Staffing for Success: Linking Teacher Evaluation and School Personnel Management in Practice


Benjamin Master

Year of Publication: 

Teacher evaluation is at the center of current education policy reform. Most evaluation systems rely at least in part on principals’ assessments of teachers, and their discretionary judgments carry substantial weight. However, we know relatively little about what they value when determining evaluations and high stakes personnel decisions. I leverage unique data from a public charter school district to explore the extent to which school administrators’ formative evaluations of teachers align with teacher and school effectiveness and predict future personnel decisions. While previous research has examined administrators’ subjective evaluations of teachers in surveys and in practice, this study links a detailed evaluation instrument in practice with different types of personnel decisions to provide new insights into administrator decision-making. The results indicate that formative mid-year ratings – shared by administrators with teachers – are strongly associated with end-of-year dismissal and promotion decisions. I use an exploratory factor analysis to identify four distinct components of administrators’ feedback to teachers and show that different components predict different types of personnel decisions in schools. I also find that different teacher evaluation factors are associated with individual versus school-wide student achievement gains. The results suggest the importance of accounting for multiple aspects of teacher performance in evaluation systems that are meant to inform multiple types of personnel decisions.

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APA Citation

Master, B. (2012). Staffing for Success: Linking Teacher Evaluation and School Personnel Management in Practice.