In an attempt to begin to fill this gap,
    waiver program provides flexibility for states     Ball and Cohen (1999) propose a practice-
    that commit to “develop, adopt, pilot, and         based theory of professional learning that
    implement, with the involvement of teachers        argues essentially, that knowledge about
    and principals, teacher and principal evaluation   teaching must be learned in practice
Research & Policy Brief                                 3

because “teaching occurs in particulars—                                      is now being applied to performance in
particular students interacting with particular                               other areas such as surgery (Ericsson, 2007),
teachers over particular ideas in particular                                  leadership (Ericsson, Prietula, & Cokely, 2007),
circumstances” (p. 10). Teachers, they argue,                                 and teaching (Bronkhorst, Meijer, Koster, &
need to be able to learn to (p. 11):                                          Vermunt, 2011; Dunn & Shriner, 1999;
yy “Size up a situation from moment to                                        Marzano, 2011b).
   moment,” learning what students are doing
                                                                              Dunn and Shriner (1999) identified teaching
   and thinking and how instruction is being
                                                                              activities that meet Ericsson et al.’s (1993)
   understood as classes unfold.
                                                                              criteria2 for deliberate practice. These activities
yy Use this knowledge to improve their                                        can include planning and preparation as well
   practice, examining their instruction with                                 as those that involve analyzing student
   “care and some detachment, to challenge
                                                                              performance and understanding through the
   their own thinking, and to draw reasonable
                                                                              use of assessments, graded written work and
   conclusions.”
                                                                              projects, or informal observations of student
yy “Operate experimentally,” making                                           behavior. Joyce and Showers (2002) also
   predictions about how students may                                         discuss the need for guided practice of
   respond to instruction, implementing the                                   particular skills, either in simulated settings
   instruction, collecting and analyzing                                      or actual classrooms, to produce desired
   evidence of the impact of the instruction,
                                                                              changes in instruction:
   and revising instruction based on that
   analysis.                                                                        How much practice is needed depends,
                                                                                    of course, on the complexity of the skill.
Through this iterative process of learning
                                                                                    To bring a teaching model of medium
from practice, teaching improves. However,
                                                                                    complexity under control requires 20 or
as research on the development of expert
                                                                                    25 trials in the classroom over a period of
performance indicates, individuals improve
                                                                                    about 8–10 weeks. Simpler skills, or those
through routine experience and practice but
                                                                                    more similar to previously developed ones,
only up to a point (Ericsson, 2006; Ericsson,
                                                                                    will require less practice to develop and
Krampe, & Tesch-Römer, 1993). The development
                                                                                    consolidate than those that are more
of expert practice depends instead on many
                                                                                    complex or different from the teacher’s
hours of deliberate practice and what
                                                                                    current repertoire. (p. 74)
psychologists call “high-fidelity feedback.” As
Ericsson (2006) notes, “Deliberate practice                                   Coaches can help design deliberate practice
presents performers with tasks that are                                       tasks that focus on critical aspects of
initially outside their current realm of reliable                             practice and provide high-fidelity feedback
performance, yet can be mastered within hours                                 by showing the learner relevant, timely, and
of practice by concentrating on critical aspects                              authentic evidence of the quality of his or her
and by gradually refining performance through                                 performance. Teachers also must be given the
repetitions after feedback” (p. 694). Although                                time and support to reflect on that feedback;
Ericsson’s theories are based primarily                                       Schön (1983) notes that teachers learn more
on studies of the development of expert                                       from reflecting on their experiences than from
performance in sports, music, and chess,                                      their engagement in the experiences.
the concept of the utility of deliberate practice

* These criteria, according to Dunn and Shriner (1999) include: “(a) teachers should perceive the behaviors as highly relevant to improving teaching
  effectiveness, (b) they should acknowledge that considerable effort is required to initiate and maintain the behaviors over time; (c) they should
  perform the behaviors frequently, and (d) they need not find the behaviors highly enjoyable in themselves” (p. 634).
4   Research & Policy Brief

    Moreover, Joyce and Showers (2002)                   Since How People Learn was published,
    emphasize that teachers need to persist in           the growing research base that focuses
    practicing new skills. They argue, “In learning a    specifically on the effectiveness of teacher
    new skill, pushing oneself through the awkward       professional development programs and
    first trials is essential. In initial trials (when   delivery methods continues to support these
    performance is awkward and effectiveness             conclusions. A growing consensus among
    appears to decrease rather than increase) …          researchers and practitioners suggests that
    persistence seems to differentiate successful        the most effective teacher learning activities
    from unsuccessful learners” (p. 80).                 (i.e., those that improve instruction and, in
                                                         turn, student achievement) involve forms
    In the book, How People Learn: Brain, Mind,          of job-embedded professional learning. For
    Experience, and School, the National Research        a review including examples, see Croft,
    Council describes a typology of learning             Coggshall, Dolan, & Powers (2010).
    environments that may support practice-based
    teacher learning including deliberate practice
    (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). Based
    on case studies of teacher learning, the council     JOB-EMBEDDED
    concludes that teachers learn better when
    environments are more:                               PROFESSIONAL
    yy Learner-centered. Learning environments           LEARNING
       that build on the individual strengths,
       interests, and needs of the learners (in this     Research has shown that one-time workshops
       case, teachers) better enable them to learn;      that are typically outside the context of a school
       this also may be termed personalized or           seldom align with ongoing practice and do not
       differentiated learning environments.             reliably lead to improvements in teaching and
    yy Knowledge-centered. Learning                      learning (Loucks-Horsley & Matsumoto, 1999).
       environments that focus on discipline-            Job-embedded professional learning, on the
       specific content knowledge for teaching,          other hand, refers to teacher learning that
       rather than focusing on generic pedagogical       (Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995; Hawley
       approaches (i.e., cooperative learning            & Valli, 1999; Hirsh, 2009):
       groups). Learning opportunities should help       yy Is grounded in day-to-day teaching practice.
       teachers understand their subject matter
                                                         yy Occurs regularly.
       more deeply and flexibly, including how to
       teach the particular subject matter well          yy Consists of teachers analyzing students’
       (which may involve learning about                    learning and finding solutions to immediate
       cooperative grouping strategies).                    problems of practice.

