Education Drivers

Performance Feedback

Performance feedback is a practice used to improve performance. Principals give feedback to teachers to clarify expectations and to provide information for increasing administrative, instructional, behavior management, and personal competency skills. More than seven meta-analyses conducted since 1980 support feedback as one of the most powerful tools for improving performance. To deliver useful feedback, principals need current and accurate information on student performance and a teacher's instructional skills. Research finds that principals depend on unreliable sources of data such as “walk-throughs,” brief informal observations that provide snapshots of classroom activities but are not designed for performance improvement. Principals should replace traditional walk-throughs with more effective feedback practices, such as coaching, that are better suited to improving specific teaching skills. For the best results, feedback must meet these four conditions: (1) It is objective, reliable, measureable, and specific; (2) it provides information about what was done well, what needs improvement, and how to improve; (3) it is delivered frequently and immediately following performance; and (4) it is about performance rather than personal characteristics.

Performance Feedback Overview

Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2019). Overview of Performance Feedback. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/principal-evaluation-feedback.

Teacher effectiveness has been a persistent concern in education (Greenwood & Maheady, 1997; Scheeler, Ruhl, & McAfee, 2004). As evidence emerges about which teaching practices are most effective, it is important to help all teachers develop and strengthen their instructional efficacy. Fortunately, there is consensus about which teaching practices have the most consistent positive impact in general education (e.g., Ellis, Worthington, & Larkin, 1994; National Reading Panel, 2000) and special education (e.g., Albers & Greer, 1991; Carnine, Silbert, & Kame’enui, 1997; Ysseldyke, Algozzine, & Thorlow, 2000).

Teachers require professional development to improve their effectiveness and strengthen their ability to implement evidence-based practices (EBPs), or practices proven effective in advancing student knowledge and skills across multiple settings (Domitrovich, Gest, Jones, Gill, & Sanford DeRousie, 2010). In general, teachers face challenges learning, using, and sustaining new practices (Hemmeter, Snyder, Kinder, & Artman, 2011; Mesa, Lewis-Palmer, & Reinke, 2005). Given these challenges, professional development is particularly important as more schools work to successfully implement EBPs (Domitrovich et al., 2010). Performance feedback is one method of providing teachers with the skills necessary to implement effective instructional strategies (Scheeler et al., 2004).

This overview examines the current understanding of research on performance feedback as a way to improve teacher performance and student outcomes. 

Defining Performance Feedback

Learning is a process that occurs constantly in classrooms and professional development settings. Within that process, feedback is the practice element at the core of many established practices such as active student responding and formative assessment. However, when learners do not receive feedback or when feedback is vague, the translation of learning into actual performance is not clear. The more specific the feedback a performer (teacher or student) receives, the better the performance (States, 2019).

            Within a clearly defined target behavior, performance feedback is a way to show a person his or her current performance level as well as how it relates to previous performance and the goal (Mortenson & Witt, 1998). In schools, feedback that incorporates data-based information about a specific, observable behavior is given to teachers to improve the delivery of an instructional practice (Scheeler et al., 2004; Solomon, Klein, & Politylo, 2012). It is information (e.g., quantitative data, descriptive feedback) about an aspect of teaching behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007).

            As an aspect of professional development, performance feedback typically follows instruction on the behavior such as a training session (Scheeler et al., 2004) and can be adapted to meet the needs of the teacher and context (e.g., Kaiser, Ostrosky, & Alpert, 1993; Mudd & Wolery, 1987). For example, it can be provided via email to teachers who had demonstrated mastery with a practice and in person to teachers who would benefit from conversation about an instructional strategy.

            Performance feedback can be provided in various forms including the following (Scheeler et al., 2004):

  • Corrective feedback (identifies errors and provides ways to correct them)
  • Noncorrective feedback (identifies errors but does not correct them)
  • General feedback (nonspecific)
  • Specific feedback (objective information about a behavior)
  • Positive feedback (praise contingent on the demonstration of a desirable behavior)

Performance feedback has been organized into various aspects (Van Houton, 1980):

  • Type of feedback given (e.g., the content of the feedback, the information collected)
  • Method of delivery (e.g., in person, audio, video)
  • Frequency and timing of feedback (immediate or delayed)
  • Person delivering the feedback (supervisor or peer).

In this overview, performance feedback is the feedback given to teachers on established EBPs.

How Does Performance Feedback Fit Into Teacher Development ?

Professional development is intended to improve teacher practice and subsequently student outcomes (Yoon, Duncan, Scarloss, & Shapley, 2007). It is incorporated into the practice of coaching teachers, which often involves training and modeling a practice, observing a teacher using the practice, and providing feedback (Yoon et al., 2007). Performance feedback is a key aspect of coaching that has been shown to produce changes in teacher behavior (Kretlow & Bartholomew, 2010).

Why Is Performance Feedback Important?

Performance feedback is proving to be more effective than other interventions in improving teacher practice. For example, performance feedback has a greater effect size (ES)—0.73—than interventions such as charter schools (0.21), smaller class size (0.21), increased spending (0.08), and high-stakes testing (0.08; States, 2019).

Performance feedback may demonstrate positive impacts because of how performance feedback aligns with effective instructional methods that involve modeling a skill followed by practice with feedback. When teachers are asked to learn and implement new practices, they need support to implement those practices with fidelity. Frequent, specific feedback provides teachers with the information they require to improve practice. For example, in a single case design study in a middle school classroom, when a teacher was provided with real-time visual performance feedback, for example, showing a graph of student praise provided during a lesson, the amount of positive feedback the teacher provided to students (the desired behavior) increased. The amount of positive behavior by students also increased (Sweigert, Landrum, & Pennington, 2015).

