Nation's Schools Failing to Assess Teacher Effectiveness, Treating Teachers as Interchangeable Parts, Says Grantee Report

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Study Describes “Widget Effect,” Which Prevents Schools From Recognizing Excellence, Providing Support, Or Removing Ineffective Teachers

America’s schools operate in a policy environment that assumes all teachers are the same, according to a comprehensive study by The New Teacher Project (TNTP), a national nonprofit supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York and dedicated to ensuring that all students get excellent teachers. Though a teacher’s effectiveness is singularly important to student success, schools do not distinguish great teaching from good, good from fair, or fair from poor, and a teacher’s effectiveness in helping students to succeed academically almost never factors into critical decisions such as how teachers are hired, developed or retained.

This pervasive indifference to teacher performance is fundamentally disrespectful to teachers and gambles with the lives of students. It means that excellent teaching goes unrecognized, hard-working teachers who could improve are ignored, and poor performance goes unaddressed.

The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness is the product of an extensive and collaborative research effort to quantify this fundamental problem and offer solutions for school districts and policymakers.

 Read the press release or report.