    yy Community-centered. Learning                      yy Is aligned with student standards, school
       environments that involve norms such                 curricula, and school improvement goals.
       as collaboration, learning, and inquiry
                                                         As such, job-embedded professional learning
       also support teacher learning.
                                                         is more likely to be learner centered,
    yy Assessment-centered. Learning                     knowledge centered, community centered,
       environments that provide opportunities           and assessment centered than other forms
       for teachers to test their understanding          of professional development.
       by trying out new approaches and receiving
       feedback to better enable teacher learning.
Research & Policy Brief                   5

Learner-Centered                                      Darling-Hammond, & Adamson, 2010). To
                                                      achieve positive change in educator practice,
Professional Learning                                 teachers need opportunities to observe, model,
High-quality, job-embedded professional learning      and practice new and effective strategies in
is likely to be learner-centered to support           content instruction. Furthermore, reflective,
teachers’ active engagement in sustained              ongoing professional inquiry provides insight into
professional learning activities that are             the concrete challenges involved in teaching and
specifically designed and intended to improve         learning specific subject matter (Garet et al.,
instructional effectiveness based on formative        2001; Saxe, Gearhart, & Nasir, 2001).
feedback (Bronkhorst et al., 2011; Palmer,
Stough, Burdenski, & Gonzales, 2005). To
                                                      Community-Centered
promote deliberate practice in teaching,
teachers need to learn how to analyze and             Professional Learning
reflect on their students’ learning and the           High-quality, job-embedded professional learning
changes they may need to make to improve              is most often community-centered. As adult
the impact of their instruction. Continuous           learners, educators need opportunities to
professional learning should be connected to          collaborate with and learn from other
specific challenges teachers experience in their      knowledgeable teachers and school colleagues
classroom and intentionally integrated into the       in meaningful and concrete ways. Teacher
workday and relationships of educators. Through       evaluation can be a tool for identifying effective
this approach, collective responsibility and          teachers within a school who can serve as
shared leadership for improved professional           teacher leaders capable of sharing their practice
and student learning can be achieved (Darling-        and facilitating professional learning.
Hammond, Wei, Andree, Richardson, &
Orphanos, 2009; Desimone, Porter, Garet,              One structure for collaboration, professional
Yoon, & Birman, 2002; Putnam & Borko, 2000).          learning communities or site-based teams,
                                                      provides supportive interactions for teachers to
                                                      assume a variety of leadership roles and
Knowledge-Centered                                    encourage professional communication about
Professional Learning                                 student learning, shared values, innovative
                                                      ideas, and instructional practice (Louis,
High-quality, job-embedded professional learning
                                                      Dretzke, & Wahlstrom, 2010). Emerging
is likely to be knowledge-centered because in the
                                                      research has shown that when professional
analysis of student learning, teachers refine
                                                      learning communities have a common focus on
their understanding of the content and how their
                                                      student learning and purposeful sharing of
students understand the content. Research
                                                      instructional practice, teachers adopt
findings associate positive change in educator
                                                      pedagogical practices that improve student
practice with professional learning activities that
                                                      learning experiences (Louis et al., 2010; Louis
focus not only on curriculum content but the
                                                      & Marks, 1998; Miller, Goddard, Goddard,
teaching and learning of that content (Blank &
                                                      Larsen, & Jacob, 2010; Saunders,
de las Alas, 2009). Creating rigorous learning
                                                      Goldenberg, & Gallimore, 2009). Recent
experiences for a diverse student population
                                                      studies indicate that teacher collaboration
requires teachers to deepen their understanding
                                                      increases collective efficacy, improves
of the specific curriculum content they teach and
                                                      attitudes toward teaching, and fosters a greater
acquire the technical and pedagogical skills they
                                                      understanding of students (Miller et al., 2010).
need to teach that content effectively (Garet,
Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon, 2001; Wei,
6   Research & Policy Brief