Research on Performance Feedback

There are decades of research on performance feedback. Scheeler et al. (2004) reviewed 10 studies that involved nine in-service and 199 pre-service teachers from the 1970s to the early 2000s that examined the impact of at least one aspect of feedback. Across the studies, various types of feedback (e.g., general, corrective) were incorporated. When teachers received feedback on a behavior (e.g., increasing the use of positive feedback or decreasing “um” and “like” during instruction), that behavior increased or decreased depending on the feedback.

The results from these 10 studies indicated that positive, specific, and corrective feedback produced changes in teacher behavior, specifically an increase in the use of specific teaching behaviors. When feedback was given immediately, teachers acquired new behaviors faster and with greater accuracy. Feedback provided by supervisors and peers was equally effective in increasing effective teaching behaviors and decreasing unwanted behaviors (Scheeler et al., 2004).

            In another study (Noell, Witt, Gilbertson, Ranier, & Freeman, 1997), teachers were provided with daily feedback on their implementation of an academic intervention for three 3rdgrade students. The teachers demonstrated high levels of treatment fidelity for the initial 2 to 4 days, after which the fidelity decreased. The use of feedback and the subsequent increased fidelity improved performance for two of the three students.

In another study (Mortenson & Witt, 1998), four teachers were provided with feedback on their use of a reinforcer-based classroom intervention. The focus of the feedback was to increase the fidelity of implementation. Teacher implementation improved in three of the four teachers. Student data did improve but was more variable than teacher improvement.

In a study that focused on teachers’ use of behavior-specific praise for six students (Reinke, Lewis-Palmer, & Merrell, 2007), feedback was given using a visual representation to teachers. The performance feedback produced an increase in behavior-specific praise from teachers relative to baseline, and there was some generalization as teachers increased their use of behavior-specific praise. After the intervention, teachers exhibited more praise than baseline (before the intervention), but at lower rates than during the intervention.

In another study (Hemmeter et al., 2011), data-based performance feedback was delivered via email with a focus on increasing preschool teachers’ use of descriptive praise. When teachers received training and email feedback, they demonstrated an increase in using descriptive praise and a decrease in challenging the behaviors of preschoolers.

Solomon et al. (2012) studied the impact of performance feedback on implementation fidelity. Findings indicated that performance feedback was moderately effective in increasing teacher fidelity in implementing an EBP after it was introduced. In addition, performance feedback was a way to stem any decrease in fidelity after training.

Targeted reading instruction, an intervention that uses one-on-one instructional reading skill lessons, uses teacher coaching as professional development in the strategy. Virtual or in-person coaching is used to provide feedback and problem solve around student concerns (Vernon-Faegans et al., 2012). Students who received this intervention scored higher in reading skills than those who did not (Amendum, Vernon-Feagans, & Ginsburg, 2011; Vernon-Faegans et al., 2012).

Finally, a study by Rock et al. (2104) of bug-in-ear eCoaching, that involved providing real-time feedback using technology, examined the practices of 14 teachers at multiple points in time (before coaching, during coaching, and 2 years afterward). Two years after the initial feedback sessions, teachers had maintained their improvements.

Synthesis: What We Know

This research tells us that specific, positive, corrective feedback leads immediately to positive changes in teacher behavior (Scheeler et al., 2004). Also, performance feedback is an established way to support teacher implementation of new skills in a classroom setting (Hemmeter et al., 2011; Solomon et al., 2012) and to maintain that impact over time (Rock et al., 2014).

When performance feedback is incorporated consistently into teacher professional development, it can produce gains in student achievement (e.g., Vernon-Faegans et al., 2012). And when performance feedback is provided for specific tasks (e.g., EBPs), it can improve teacher fidelity or the use of a practice (e.g., Solomon et al., 2012).

What Is the Impact of Performance Feedback on Student Outcomes?

While performance feedback does improve teacher practice, its impact on student outcomes is less evident and consistent (e.g., Scheeler et al., 2004). However, it has been shown to increase on-task behaviors of students. Sutherland, Wehby, and Copeland (2000) investigated the rate of behavior-specific praise given by teachers in classrooms for students with emotional and behavior disabilities. When teachers increased their use of behavior-specific praise, through the use of feedback, student on-task behavior increased from 49% to 86%.

In a study of targeted reading intervention, which included real-time performance feedback for teachers (Vernon-Faegans, Kainz, Hedrick, Ginsburg, & Amendum, 2013), struggling readers who received the intervention improved their reading skills faster than struggling readers who did not receive the intervention (ES = 0.36–0.63 on student academic tests). This indicates that struggling readers that received the intervention significantly outperformed struggling readers in the control groups. Other studies have also shown an impact on student achievement (e.g., Vernon-Faegens et al., 2012), although it is not clear if the difference in progress was related to the intervention or to feedback.

            Currently, additional research needs to be done on the following:

  • Impact of technology advancements on feedback delivery and subsequently on teacher practice and student outcomes
  • Parameters for the most effective feedback in terms of length, duration, and frequency

Implementation Considerations

The research that has been conducted on performance feedback connects feedback to EBPs (e.g., Kretlow & Bartholomew, 2010; Noell et al., 1997; Vernon-Faegans et al., 2013). To this end, it is important to identify and focus on an EBP for performance feedback (Stormont & Reinke, 2013). A general practice or a specific, targeted intervention should be the focus, but whatever is chosen should be an EBP.

            Once an EBP is identified, teachers should be trained in the intervention using explicit instruction that involves modeling, practice, and feedback. Then, feedback should be provided until teachers demonstrate mastery during the training phase and in the classroom setting (Stormont & Reinke, 2013). How feedback is delivered has an impact on outcomes; in one third of the studies on feedback they reviewed, Kluger and DeNisi (1996) found that the feedback had produced a negative result. They also concluded that when the feedback related to the task, the impact on behavior was greater than when the feedback was personal.

            The selection of who will be giving the feedback is important. That person should know both the practice and how to deliver feedback (Showers, 1985; Stormont & Reinke, 2013). One factor to bear in mind when choosing a person are any power considerations. For example, a power dynamic must be considered when feedback is given as part of an evaluation (e.g., a principal providing feedback to a teacher) (Showers, 1985).  

            Finally, performance feedback should be delivered in an effective manner (Stormont & Reinke, 2013). Aspects of effective delivery supported by research include the following:

  • Building rapport: A supportive relationship makes it more likely that teachers will voice concerns and be open to problem solving (Reinke, Herman, & Sprick, 2011)
  • Setting a purpose for the observation: The purpose may be to provide support when a teacher needs it most or to strengthen implementation of a practice in general
  • Identifying data to collect that is
    • oCritical to the intervention being delivered
    • oObservable in the classroom setting
    • oSelected in collaboration with the teacher to identify the most useful data
    • oRelated to student outcomes (e.g., student behaviors, student work)
  • Providing feedback immediately or within 24 hours of the observation
  • Determining the feedback delivery method (e.g., verbally in person, email, written communication, graph or other visual representation of teacher behavior) before the observation
  • Supporting individual teacher skills, personalities, and abilities
  • Establishing sustainable structures, such as peer collection of ongoing data, to ensure that results from performance feedback are maintained over time

When delivering feedback in an email, provide the following information (Hemmeter et al., 2011; Schepis, Reid, Ownbey, & Parsons, 2001):

  • A positive statement about something effective that was observed,
  • Supportive feedback based on what the teacher did correctly,
  • Suggestions for improvement,
  • Request for a response, and
  • A closing positive statement.

Ideally, feedback will be provided weekly or monthly (Casas‐Arce, Lourenço, & Martínez‐Jerez, 2017; Lam, DeRue, Karam, & Hollenbeck, 2011), although timing will differ from teacher to teacher. Teachers with immediate needs may receive more frequent feedback (Barton, Kinder, Casey, & Artman, 2011). For example, a teacher who is implementing a new strategy may need more support than a teacher who is maintaining implementation of the strategy. In addition, teacher characteristics also influence the frequency of feedback (e.g., new teachers may need more feedback than veteran teachers).

As performance feedback is used, it is important to assess the impact in teacher practice and student achievement (Barton et al., 2011). Establish a way to determine whether or not the feedback has been effective (e.g., teacher fidelity of implementation of a strategy, student academic outcomes).

Cost Considerations

Performance feedback can be implemented within a feedback structure that provides for observation and communication (e.g., in-person meeting, email) and fits within a school’s existing structures.

Performance feedback is often part of a broader coaching plan, the cost of which varies depending on district and goals (e.g., the amount to hire a coach versus providing feedback using existing staff). One study (Knight, 2012) found that the average cost-per-teacher for coaching across three schools ranged from $3,620 to $5,220, a cost 6 to 12 times more than traditional professional development. This cost will vary from district to district and may be worthwhile for boosting student outcomes.

Conclusion

Performance feedback is a promising way to build teacher skill and increase teacher use of EBPs, practices that have been shown to improve student achievement. Furthermore, when provided around a task and in real time, performance feedback can impact both academic and functional student behaviors.

Citations

Albers, A. E., & Greer, R. D. (1991). Is the three-term contingency trial a predictor of effective instruction? Journal of Behavioral Education, 1(3),337–254.

Amendum, S. J., Vernon-Feagans, L., & Ginsberg, M. C. (2011). The effectiveness of a technologically facilitated classroom-based early reading intervention. The Elementary School Journal, 112(1), 107–131.

Barton, E. E., Kinder, K., Casey, A. M., & Artman, K. M. (2011). Finding your feedback fit: Strategies for designing and delivering performance feedback systems. Young Exceptional Children, 14(1), 29–46. doi: 10.1177/1096250610395459

Carnine, D. W., Silbert, J., & Kame’enui, E. J. (1997). Direct instruction reading(3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill/Prentice-Hall.

Casas-Arce, P., Lourenço, S. M., Martínez-Jerez, F. A. (2017). The performance effect of feedback frequency and detail: Evidence from a field experiment in customer satisfaction. Journal of Accounting Research, 55,1051–1088.

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Domitrovich, C. E., Gest, S. D., Jones, D., Gill, S., & Sanford DeRousie, R. M. (2010). Implementation quality: Lessons learned in the context of the Head Start REDI trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 284–298.

Ellis, E. S., Worthington, L. A., & Larkin, M. J. (1994). Executive summary of research synthesis on effective teaching principles and the design of quality tools for educators.(Tech. Rep. No. 6). Eugene, OR: University of Oregon, National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators.

