Research

Teacher Evaluation in Practice: Year 3 Teacher and Administrator Perceptions of REACH

August, 2016
Authors: 
Susan E. Sporte and Jennie Y. Jiang

Three years after the launch of Chicago’s redesigned teacher evaluation system, REACH Students, most teachers and administrators continue to report they believe REACH has the potential to improve instruction and student learning, and they remain negative about the use of student growth in evaluations.  Using survey data from 2014-15, the report finds that 61 percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed they were satisfied with the evaluation system.  In addition, over 60 percent of teachers and over 80 percent of administrators agreed or strongly agreed REACH will lead to better instruction and improved student learning.  A majority of teachers continue to favor observations over student growth as measures of performance. Seventy-six percent of teachers perceive classroom observations as a fair way to evaluate their performance.  Meanwhile, 72 percent disagree or strongly disagree that value-added measures are a fair way to evaluate performance.

 Key findings from the report include:

  • Most teachers feel their evaluators are fair and able to accurately assess their practice. Seventy-one percent of teachers responded ‘to a great extent’ when asked if their evaluator was fair and unbiased, and if their evaluator was able to accurately assess their performance.
  • Teachers and administrators feel the observation process encourages reflection and improvements in practice. Ninety percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed the observation process has encouraged them to reflect on their practice, and 88 percent reported it has changed their teaching. Seventy-seven percent of administrators report most or all of their teachers have incorporated the feedback into their teaching and 60 percent of administrators report most or all of their teachers have made noticeable improvements over the year.
  • Teachers and administrators continue to report the evaluation system increases stress. Teachers and administrators continue to report that REACH has increased their levels of stress and anxiety. Seventy-seven percent of teachers and 68 percent of administrators agree or strongly agree the evaluation process has increased their own level of stress and anxiety.

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