    Assessment-Centered                                    Based on what is known about teacher learning
                                                           and evaluation, the wind turbine in Figure 1
    Professional Learning                                  depicts the three primary ways teacher
    Finally, high-quality, job-embedded professional       evaluation has the potential to generate
    learning is likely to be assessment-centered.          teaching effectiveness. Well-designed and
    Key principles of teacher assessment include           well-implemented aligned evaluation systems:
    providing opportunities for feedback and revision      yy Help teachers and school leaders develop a
    and ensuring that what is assessed is congruent           common understanding of the contours of
    with a teacher’s learning goals (Bransford et al.,        effective practice and what the expectations
    2000). The ability to analyze both the process            are for their performance.
    and impact of one’s instruction and make               yy Provide sufficient evidence-based feedback
    modifications based on that analysis is not only          to teachers to help them reflect on and
    an essential aspect of instruction (Raudenbush,           improve their practice.
    2008) but an important part of learning and            yy Measure and account for teachers’ learning
    improvement (Ball & Cohen, 1999; Learning                 and collaboration.
    Forward, 2011; National Board for Professional       Generating Teaching Effectiveness:
    Teaching Standards, 1987).                           TheResiding  at the hub ofProfessional
                                                             Role of Job-Embedded   this system,  job-embedded
                                                                                                Learning in Teacher Evaluation
                                                           professional learning supports teacher learning
    To learn and improve instruction, teachers             throughout the evaluation process.
    need to apply and adapt new ways of
    teaching in the classroom, “testing” them to
    see whether they work. Feedback on whether or               Figure 1. Generating Teaching Effectiveness: The
                                                                Role of Job-Embedded Professional Learning in
    not instructional practices are working can
                                                                Teacher Evaluation
    come in the form of student learning data,

                                                                                                                                                  Practice
    the teachers’ own observations of student
    engagement, observations from a peer or a

                                                                                                                                                       Effective
    coach, a video-taped record of the practice,

                                                                                                                                          rstanding of
    discussion within a professional learning
                                                                                                         ility                                                           Pro
    community, or the results of a formal                                                              ab                                                                   fes
                                                                                                    unt                        Shared Unde
                                                                                                                                                                               si
                                                                                                   o
    evaluation. Considering the various forms of
                                                                                              c

                                                                                                                                                                                  on
                                                                                            Ac

                                                                                                                                                                                    al
                                                                                                                                                                                       Gro
    instructional feedback available, teacher

                                                                                                                                                                                          wth
    analysis and reflection should be a shared and                                                                    Job-
                                                                                                                   Embedded
    collaborative effort.                                                                                         Professional
                                                                                                                    Learning
                                                                                                              n
                                                                                                         ratio                                                     Evi
                                                                                                    llabo                                                             den
                                                                                          ing   & Co                                                                      ce-
                                                                                f   Learn                                                                                    Ba
                                                                                                                                                                                sed
                                                                          ures o
                                                                     Meas                                                                                                             Fee
                                                                                                                                                                                         dba
    PROFESSIONAL                                                                                                                                                                            ck

    LEARNING IN
                                                                                                                     Aligned Evaluation System

    TEACHER EVALUATION
    Well-designed and well-implemented aligned
    evaluation systems, as described in Goe,
    Biggers, and Croft (2012), provide assessment-                                                                                                                                    Generating Teaching
                                                                                                                                                                                         Effectiveness
    centered environments that have the potential
    to help teachers learn and improve. Because
    these evaluation systems are so new, empirical
    evidence on how they work to improve practice
    is slim.
Research & Policy Brief                  7

The following subsections provide a review           to effective teaching. Professional teaching
of the research and practice on the following        standards and frameworks, such as the InTASC
three ways that evaluation can increase              Standards, the National Board for Professional
teaching effectiveness:                              Teaching Standards, or Charlotte Danielson’s
yy Establish a shared understanding of               Framework for Teaching, seek to clearly
   effective practice.                               describe teaching excellence in all of its facets
                                                     and complexity and provide high but achievable
yy Produce evidence-based feedback.
                                                     goals for teacher practice. Moreover, standards
yy Assess learning and collaboration.
                                                     provide a common language for teachers and
This brief contains descriptions of one state-       leaders to talk about instruction so that all
level and two district-level efforts to design and   stakeholders have a shared understanding
implement teacher evaluation systems that seek       of what effective practice is and looks like
to put job-embedded professional learning at the     (Danielson, 2011a; Sartain, Steoelinga, &
core: The Teacher Evaluation and Development         Brown, 2011).
(TED) System for Districts in New York State,
                                                     In turn, high-quality evaluation systems
the Montgomery County Public Schools
                                                     use multiple measures (e.g., classroom
(MCPS) Teacher Professional Growth System
                                                     observation rubrics, assessments of student
(TPGS), and the District of Columbia Public
                                                     learning, student survey results) to capture
Schools (DCPS) IMPACT evaluation system.
                                                     the extent to which teachers meet the
                                                     standards and their students meet their
Evaluation Promotes Learning                         learning goals. These measures and
                                                     associated metrics ideally further clarify
Through Shared Understanding                         the goals for teaching and help teachers
of Effective Teaching                                understand the steps to achieve those goals.
Well-designed and well-implemented aligned           Many sets of teaching standards include
evaluation systems (i.e., those that enhance         standards regarding teachers’ professional
teaching and learning) have professional             responsibilities and the expectation that
teaching standards (which are aligned with           teachers engage in professional learning,
student learning standards) that describe the        including learning from the results of their
performances, knowledge, and dispositions            practice and collaborating with their colleagues
that comprise excellence in teaching (Goe,           to increase their effectiveness. Table 1 contains
Holdheide, & Miller, 2011; Goe et al., 2012).        some examples of these standards.
These standards identify what is valued in a
school system and the factors that contribute
8   Research & Policy Brief

    Table 1. Teaching Standards: Professional Learning Examples From Existing Frameworks

    InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards (CCSSO)
        Standard 9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice. The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning
        and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions
        on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of
        each learner.
        Standard 10: Leadership and Collaboration. The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities
        to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school
        professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.
    Source: Council of Chief State School Officers, 2011, pp. 18–19

    National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Five Core Propositions
        Proposition 4: Teachers Think Systematically About Their Practice and Learn From Experience.
          yy NBCTs model what it means to be an educated person – they read, they question, they create and they are
             willing to try new things.
          yy They are familiar with learning theories and instructional strategies and stay abreast of current issues in
             American education.
          yy They critically examine their practice on a regular basis to deepen knowledge, expand their repertoire of
             skills, and incorporate new findings into their practice.
        Proposition 5: Teachers Are Members of Learning Communities.
          yy NBCTs collaborate with others to improve student learning.
          yy They are leaders and actively know how to seek and build partnerships with community groups and
             businesses.
          yy They work with other professionals on instructional policy, curriculum development, and staff development.
          yy They can evaluate school progress and the allocation of resources in order to meet state and local
             education objectives.
          yy They know how to work collaboratively with parents to engage them productively in the work of the school.
    Source: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 1987

    Teaching as Leadership Framework (Teach For America)
        Continuously Increase Effectiveness. Reflecting constantly on the pace of student progress toward the goals,
        highly effective teachers seek to improve their instructional practices to maximize student learning.
           yy Gauge progress and gaps.
           yy Identify contributing student actions.
           yy Identify contributing teacher actions.
           yy Identify underlying factors.
           yy Access relevant meaningful learning experiences.
           yy Adjust course.
    Source: Teach For America, n.d.
Research & Policy Brief                       9

Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching
     4a. Reflecting on Teaching
          Distinguished Practice: Teacher makes a thoughtful and accurate assessment of a lesson’s effectiveness
          and the extent to which it achieved its instructional outcomes, citing many specific examples from the
          lesson and weighing the relative strengths of each. Drawing on an extensive repertoire of skills, teacher
          offers specific alternative actions, complete with the probable success of different courses of action (p. 75).
     4d. Participating in a Professional Community
          Distinguished Practice: Teacher’s relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and
          cooperation, with the teacher taking initiative in assuming leadership among the faculty. Teacher volunteers to
          participate in school events and district projects making a substantial contribution, and assuming a leadership
          role in at least one aspect of school or district life (p. 87).
     4e. Growing and Developing Professionally
          Distinguished Practice: Teacher seeks out opportunities for professional development and makes a
          systematic effort to conduct action research. Teacher seeks out feedback on teaching from both supervisors
          and colleagues. Teacher initiates important activities to contribute to the profession (p. 91).

Source: Danielson, 2011b

Robert Marzano’s Causal Teacher Evaluation Model
     Domain 4: Collegiality and Professionalism
     Promoting a Positive Environment
          1. Promoting positive interactions about colleagues
          2. Promoting positive interactions about students and parents
     Promoting Exchange of Ideas and Strategies
          1. Seeking mentorship for areas of need or interest
          2. Mentoring other teachers and sharing ideas and strategies
Source: Marzano, 2011a, p. 4

District of Columbia Public Schools
     Commitment to the School Community
     CSC5 Teacher consistently collaborates with colleagues to improve student achievement in an
     effective manner.
     Teacher extends impact by proactively seeking out collaborative opportunities with other teachers and/or by
     dedicating a truly exceptional amount of time and energy towards promoting effective instructional collaboration.
Source: District of Columbia Public Schools, 2011a, pp. 46–47
10   Research & Policy Brief

     New York State Teaching Standards
             Standard VI: Professional Responsibilities and Collaboration
             Teachers demonstrate professional responsibility and engage relevant stakeholders to maximize
             student growth, development, and learning.
             Element VI.2: Teachers engage and collaborate with colleagues and the community to develop and sustain
             a common culture that supports high expectations for student learning.
             Performance Indicators:
             a. Teachers support and promote the shared school and district vision and mission to support school
                improvement.
             b. Teachers participate actively as part of an instructional team.
             c. Teachers share information and best practices with colleagues to improve practice.
             d. Teachers demonstrate an understanding of the school as an organization within a historical, cultural,
                political, and social context.
             e. Teachers collaborate with others both within and outside the school to support student growth,
                development, and learning.
             f. Teachers collaborate with the larger community to access and share learning resources.
             Standard VII: Professional Growth
             Teachers set informed goals and strive for continuous professional growth.
             Element VII.1: Teachers reflect on their practice to improve instructional effectiveness and guide
             professional growth.
             Performance Indicators:
             a. Teachers examine and analyze formal and informal evidence of student learning.
             b. Teachers recognize the effect of their prior experiences and possible biases on their practice.
             c. Teachers use acquired information to identify personal strengths and weaknesses and to plan professional
                growth.
             Element VII.2: Teachers set goals for, and engage in, ongoing professional development needed to
             continuously improve teaching competencies.
             Performance Indicators:
             a. Teachers set goals to enhance personal strengths and address personal weaknesses in teaching practice.
             b. Teachers engage in opportunities for professional growth and development.
             Element VII.3: Teachers communicate and collaborate with students, colleagues, other professionals, and
             the community to improve practice.
             Performance Indicators:
             a. Teachers demonstrate a willingness to give and receive constructive feedback to improve professional
                practice.
             b. Teachers participate actively as part of an instructional team to improve professional practice.
             c. Teachers receive, reflect, and act on constructive feedback from others in an effort to improve their own
                professional practice.
             Element VII.4: Teachers remain current in their knowledge of content and pedagogy by utilizing professional
             resources.
             Performance Indicators:
             a. Teachers benefit from, contribute to, or become members of appropriate professional organizations.
             b. Teachers access and use professional literature and other professional development opportunities to
                increase their understanding of teaching and learning. Teachers expand their knowledge of current
Research & Policy Brief                11

Montgomery County Public Schools
         Standard V: Teachers are committed to continuous improvement and professional development.
         Performance Criteria:
         a. The teacher continually reflects upon his/her practice in promoting student learning and adjusts
            instruction accordingly.
         b. The teacher draws upon educational research and research-based strategies in planning instructional
            content and delivery.
         c. The teacher is an active member of professional learning communities.
Source: Montgomery County Public Schools, 2011, p. A-8

Job-Embedded Professional Learning                           One way for teachers to begin learning the
to Support Shared Understandings                             expectations, standards, and metrics of the
of Effectiveness                                             evaluation system is for them to use the
                                                             standards and evaluation rubrics in a self-
One way to harness the power of an aligned                   assessment, in which they describe the extent
evaluation system is to provide adequate and                 to which they believe their current teaching
effective job-embedded professional learning                 practice meets or exceeds those standards.
opportunities for teachers to learn the standards            If done thoughtfully, teachers can familiarize
and metrics that make up the system. Learning                themselves with the goals of the evaluation.
the standards can be a challenge, yet the entire             Teacher self-assessment is often the first step
evaluation process hinges on all stakeholders                in an evaluation cycle or process. For example,
having a thorough understanding of the                       in the North Carolina Teacher Evaluation
standards. Some of the more commonly used                    Process, teachers are asked to complete a
frameworks for classroom observations include                self-assessment using the system rubric at the
multiple domains and indicators within those                 beginning of the year. Evaluators do not collect
domains. For example, the Danielson Framework                the self-assessment, but it is used in the
for Teaching has 4 domains with 22 components                development of a teachers’ professional
and 76 elements across those domains. The                    development plan and is discussed during
Marzano teacher evaluation framework has                     preobservation and postobservation
4 domains and 60 indicators. The InTASC                      conferences (Mid-continent Research for
standards, which are used as a basis for many                Education and Learning, 2009). (See also the
state certification systems, have 10 standards               Practical Example of the TED System on page
with a total of 75 example performance                       22 for its approach to teacher self-reflection).
indicators, 56 indicators of essential knowledge,
and 43 indicators of critical dispositions across            Goal setting using the standards is another
those 10 standards. Whatever comprehensive                   helpful tool for understanding the expectations.
framework is used, it will take time for those               Teachers, usually in collaboration with their
new to the system to learn it because they will              principal, may choose two or three standards
be unlikely to have learned it in their teacher              on which to focus their improvement efforts
preparation programs.                                        throughout the year. Even when a complex
                                                             framework is well articulated, teachers may
12   Research & Policy Brief

     need support to break the performance               the lesson (here they are)—what kinds of
     standard down further into tasks that they can      questions did you ask? Where might you place
     practice deliberately and for which they can        yourself on the rubric regarding the use of
     receive feedback for improvement. One               effective questioning techniques?”
     approach is for teachers to video record their
                                                         Providing feedback in this way changes the
     teaching practice as part of their self-
                                                         nature of the conversation from a “telling”
     assessment, response to feedback, or work
                                                         of one’s practice to an evidence-based
     toward meeting professional practice goals.
                                                         professional conversation in which the teacher
     Teachers who observe their own practice are
                                                         has the opportunity to reflect on and self-
     able to set goals based on their actual
                                                         assess his or her practice. This kind of learner-
     performance and directly connect the
                                                         centered conversation is more likely to lead to
     standards to their everyday work.
                                                         improvement in practice. As Garmston and
                                                         Wellman (2009) argue, dialogue between an
     Evaluation Promotes Learning                        evaluator and a teacher is ideally reflective and
     Through Evidence-Based                              leads to shared meaning and understanding.

     Feedback                                            However, even in a well-designed evaluation
                                                         system, the feedback that teachers receive
     Well-designed and well-implemented aligned
                                                         can vary. As a study of a pilot evaluation
     evaluation systems that generate teaching
                                                         system in Chicago revealed, although teachers
     effectiveness ensure that teachers receive
                                                         and principals reported that the new evaluation
     sufficient, timely, and accurate evidence-based
                                                         system led them to have conversations that
     feedback on their practice to make positive
                                                         were more focused on important matters of
     changes. Feedback is formative and highly
                                                         instruction than their previous non-standards-
     focused with the potential to shape teaching
                                                         based system, the researchers found that
     (Goe et al., 2012; Hill & Herlihy, 2011).
                                                         the feedback conversations tended to be
     In most teacher evaluation systems, the             dominated by the principal. Only 10 percent
     opportunity for feedback tends to occur as          of the questions principals asked of teachers
     the evaluator, usually a principal or teacher       reflected high expectations for teachers or
     leader, and a teacher engage in professional        required deep reflection about instructional
     conversations during a preobservation or            practice (Sartain et al., 2011). Rarely did
     postobservation conference that is part of a        the principal or teacher push each other’s
     formal evaluation process. These conversations      interpretations of the situation.
     typically focus on teaching with respect to
                                                         Nevertheless, basing the conversations on
     the evaluator’s assessment of the teacher’s
                                                         evidence collected during the observation
     practice using the evaluation standards and
                                                         helped reduce subjectivity and improved
     tools. The evidence the principal collects during
                                                         teachers’ ability to reflect on their practice:
     an observation (e.g., the number of students
     who were doodling in their notebooks, the               One administrator explained that having
     questions the teacher asked, or the percentage          evidence made “it easier to talk about
     of time the students spent in non-accountable           the good and the bad.” Evidence-based
     talk) is the basis for these conversations. For         observations also helped to remove some
     example, rather than the principal telling the          of the emotion from the evaluation process.
     teacher, “You only asked lower-order thinking           When talking to teachers who were unhappy
     questions,” the principals can say, “I wrote            with their ratings, or who had received
     down all the questions you asked during                 Unsatisfactory ratings, one administrator
Research & Policy Brief                  13