Greenwood, C. R., & Maheady, L. (1997). Measurable change in student performance: Forgotten standard in teacher preparation? Teacher Education and Special Education, 20(3),265–275.

Hemmeter, M. L., Snyder, P., Kinder, K., & Artman, K. (2011). Impact of performance feedback delivered via electronic mail on preschool teachers’ use of descriptive praise. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(1), 96–109.

Kaiser, A. P., Ostrosky, M. M., & Alpert, C. L. (1993). Training teachers to use environmental arrangement and milieu teaching with nonvocal preschool children. Journal of the Association for People With Severe Handicaps, 18(3), 188–199.

Kluger, A. N., & DeNisi, A. (1996). The effects of feedback interventions on performance: A historical review, a meta-analysis, and a preliminary feedback intervention theory. Psychological Bulletin, 119(2), 254–284.

Knight, D. S. (2012). Assessing the cost of instructional coaching. Journal of Education Finance, 38(1), 52–80.

Kretlow, A. G., & Bartholomew, C. C. (2010). Using coaching to improve the fidelity of evidence-based practices: A review of studies. Teacher Education and Special Education, 33(4),279–299.

Lam, C. F., Derue, D. S., Karam, E. P., & Hollenbeck, J. R. (2011). The impact of feedback frequency on learning and task performance: Challenging the “more is better” assumption. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 116(2), 217–228.

Mesa, J., Lewis-Palmer, T., & Reinke, W. (2005). Providing teachers with performance feedback on praise to reduce student problem behavior. Beyond Behavior, 15(1), 3–7.

Mortenson, B. P., & Witt, J. C. (1998). The use of weekly performance feedback to increase teacher implementation of a pre referral academic intervention. School Psychology Review, 27(4), 613–627.

Mudd, J. M., & Wolery, M. (1987). Training Head Start teachers to use incidental teaching. Journal of Early Intervention, 11(2), 124–134.

National Reading Panel. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction: Reports of the subgroups(NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.

Noell, G. H., Witt, J. C., Gilbertson, D. N., Ranier, D. D., & Freeland, J. T. (1997). Increasing teacher intervention implementation in general education settings through consultation and performance feedback. School Psychology Quarterly, 12,77–88.

Reinke, W. M., Herman, K. C., & Sprick, R. (2011). Motivational interviewing for effective management: The classroom check-up. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Reinke, W. M., Lewis-Palmer, T., & Martin, E. (2007). The effect of visual performance feedback on teacher behavior-specific praise. Behavior Modifications, 31(3), 247–263.

Rock, M. L., Schumaker, R. E., Gregg, M., Howard, P. W., Gable, R. A., & Zigmond, N. (2014). How are they now? Longer term effects of eCoaching through online bug-in-ear technology. Teacher Education and Special Education, 37(2),161–181.

Scheeler, M. C., Ruhl, K. L., & McAfee, J. K. (2004). Providing performance feedback to teachers: A review. Teacher Education and Special Education, 27(4), 396–407.

Schepis, M. M., Reid, D. H., Ownbey, J. B., & Parsons, M. B. (2001). Training support staff to embed teaching within natural routines of young children with disabilities in an inclusive preschool. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34(2), 313–327.

Showers, B. (1985). Teachers coaching teachers. Educational Leadership, 42(7),43–48.

Solomon, B. G., Klein, S. A., & Politylo, B. C. (2012). The effect of performance feedback on teachers’ treatment integrity: A meta-analysis of the single-case literature. School Psychology Review, 41(2), 160–175.

States, J. (2019, January). Maximizing the effectiveness of teacher evaluation.Paper presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu.

Stormont, M., & Reinke, W. M. (2013). Implementing Tier 2 social behavioral interventions: Current issues, challenges, and promising approaches.Journal of Applied School Psychology, 29(2), 121–125.

Sutherland, K., Wehby, J., & Copeland, S. (2000). Effect on varying rates of behavior-specific praise on the on-task behavior of students with EBD.Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8(1), 2–8.

Sweigart, C. A., Landrum, T. J., & Pennington, R. C (2015). The effect of real-time visual performance feedback on teacher feedback: A preliminary investigation. Education and Treatment of Children, 38(4), 429–450.

Van Houten, R. (1980). Learning through feedback.New York, NY: Human Science Press.

Vernon-Feagans, L., Kainz, K., Amendum, S., Ginsberg, M., Wood, T., & Bock, A. (2012). Targeted reading intervention: A coaching model to help classroom teachers with struggling readers. Learning Disability Quarterly, 35(2), 102–114.

Vernon-Faegans, L., Kainz, K., Hedrick, A., Ginsberg, M., Amendum, S. (2013). Live webcam coaching to help early elementary classroom teachers provide effective literacy instruction for struggling readers: The Targeted Reading Intervention. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(4), 1175–1187.

Ysseldyke, J. E., Algozzine, B.., & Thurlow, M. L. (2000). Critical issues in special education(3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Yoon, K. S., Duncan, T., Lee, S. W.-Y., Scarloss, B., & Shapley, K. (2007). Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement(Issues and Answers Report, REL 2007–No. 033). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/southwest/pdf/REL_2007033.pdf

 

Publications

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Teacher Coaching Overview

Coaching teachers is an established professional development practice in schools and has been a focus of research (Wood, Goodnight, Bethune, Preston, & Cleaver, 2016). Teacher coaching is a method of professional development that incorporates providing feedback and support, often through modeling of a focused practice and classroom observations followed by reflection conversations (Raney & Robbins, 1989; Wesley & Buysse, 2006). The goal is to change teacher behavior with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement.

