Quaboag teacher Billie Moberg (right) reviews her student survey results with Principal Colleen Mucha.

Learning from Our Students

Surveys offer performance feedback to teachers

Most teachers are accustomed to feedback from principals and coaches, but some have started hearing from the people who know them best: students. Last year, over a million K–12 students took surveys developed by educational services companies to rate how well their teachers teach, and many others took locally developed surveys. A growing number of states and districts allow the use of these surveys as part of teacher evaluation systems, and a few even require their use. For example, student surveys account for 5 percent of teachers’ evaluation scores in Memphis and for 15 percent in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Continue

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Turning Conventional Wisdom on Its Head: Public Schools Outperform Private Schools

Market forces based on concepts of competition, choice, autonomy, and financial incentives applied to public education will improve learning outcomes. This formula for educational improvement, popularized as long ago as 1990 with the publication of Chubb and Moe’s Politics, Markets and America’s Schools, appears to reflect conventional wisdom today. In fact, these beliefs have gained momentum with the advent of No Child Left Behind, the growth of charter school legislation across the country, and the initiatives reflected in the federal Race to the Top requirements and incentives. Continue

Recommended Reading

From Harvard Education Press:

Something in Common

Robert Rothman, foreword by Governor James B. Hunt, Jr.

Spotlight on Technology in Education

Edited by Nancy Walser, foreword by Will Richardson

Inside School Turnarounds

Laura Pappano, foreword by Karin Chenoweth

Strategic Priorities for School Improvement

Edited by Caroline T. Chauncey, foreword by Robert B. Schwartz

Spotlight on Student Engagement, Motivation, and Achievement

Edited by Caroline T. Chauncey and Nancy Walser