    said, “You will have enough evidence to             evaluators on deliberate practice of skills,
    support what you’re saying.” Evidence-              which can lead to the development of expert
    based feedback during postconferences               performance (Ericsson, 2006). Thus, teachers
    gave teachers “the opportunity to look at           need other opportunities for job-embedded
    themselves and what their performance truly         professional learning and feedback.
    looked like.” (Sartain et al., 2011, p. 23)
                                                        Although the evidence-based feedback teachers
Teachers need to be supported by their                  receive through the evaluation process from
principals or other instructional leaders in            their principal or evaluator can be a powerful
analyzing and reflecting on their own practice          learning experience, evaluators are not the
and learning from feedback. Supporting                  only ones who can provide feedback. More
teachers in this way is not a simple skill              frequent and thus potentially more educative
for principals or teacher leaders to learn.             evidence-based feedback can come from
Evaluator training tends to focus on how to             peers in a professional learning community,
collect appropriate evidence and make reliable          from a trained coach or mentor, and from a
and valid judgments or ratings about the                collaborative examination and reflection on
quality of teaching based on the evidence               student work.
against the standard, rather than on how to
                                                        “Elbow coaching,” an approach in which coaches
engage in professional conversations that
                                                        teach elbow-to-elbow with the teacher in the
facilitate teacher learning from the evidence
                                                        classroom, is an emerging method for providing
and those judgments (Hill & Herlihy, 2011).
                                                        the immediate feedback that teachers need to
Focusing on data collection and ratings is
                                                        improve their practice. In this model, the coach
difficult enough (e.g., Bill & Melinda Gates
                                                        models a practice or teaches five minutes or
Foundation, 2012), but focusing exclusively on
                                                        so of a lesson, so the teacher can see excellent
those factors limits the power of evaluation to
                                                        practice in action (Johnson, 2012) and
generate greater teaching effectiveness.
                                                        immediately try it as he or she resumes teaching
More evaluation systems are beginning to provide        the class. As Johnson notes, this “real-time,
training for their evaluators and instructional         bite-sized” feedback is potentially more powerful
leaders in how to embed evidence-based                  than coaching sessions in which “after
feedback in professional conversations that             observing a lesson, a coach might say to the
support reflection and self-assessment (See             teacher, ‘now what I would have done is ….’”
Practical Examples on the TED System,                   Such coaching has an additional benefit to
Montgomery County Public Schools’ System,               students because they receive instruction
and the IMPACT System on pages 22–25 for                directly from expert teachers and the student-
varied approaches to such training).                    teacher ratio is reduced by half (National
                                                        Institute for Excellence in Teaching, 2012).
Job-Embedded Professional Learning                      Teachers in the TAP program are evaluated four
to Support Learning From Evidence-                      to six times per year, after which they engage in
Based Feedback                                          a 40-minute postobservation conference during
                                                        which the teacher and instructional leader
The opportunities for observation and feedback
                                                        discuss “area of reinforcement” and one “area
in formal evaluation systems vary, occurring as
                                                        of refinement” tied to specific indicators on the
rarely as once every three years for tenured
                                                        TAP rubric (National Institute for Excellence in
teachers in some districts, to two or three times
                                                        Teaching, 2012). Still, TAP leaders recognize
per year in other districts, and as often as five
                                                        that to genuinely improve teaching, follow-up
times per year in a few districts (e.g., the District
                                                        coaching is needed to help teachers refine their
of Columbia). In short, teachers have limited
                                                        teaching practice in the targeted areas.
opportunities to receive feedback from
14   Research & Policy Brief

     Evaluation Promotes Learning                        colleagues in the following ways (Alter &
                                                         Coggshall, 2009):
     Through the Assessment of
                                                         yy Analyzing the impact of their practice on
     Professional Learning and                              student learning
     Collaboration                                       yy Engaging in reflection on their practice
     Hill and Herlihy (2011) make a valid and            yy Adapting their practice as a result of their
     important point when they state, “the reform           deep reflection
     of the teacher evaluation system will see its       yy Actively collaborating with colleagues in this
     chief successes not through carrots and                learning process
     sticks, but through providing teachers with
     information about their performance and             In addition to taking these actions, teachers
     means for improvement” (p. 5). However, one         need to develop a disposition for ongoing
     way to establish an expectation that teachers       analysis of the impact of their instruction on
     engage meaningfully in structured and               student learning and the reflection on their
     facilitated job-embedded professional learning      practice in an effort to continuously increase
     with the collective purpose of enhancing            their effectiveness. As the research on teacher
     student learning may be by measuring such           learning implies, teachers need to develop a
     engagement as part of teachers’ final               habit of asking such questions as “How did my
     evaluation “score.”                                 instruction impact my students’ learning of this
                                                         content?” “What might I need to do next?” “How
     Doing so in a way that promotes true learning       might I improve upon this lesson in the future?”
     rather than mere compliance will be a change        “What more might I need to learn?” Then, they
     for many evaluation systems. Despite the need       need to adjust their practice based on what they
     for teachers to learn in practice (as suggested     have learned. These indicators of professional
     by Ball & Cohen, 1999), as well as from             learning are integral to achieving the levels of
     deliberate practice (as suggested by Dunn &         competency defined by established professional
     Shriner, 1999 and Ericsson, 2006), most             teaching standards (as shown in Table 1) and to
     evaluation systems place little, if any, emphasis   impact student learning.
     on teachers’ responsibilities for professional
     learning and collaboration. Even when such          Sources of Evidence for
     responsibilities are included as performance        Measuring Learning
     expectations (as shown in Table 1), the
     collection and analysis of evidence of teachers’    There are several factors to consider when
     continuous learning is rarely as rigorous as it     selecting sources of evidence of teacher
     is for other domains of practice. Including         engagement in learning and collaboration. Goe
     professional learning and collaboration in          et al., and Croft (2012) offer five general
     evaluation in a much more focused way could         criteria to assist developers when making
     provide the necessary impetus for districts to      decisions about which measures to include in
     establish collaborative cultures for continuous     their evaluation systems (p. 6):
     improvement and to institute the structures and     yy “Measures are directly and explicitly aligned
     supports necessary to support job-embedded             with teaching standards. This alignment
     professional learning.                                 ensures that what is valued most is being
                                                            measured and what is expected is
     Professionals take charge of their own growth          unambiguous.
     and development by constantly seeking to
                                                         yy “Measures include protocols and
     strengthen teaching effectiveness and the
                                                            processes that teachers can examine
     quality of their teaching and that of their
                                                            and comprehend. Evaluation that makes
Research & Policy Brief                  15

   sense to teachers will be more meaningful       teacher’s strengths and weaknesses across
   and have a greater impact.                      time and in different contexts. For example,
yy “Measures allow teachers to participate in      evidence provided by the analysis of teacher
   or co-construct the evaluation. Collecting      artifacts also should be aligned with and
   evidence on themselves encourages               validated by different measures, such as the
   reflection on practice and empowers             conclusions and evidence provided in a
   teachers to be proactive in their evaluation.   classroom observation using a rubric (Clare
yy “Measures allow teachers opportunities          & Aschbacher, 2001; Matsumura et al.,
   to discuss the results with evaluators,         2006; New York State United Teachers,
   administrators, colleagues, teacher             2011a, 2011b).
   learning communities, mentors, and
                                                   Table 2 provides a summary of the measures
   coaches. Active intellectual engagement
                                                   of professional learning and collaboration
   leads to deeper learning.
                                                   that can be used in an evaluation system.
yy “Measures align with professional               The following list of sources of evidence is
   development offerings. The type of data
                                                   not intended to be exhaustive. Rather it
   collected lends itself to informed
                                                   represents the sources most often cited in
   professional development decisions.”
                                                   the literature and conducive to job-embedded
In addition to concerns about validity and         professional learning (Danielson, 2011b; Goe
reliability, the selection of evidence also        et al., 2008; Goe et al., 2011; Goe et al., 2012;
should be based on public credibility—             Hillsborough County Public Schools, 2011;
teachers need to see the evidence as               New York State United Teachers, 2011a,
reasonable and appropriate (Goe, Bell,             2011b; Peine, 2008). Examples from actual
& Little, 2008). The sources of evidence           teacher evaluation systems are provided for
described in this section are potentially          each source.
very credible. Each can be viewed and valued
as an integral element of the learning process
in which teachers are engaged. Each source
facilitates and evaluates at least one of the
skills of analysis, reflection, adaptation, and
ongoing collaboration, with some evaluating
more than one indicator.

Finally, no one piece of evidence can provide
all of the information needed to accurately
measure teacher effectiveness (Goe et al.,
2012). Using multiple measures of teacher
learning and collaboration can provide a
safeguard against false positives (i.e.,
instances in which teachers are able to
demonstrate what they are capable of but
not necessarily what they do every day).
Triangulation adds rigor to the evaluation by
providing a more holistic picture of a
16   Research & Policy Brief

     Table 2. Measuring Professional Learning and Collaboration

     Indicators of Teacher        Sources of Evidence/         Assessment of the              Examples of Measures in
     Learning and                 Documentation                Evidence (Measurement)         Use in Teacher Evaluation
     Collaboration

     Teachers analyze the         yyActivity logs              yyRubrics with scoring         yyNewport News Public
     impact of their practice     yyArtifact analysis            criteria                       Schools
     on student learning.         yyClassroom observations,    yyStandards-based              yyHillsborough Teacher
     yyTeachers analyze what        including preobservation     template for collecting        Evaluation Instrument
       students’ performances       and postobservation          evidence                     yyPittsburgh RISE Rubric
       suggest about their          conferences                yyProtocols with scoring       yyTeacher Education and
       teaching.                  yyPortfolios                   criteria                       Development (TED)
     yyTeachers analyze the                                                                   yyMontgomery County
       effect of their                                                                          Public Schools Teacher
       professional learning on                                                                 Professional Growth Plan
       student learning.                                                                        (MCPS TPGS )
                                                                                              yyTeacher and Student
                                                                                                Advancement (TAP)