The purpose of this overview is to provide information about teacher coaching as it is used in schools, the research that examines this practice as a method of teacher professional development, and its impact on student outcomes.

 

Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2018). Overview of Teacher Evaluation. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/teacher-evaluation-teacher-coaching.

 

 

Data Mining

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
How does performance feedback affect the way teachers carry out interventions?
This analysis examined the impact of performance feedback on the quality of implementation of interventions.
Detrich, R. (2015). How does performance feedback affect the way teachers carry out interventions? Retrieved from how-does-performance-feedback.
How often are treatment integrity measures reported in published research?
This analysis examined the frequency that treatment integrity is reported in studies of research-based interventions.
Detrich, R. (2015). How often are treatment integrity measures reported in published research? Retrieved from how-often-are-treatment.
How well are Interventions Implemented in Educational Settings?
This analysis examined two studies to understand the reliability of self-reporting of practitioners implementing interventions.
Detrich, R. (2015). How well are Interventions Implemented in Educational Settings? Retrieved from how-well-are-interventions.
Does Feedback Improve Performance?
This review is a summary of the effect size of the effectiveness feedback to improve both student and teacher performance.
States, J. (2011). Does Feedback Improve Performance? Retrieved from does-feedback-improve-performance.
Does professional development make a difference in student performance?
This analysis looks at a systematic review of teacher professional development on student achievement.
States, J. (2011). Does professional development make a difference in student performance? Retrieved from does-professional-development-make.
What Distinguishes Effective Supervisors From Marginal Supervisors?
This inquiry looks at research on the impact of supervisors and the activities they engage in that most improve staff performance.
States, J. (2011). What Distinguishes Effective Supervisors From Marginal Supervisors? Retrieved from what-distinguishes-effective-supervisors.
How Effective Are Principals in Assessing Teacher Skills?
This is an examination of a tool used for assessing principal's accuracy in determining teacher’s abilities to effectively deliver instruction in a classroom.
States, J. (2012). How Effective Are Principals in Assessing Teacher Skills? Retrieved from how-effective-are-principals.
Can teacher performance pay improve student achievement?
This literature review examines the use of performance compensation as a tool for improving teacher and student performance.
States, J. (2015). Can teacher performance pay improve student achievement? Retrieved from can-teacher-performance-pay.
What evidence do principals rely on in assessing the quality of a teacher’s instruction?
This analysis examines principal sources of information on teacher instructional competency and the amount of time spent assessing teacher's instructional skills.
States, J. (2015). What evidence do principals rely on in assessing the quality of a teacher’s instruction? Retrieved from what-evidence-do-principals.

 

Presentations

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
A Systematic Approach to Data-based Decision Making in Education: Building School Cultures

This paper examines the critical pracitce elements of data-based decision making and strategies for building school cultures to support the process.

Keyworth, R. (2009). A Systematic Approach to Data-based Decision Making in Education: Building School Cultures [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2009-campbell-presentation-randy-keyworth.

Building a Data-based Decision Making Culture through Performance Management

This paper examines the issues, challenges, and opportunities of creating a school culture that uses data systematically in all of its decision making.

Keyworth, R. (2009). Building a Data-based Decision Making Culture through Performance Management [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2008-aba-presentation-randy-keyworth.

A Systematic Approach to Data-based Decision Making in Education

Systematic data-based decision making is critical to insure that educators are able to identify, implement, and trouble shoot evidence-based interventions customized to individual students and needs.

Keyworth, R. (2010). A Systematic Approach to Data-based Decision Making in Education [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2010-hice-presentation-randy-keyworth.

Now What? The Current State of Principal Preparation, Evaluation, and Support
This paper examines the current state of principal development in the context of best practices, including: evidence-based curriculum, well-trained instructors, effective coaching, and ongoing feedback and support.
Keyworth, R. (2015). Now What? The Current State of Principal Preparation, Evaluation, and Support [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2015-calaba-presentation-randy-keyworth.
TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Evaluating Principals: Balancing Accountability with Professional Growth
The goal of this paper is to provide policymakers with recommendations for the design and implementation of strong principal development and evaluation systems. States and local school systems that pursue these ideas can use principal evaluation to drive a powerful vision of principal effectiveness and, by consequence, improve outcomes for all students.
(2010). Evaluating Principals: Balancing Accountability with Professional Growth. New Leaders for New Schools.
Principal Evaluation Handbook
New Leaders has recently published a new principal evaluation model. It includes seven modules: (1) Overview of the New Leaders Principal Evaluation Model, (2) The Principal Evaluation Rubric, (3) Setting a Principal Practice Goal + Strategic Planning, (4) Identifying Evidence, (5) Direct Observation of Principal Practice, (6) Collecting and Mapping Evidence to the Principal Practice Rubric, and (7) Providing Actionable Feedback.
(2012). Principal Evaluation Handbook. New Leaders
Putting Principal Evaluation into Practice
Overview New Leaders has recently published a new principal evaluation model. It includes seven modules: (1) Overview of the New Leaders Principal Evaluation Model, (2) The Principal Evaluation Rubric, (3) Setting a Principal Practice Goal + Strategic Planning, (4) Identifying Evidence, (5) Direct Observation of Principal Practice, (6) Collecting and Mapping Evidence to the Principal Practice Rubric, and (7) Providing Actionable Feedback.
(2012). Putting Principal Evaluation into Practice. New Leaders
Principal Evaluation Rubric
Overview New Leaders has recently published a new principal evaluation model. It includes seven modules: (1) Overview of the New Leaders Principal Evaluation Model, (2) The Principal Evaluation Rubric, (3) Setting a Principal Practice Goal + Strategic Planning, (4) Identifying Evidence, (5) Direct Observation of Principal Practice, (6) Collecting and Mapping Evidence to the Principal Practice Rubric, and (7) Providing Actionable Feedback.
(2012). Putting Principal Evaluation into Practice. New Leaders
Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing

This meta-analysis examined the effects of practice tests versus non-testing learning conditions on student performance. Research demonstrates that students who take practice tests often outperform students in non-testing learning conditions such as restudying, practice, filler activities, or no presentation of the material. Results reveal that practice tests are more beneficial for learning than restudying and all other comparison conditions.

Adesope, O. O., Trevisan, D. A., & Sundararajan, N. (2017). Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing. Review of Educational Research, 0034654316689306.

Instructional Coaching: Professional development strategies that improve instruction

Two key strategies are central to the Annenberg Institute's work on professional development systems: professional learning communities (small groups of teachers, administrators, community members, and others who work together to improve professional practice); and instructional coaching (school-based, educator-led professional learning for groups of teachers in specific content areas). This package includes two publications describing these strategies and what we have learned about using them effectively.

Annenburg Institute for School Reform. (2004). Instructional Coaching: Professional development strategies that improve instruction.Retrieved from: http://www.annenberginstitute.org/publications/professional-development-strategies-professional-learning-communitiesinstructional-coac

 

Do Principals Know Good Teaching When They See It?

This article examines the effectiveness and related issues of current methods of principal evaluation of teachers.

Burns M. (2011). Do Principals Know Good Teaching When They See It?. Educational policy, 19(1), 155-180.

The Performance Effect of Feedback Frequency and Detail: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Customer Satisfaction

This paper presents the results from a field experiment that examines the effects of nonfinancial performance feedback on the behavior of professionals working for an insurance repair company.

Casas‐Arce, P. A. B. L. O., Lourenço, S. M., & MARTÍNEZ‐JEREZ, F. A. (2017). The performance effect of feedback frequency and detail: Evidence from a field experiment in customer satisfaction. Journal of Accounting Research55(5), 1051-1088.

Performance Feedback Overview

This overview examines the current understanding of research on performance feedback as a way to improve teacher performance and student outcomes. 

Cleaver, S., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2019). Overview of Performance Feedback. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/teacher-evaluation-feedback.

Rethinking Leadership: The Changing Role of Principal Supervisors

This report consists of two parts: a survey of 67 public school systems district staff serving as principal supervisors and on-site analysis of six districts pre-service training and support systems for new principals.

Corcoran, A., et al. (2013). Rethinking Leadership: The Changing Role of Principal Supervisors. The Wallace Foundation.

Effects of externally mediated rewards on intrinsic motivation

Conducted 2 laboratory and 1 field experiment with 24, 24, and 8 undergraduates to investigate the effects of external rewards on intrinsic motivation to perform an activity. In each experiment, Ss performed an activity during 3 different periods, and observations relevant to their motivation were made. External rewards were given to the experimental Ss during the 2nd period only, while the control Ss received no rewards. Results indicate that (a) when money was used as an external reward, intrinsic motivation tended to decrease; whereas (b) when verbal reinforcement and positive feedback were used, intrinsic motivation tended to increase. Discrepant findings in the literature are reconciled using a new theoretical framework which employs a cognitive approach and concentrates on the nature of the external reward.

Deci, E. L. (1971). Effects of externally mediated rewards on intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 18,105–115.

Teacher Observation. Education Endowment Foundation

Research strongly suggests that feedback obtained through direct observations of performance can be a powerful tool for improving teacher’s skills. This study examines a peer teacher observation method used in England. The study found no evidence that Teacher Observation improved student language and math scores.

 

Education Endowment Foundation (2017). Teacher Observation. Education Endowment Foundation. Retrieved https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects-and-evaluation/projects/teacher-observation/.

 

 

Leading for Instructional Improvement: How Successful Leaders Develop Teaching and Learning Expertise

This book shows how principals and other school leaders can develop the skills necessary for teachers to deliver high quality instruction by introducing principals to a five-part model of effective instruction.

Fink, S., & Markholt, A. (2011). Leading for instructional improvement: How successful leaders develop teaching and learning expertise. John Wiley & Sons.

Make Room for the Principal Supervisors

This report describes how Denver Public Schools hired personnel to coach and evaluate its principals.

Gill, J., (2013). Make Room for the Principal Supervisors. The Wallace Foundation.

The Evaluation of Principals: What and How do States and Urban Districts Assess Leadership?

This study present results of a comprehensive review of principal leadership assessment practices in the United States. Using the learning-centered leadership framework, it focused on identifying the congruence (or lack thereof) between documented assessment practices and the research-based criteria for effective leadership that are associated with improved school performance.

Goldring, E., Cravens, X. C., Murphy, J., Porter, A. C., Elliott, S. N., & Carson, B. (2009). The evaluation of principals: What and how do states and urban districts assess leadership?. The Elementary School Journal, 110(1), 19-39

Assessing Learning-Centered Leadership: Connections to Research, Professional Standards, and Current Practices

With support from The Wallace Foundation, a Vanderbilt University team is developing a tool to monitor and assess the performance of school leaders. The Vanderbilt assessment will differ from existing tools by focusing 100 percent on instructional leadership and examining both principals and leadership teams. The paper, with two companion reports, presents the research behind and conceptual framework for the tool.

