Working Paper: How Much Are Districts Spending to Implement Teacher Evaluation Systems?

Jay Chambers, Iliana Brodziak de los Reyes, and Caitlin O’Neil

AIR is working with RAND to evaluate the strategic human capital reform efforts of three school districts and a cluster of charter management organizations identified by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of its Partnership Sites to Empower Effective Teaching initiative.

The working paper contains preliminary findings that have not been formally reviewed, but the authors say the sustainability of these reforms relies on the ability of the districts to get continued buy-in from all stakeholders and to integrate and align reform activities across many facets of the organizations, creating a new way of “doing business” rather than trying to maintain the initiatives as an “add-­on” to the old way of working. Sustaining the reforms may also depend on the ability of the districts to become more efficient in the way they create better results for students. Teacher evaluation systems should allow districts to identify the better-­qualified staff for purposes of retention. They should also be better able to identify staff needs and help to improve performance through targeted professional development programs. Both of these factors could save money in the long run that could be used to support the teacher evaluation systems.

The evaluation began in July 2010 and collected its first wave of data during the 2010-2011 school year. A final report will be produced in 2017. The intent of the working paper is to foster conversation and feedback to help focus future data, analysis, and reporting.