     Teachers reflect on their    yyArtifact analysis          yyRubrics with scoring         yyTED
     practice.                    yyWritten reflections as       criteria                     yyMCPS TPGS
     yyTeachers consider what       part of a professional     yyStandards-based              yyHillsborough Teacher
       they might do next based     portfolio of evidence        template for collecting        Evaluation
       on their analysis.         yyProfessional growth          evidence                     yyTAP
     yyTeachers consider how to     plans
       make adjustments to
       future instruction based
       on their analyses.

     Teachers adapt practices     yyActivity logs              yyRubrics with scoring         yyTED
     based on their               yyArtifact analysis            criteria                     yyMCPS TPGS
     reflections.                 yyObservations               yyRubrics with scoring         yyTAP
     yyTeachers adjust their      yyPortfolios with logs,        criteria
       practices to meet the        commentary, and artifact   yyStandards-based
       learning needs of all        analysis                     template for collecting
       students.                                                 evidence
                                  yyProfessional growth
                                    plans

     Teachers actively engage     yyArtifact analysis          yyFrequency scales (did        yyDistrict of Columbia
     in collaboration.            yyPortfolios with logs and     not find this for activity     IMPACT
     yyTeachers actively            commentary                   logs)                        yyMCPS TPGS
       participate on teams                                    yyRubrics with scoring
                                  yyActivity logs•                                            yyNewport News Public
       and/or in professional                                    criteria
                                  yyObservations of                                             Schools
       learning communities.        professional learning                                     yyTED
     yyTeachers maintain            communities, coaching                                     yyTAP
       positive relationships       sessions
       with colleagues.
Research & Policy Brief                    17

Activity Logs. An activity log of teachers’          be focused on populating the activity log and
professional learning experiences and                diverted from teaching. Finally, the use of activity
their involvement as members of learning             logs as evidence assumes that what teachers
communities or instructional teams is one            report is accurate and not fabricated or
source of evidence used to measure teachers’         enhanced. Triangulating results with artifacts
analysis, reflection, and collaboration. Logs        helps corroborate teachers’ self-reports.
provide structure for documenting teachers’
                                                     Artifact Analysis. An artifact typically refers to
commitment to significant, ongoing professional
                                                     a product resulting from teachers’ work such
learning. A teacher’s log often reflects multiple
                                                     as lesson or unit plans, teacher assignments,
years of professional learning to document his
                                                     student work samples, teacher-created
or her commitment to continuous improvement.
                                                     assessments, scoring rubrics, and video clips or
Teachers might have numerous professional
                                                     slideshows. The artifact is usually collected and
learning experiences in a year, so they need to
                                                     analyzed by the teacher, and both the artifact
be very discerning in selecting what to include.
                                                     and analysis are shared with the evaluator. The
Teachers’ activity logs typically include            artifact analysis can be designed to provide
detailed descriptions of their significant           evidence of professional learning in terms of
learning opportunities, an analysis of the           analysis, reflection, and alignment with teaching
significance of the new learning on their            standards. In MCPS’s Teacher Professional
practice, and a summary of the impact of             Growth System, several artifacts are listed as
their new practice on their students’ learning.      possible sources of data beyond classroom
In addition, teachers also may be asked to           observations for the evaluation of each standard
provide artifacts as validation of their             (See Practical Examples).
participation in the activities (e.g., letters
                                                     Although the analysis of artifacts can be
from administrators indicating participation,
                                                     conducted by the individual teacher, pairs or
study team minutes) and the impact on their
                                                     groups of teachers can work collaboratively
practice (e.g., a newly developed resource, a
                                                     to complete the analysis. Little’s (2003)
lesson plan). (A richer description of artifacts
                                                     review of school-based initiatives that include
is provided in the following subsection).
                                                     examination of student work found that
The Newport News (Virginia) Public Schools’          analyzing student work in groups cultivates
second-year teacher evaluation system, for           professional communities that are willing and
example, requires teachers to describe the           able to inquire into practice. Matsumara and
professional development in which they               Pascal (2003) support collaborative
participated and explain how it helped them          professional learning based on classroom
meet their established growth goals as well          assignments and corresponding student work
as how their learning impacted their students’       samples. According to Goe et al. (2012),
learning. Similarly, the TED system and MCPS         classroom artifacts are a promising measure
TPGS ask teachers to log their professional          that supports professional learning and can
development activities (See Practical Examples).     be used to evaluate teacher effectiveness.

Although activity logs provide evidence of factors   To help ensure validity and reliability, artifact
that affect teaching and that an evaluator may       analysis should be guided by a structured
not be able to observe, they require considerable    protocol or template that has been tested by
time for teachers to keep frequent and detailed      several users. Protocols guide conversations,
accounts of their professional learning. State       providing educators with a schedule and
and district leaders considering activity logs as    structure for engaging in dialogue and offering
part of an evaluation system also should be          formative feedback based on the analysis of
aware of the potential for teachers’ attention to    and reflection on artifacts. Protocols also
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