Goldring, E., Porter, A., Murphy, J., Elliott, S. N., & Cravens, X. (2009). Assessing learning-centered leadership: Connections to research, professional standards, and current practices. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 8(1), 1-36.

Impact of performance feedback delivered via electronic mail on preschool teachers’ use of descriptive praise.

This paper examined the effects of a professional development intervention that included data-based performance feedback delivered via electronic mail (e-mail) on preschool teachers’ use of descriptive praise and whether increased use of descriptive praise was associated with changes in classroom-wide measures of child engagement and challenging behavior. 

Hemmeter, M. L., Snyder, P., Kinder, K., & Artman, K. (2011). Impact of performance feedback delivered via electronic mail on preschool teachers’ use of descriptive praise. Early Childhood Research Quarterly26(1), 96-109.

Learning from teacher observations: Challenges and opportunities posed by new teacher evaluation systems

This article discusses the current focus on using teacher observation instruments as part of new teacher evaluation systems being considered and implemented by states and districts. They argue that if these teacher observation instruments are to achieve the goal of supporting teachers in improving instructional practice, they must be subject-specific, involve content experts in the process of observation, and provide information that is both accurate and useful for teachers. They discuss the instruments themselves, raters and system design, and timing of and feedback from the observations.

Hill, H., & Grossman, P. (2013). Learning from teacher observations: Challenges and opportunities posed by new teacher evaluation systems. Harvard Educational Review, 83(2), 371-384.

Can Principals Identify Effective Teachers? Evidence on Subjective Performance Evaluation in Education

This paper examines how well principals can distinguish between more and less effective teachers. To put principal evaluations in context, we compare them with the traditional determinants of teacher compensation-education and experience-as well as value-added measures of teacher effectiveness.

Jacob, B. A., & Lefgren, L. (2008). Can principals identify effective teachers? Evidence on subjective performance evaluation in education. Journal of Labor Economics, 26(1), 101-136.

The impact of feedback frequency on learning and task performance: Challenging the “more is better” assumption.

This paper challenge the “more is better” assumption and propose that frequent feedback can overwhelm an individual’s cognitive resource capacity, thus reducing task effort and producing an inverted-U relationship with learning and performance over time. 

Lam, C. F., DeRue, D. S., Karam, E. P., & Hollenbeck, J. R. (2011). The impact of feedback frequency on learning and task performance: Challenging the “more is better” assumption. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes116(2), 217-228.

Providing Teachers with Performance Feedback on Praise to Reduce Student Problem Behavior

This study examined the effect of a visual performance feedback intervention (i.e., a simple, computer-generated line graph) on teachers' rate of praise for students' academic and behavioral performance and subsequent changes in students' rates of problem behavior.

Mesa, J., Lewis-Palmer, T., & Reinke, W. (2005). Providing Teachers with Performance Feedback on Praise to Reduce Student Problem Behavior. Beyond Behavior15(1), 3-7.

Training Head Start Teachers to Use Incidental Teaching

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of group inservice training plus written and verbal feedback on four Head Start teachers’ use of incidental teaching. D

Mudd, J. M., & Wolery, M. (1987). Training head start teachers to use incidental teaching. Journal of the Division for Early Childhood11(2), 124-134.

Teacher Merit Pay and Student Test Scores: A Meta-Analysis

Teacher merit pay has garnered significant attention as a promising reform method for improving teacher performance and, more importantly, student achievement scores. This meta-analysis, which examined findings from 44 studies of teacher merit pay, found that merit pay is associated with a modest, statistically significant, positive effect on student test scores. The research also found that not all merit pay programs are equal. The best results are dependent on constructing efforts that incorporate sound, evidence-based practice elements.

Pham, L., Nguyen, T., & Springer, M. (2017). Teacher Merit Pay and Student Test Scores: A Meta-Analysis. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.

Using coaching to support teacher implementation of classroom-based interventions

Despite the growing evidence base for the efficacy of preventive interventions, the level of implementation of these interventions in schools is often less than optimal. One promising approach to supporting teachers in implementation of interventions is the use of coaching. In this study, teachers were trained in a universal classroom management intervention and provided ongoing coaching. The association between the type and amount of coaching activities and teacher implementation of proactive classroom management over time were investigated. Results indicated that teachers who received more performance feedback had higher levels of implementation over time in comparison with teachers who received less feedback. In addition, a significant interaction between the amount of coaching a teacher received and his or her implementation of proactive classroom management was found. Increased implementation over time was observed for teachers with lower initial levels of implementation who received more coaching, whereas implementation decreased over time for teachers who received less coaching. The importance of coaching as a support system for enhancing implementation quality of classroom-based preventive interventions is discussed.

Reinke, W. M., Stormont, M., Herman, K. C., Newcomer, L. (2014). Using coaching to support teacher implementation of classroom-based interventions. Journal of Behavioral Education, 23,150-167.

The effect of performance feedback on teachers’ treatment integrity: A meta-analysis of the single-case literature.

The current study extracted and aggregated data from single-case studies that used Performance feedback (PF) in school settings to increase teachers' use of classroom-based interventions.

Solomon, B. G., Klein, S. A., & Politylo, B. C. (2012). The effect of performance feedback on teachers' treatment integrity: A meta-analysis of the single-case literature. School Psychology Review41(2).

The effect of real-time visual performance feedback on teacher feedback: A preliminary investigation.

This study explored the effects of visual performance feedback (VPF) delivered in real-time using screen sharing technology on a discrete teacher practice (i.e., positive feedback) for four general education teachers in a middle school using a multiple baseline across teachers design.

Sweigart, C. A., Landrum, T. J., & Pennington, R. C. (2015). The effect of real-time visual performance feedback on teacher feedback: A preliminary investigation. Education and Treatment of Children38(4), 429-450.

Early Implementation Findings From a Study of Teacher and Principal performance Measurement and Feedback: Year 1 Report

The purpose of this study is to describe teachers’ and principals’ experiences with the study’s performance measures and feedback over two years, and to examine whether the information provided by the measures and feedback affected educator and student outcomes.

Wayne, A. J., Garet, M. S., Brown, S., Rickles, J., Song, M., Manzeske, D., & Ali, M. (2016). Early implementation findings from a study of teacher and principal performance measurement and feedback: year 1 report. Technical report, American Institutes of Research, Washington, DC.

Two Models of Learning and Achievement: An Explanation for the Achievement Gap?

A 2015 paper by Stuart Yeh offers evidence on how to improve the performance of all students and close the achievement gap between students of different socioeconomic statuses and races. Yeh hypothesizes that the conventional school system is structured in a way that reduces student motivation to succeed. Students become disengaged after experiencing repeated failure, resulting in depressed achievement and grades. This cycle continues to feed on itself as low achievement and poor grades further decrease motivation, engagement, and achievement. Yeh’s research suggests that two critical factors may account for the phenomenon of substandard student achievement: lack of a system for individualizing task difficulty and insufficient rapid performance feedback. These factors appear to be significantly more powerful than sociocultural circumstances (socioeconomic status or race), lack of accountability, lack of choice and competition, and low teacher quality. 

Yeh, S. S. (2015). Two models of learning and achievement: An explanation for the achievement gap? Teachers College Record117(12), 1–48.

Antecedents And Consequences Of Reactions To Developmental 360° Feedback
This study investigates factors that influence leaders’ reactions to 360° feedback and the relationship of feedback reactions to subsequent development activities and changes in behavior.
Atwater, L. E., & Brett, J. F. (2005). Antecedents and consequences of reactions to developmental 360 feedback. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 66(3), 532-548.
360° Feedback: Accuracy, Reactions, And Perceptions Of Usefulness
This study examines 360° feedback ratings and reactions to feedback, perceptions of feedback accuracy, perceived usefulness of the feedback, and recipients' receptivity to development.
Brett, J. F., & Atwater, L. E. (2001). 360° feedback: Accuracy, reactions, and perceptions of usefulness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(5), 930.
Addressing Challenges in Evaluating School Principal Improvement Efforts
This report describes the challenges states, districts, and other entities encounter as they evaluate school reform.
Burkhauser, S., Pierson, A., Gates, S., and Hamilton, L. (2012) Assessing the Relationship Between Administrator Preparation Programs and Job Performance. Rand Corporation.
School Principals and School Performance
This paper uses data from New York City to estimate how the characteristics of school principals relate to school performance, as measured by students' standardized exam scores and other outcomes. There is little evidence of any relationship between school performance and principal education and pre-principal work experience, but some evidence that experience as an assistant principal at the principal's current school is associated with higher performance among inexperienced principals.
Clark, D., Martorell, P., & Rockoff, J. (2009). School Principals and School Performance. Working Paper 38. National Center for Analysis of longitudinal data in Education research.
Practical Guide To Designing Comprehensive Principal Evaluation Systems
This guide is intended to assist states and districts in developing systems of principal evaluation and support and is informed by research on performance evaluation.
Clifford, M., Hansen, U. J., and Wraight, S. (2012). Practical Guide To Designing Comprehensive Principal Evaluation Systems. American Institutes for Research.
Measuring Principal Performance: How Rigorous Are Commonly Used Principal Performance Assessment Instruments?
This study reviewed eight publicly available formative assessments of principal performance, focusing on the tool’s approach, time requirement, content and construct validity, and reliability.
Condon, C., & Clifford, M. (2010). Measuring Principal Performance: How Rigorous Are Commonly Used Principal Performance Assessment Instruments? A Quality School Leadership Issue Brief. Learning Point Associates.
The Policies and Practices of Principal Evaluation
This paper provides a literature review of 68 research papers published from 1980 through 2010 on the topic of principal evaluation.
Davis, S., Kearney, K., Sanders, N., Thomas, C., & Leon, R. (2011). The policies and practices of principal evaluation: A review of the literature. San Francisco, CA: WestEd.
Education Leadership: A Bridge to School Reform
This report describes how Denver Public Schools hired people to coach and evaluate its principals.
DeVita, M., Colvin, R., Darling-Hammond, L., Haycock, K. (2007). Education Leadership: A Bridge to School Reform. The Wallace Foundation.
What We Know About Upward Appraisals of Management: Facilitating the Future Use of UPAs
This is a review of the literature on upward performance appraisal (UPA). It reveals that UPA is an under-used management tool; however, compared to traditional top-down appraisals, the focus of UPAs may be a better fit as an instrument for continuous improvement.
Hall, J. L., Leiaecker, J. K., & DiMarco, C. (1996). What we know about upward appraisals of management: facilitating the future use of UPAs. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 7(3), 209-226.

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