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IES Grant

Title: National Center for Teacher Effectiveness: Validating Measures of Effective Math Teaching
Center: NCER Year: 2009
Principal Investigator: Kane, Thomas Awardee: President and Fellows of Harvard College, Graduate School of Education
Program: National Research and Development Centers      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years Award Amount: $9,997,888
Goal: Multiple Goals Award Number: R305C090023
Description: National Center for Teacher Effectiveness: Validating Measures of Effective Math Teaching

Topic: Teacher Effectiveness

Purpose:  The National Center for Teacher Effectiveness: Validating Measures of Effective Math Teaching will identify practices and characteristics that distinguish between more and less effective teachers and will use this information to develop a suite of empirically validated and practical instruments that can be used by school districts to select, deploy, and retain more effective teachers. While focusing on math instruction in grades 4 and 5, the Center will have four primary goals:

  • to unify the disparate strands of research for teacher effectiveness, combining "value-added" measures based on student achievement gains with a close study of the features of effective teachers and teaching;
  • to develop a suite of empirically validated instruments for measuring teacher effectiveness;
  • to operationalize the measures and ensure that they are usable in the field;
  • to externally validate the measure of teacher effectiveness against student achievement.

Supplemental Studies
A secondary goal is to work cooperatively with the Institute to formulate and carry out the results of supplementary research studies that are responsive to the needs of education practitioners and policy makers. Topics include determining why teacher effects fade out and examining whether participation in teacher evaluation systems improves teacher effectiveness.

Other Activities
The Center will host a national conference of researchers and practitioners interested in teacher evaluation and teacher effectiveness.

Key Personnel: Thomas J. Kane and Heather Hill, Harvard Graduate School of Education;
Douglas O. Staiger, John French Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College

Center Website:

IES Program Contact: Wai-Ying Chow
Telephone: (202) 219-0326

Publications from this project:

Journal Articles

Herlihy, C., Karger, E., Pollard, C., Hill, H.C., Kraft, M.A., Williams, M. and Howard, S. (in press). State and Local Efforts to Investigate the Validity and Reliability of Scores from Teacher Evaluation Systems. Teachers College Record.

Hill, H.C., Charalambous, C. Y. and Kraft, M. (2012). When Rater Reliability is not Enough: Observational Systems and a Case for the G-study. Educational Researcher, 41(2), 56–64.

Hill, H.C., Charalambous, C. Y., McGinn, D., Blazar, D., Beisiegel, M., Humez, A. Kraft, M., Litke, E. and Lynch, K. (2012). Validating Arguments for Observational Instruments: Attending to Multiple Sources of Variation. Educational Assessments, 17(2–3), 88–106.

Hill, H.C., and Grossman, P. (2013). Learning from Teacher Observations: Challenges and Opportunities Posed by New Teacher Evaluation Systems.Harvard Educational Review,83 (2), 371–384.

Staiger, D. O. and Rockoff, J. E. (2010). Searching for Effective Teachers with Imperfect Information. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24 (3): 97–117.

Taylor, E. S., & Tyler, J. H. (2012). The Effect of Evaluation on Teacher Performance.The American Economic Review,102 (7), 3628–3651.

Working Papers

Cascio, E.U. and Staiger, D.O. (2012). Knowledge, Tests, and Fadeout in Educational Interventions (No. w18038). National Bureau of EconomicResearch.

Taylor, E. S., and Tyler, J.H. (2011). The Effect of Evaluation on Teacher Performance: Evidence from Longitudinal Student Achievement Data of Mid-career Teachers. NBER Working Paper #16877. Retrieved March 2011: