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The Two Purposes of

Teacher E
An evaluation
system that
fosters teacher
learning will
differ from one
whose aim is to
measure teacher
competence.
Robert J. Marzano

JAMES STEINBERG/THE iSPOT

14 EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP / NOVEMBER 2012

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f
r Evaluation
S
tates, districts, and schools all across that development is the sole purpose of teacher
the United States are busy developing evaluation (that is, that measurement should not
or implementing teacher evaluation be a purpose of teacher evaluation), they select
systems. One can trace this flurry of 5. If they believe that the purpose of teacher
activity to a variety of reports and evaluation should be half measurement and half
initiatives that highlight two failings of past efforts: development, they select 3. A value of 2 indicates
(1)Teacher evaluation systems have not accu- that measurement and development should be
rately measured teacher quality because theyve dual purposes but that measurement should be
failed to do a good job of discriminating between dominant. Finally, 4 indicates that measurement
effective and ineffective teachers, and (2)teacher anddevelopment should be dual purposes but
evaluation systems have not aided in developing a thatdevelopment should be dominant.
highly skilled teacher workforce
(Bill and Melinda Gates Foun-
dation, 2011; Toch & Rothman,
2008; U.S. Department of Edu-
cation, 2009; Weisberg, Sexton,
Teacher evaluation systems
Mulhern, & Keeling, 2009). have not accurately measured
Although efforts to move
quickly in designing and imple- teacher quality and have not
menting more effective teacher
evaluation systems are laudable, aided in developing a highly
we need to acknowledge a
crucial issuethat measuring skilled teacher workforce.
teachers and developing teachers
are different purposes with dif-
ferent implications. An evalu-
ation system designed primarily for measurement To date, educators have responded in the
will look quite different from a system designed following way: No one selected 1, 2percent
primarily for development. selected 2, 20percent selected 3, 76percent
selected 4, and 2percent selected 5. Stated differ-
Which Is Best? ently, the vast majority of respondents believe that
Over the last year, Ive asked more than 3,000 teacher evaluation should be used for both mea-
educators their opinions about these two basic surement and development but that development
purposes by presenting them with a scale that has should be the more important purpose. Although
five values. If educators think that measurement the 3,000 educators I queried do not constitute a
is the sole purpose of teacher evaluation (that representative sample, their responses do raise the
is, that development should not be a purpose of issue of what teacher evaluation looks like when its
teacher evaluation), they select 1. If educators think primary purpose is development.

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expectations for all students. There are n Maintaining an effective pace.
Systems That Focus 18 types of strategies enacted on the n Providing students with feedback
onDevelopment spot (Elements2441). about their learning.
Teacher evaluation systems that are I believe these 41 elements represent n Engaging in timely use of guided

designed to help teachers improve have the diversity of strategies that a com- practice.
three primary characteristics. prehensive model of teacher evaluation n Explaining important concepts

should include. However, many of clearly.


The System Is Comprehensive the 41 elements are unnecessary if the n Keeping students actively engaged

andSpecific sole purpose of teacher evaluation is throughout a lesson.


Comprehensive means the model Studies on the RATE system indicate
includes all those elements that that it discriminates between effective
research has identified as associated and ineffective teachers much better
with student achievement. Specific than some popular teacher evaluation
means the model identifies classroom models do (Strong, 2011).
strategies and behaviors at a granular Conspicuously missing from
level. Figure1 contains 41 classroom RATEs list are references to such com-
strategies and teacher behaviors, all of monly cited elements as the teacher-
which have research supporting their Measuring teachers student relationship and classroom
relationship with student achievement management. These elements are rec-
(Marzano,2007). and developing ognized in virtually every major review
Figure 1 includes three categories of of the literature on classroom correlates
strategies: routine strategies, content teachers are of effective teaching. For example, in
strategies, and strategies enacted on
the spot. Routines involve five types of
different purposes their review of the research on 228 vari-
ables identified as having measurable
strategies (Elements15) organized with different relationships with student achievement,
into two subcategories: those that Wang, Haertel, and Walberg (1993)
involve communicating learning goals, implications. listed classroom management at the top.
tracking student progress, and cel- Over the years, classroom management
ebrating success and those that involve has continued to be considered an
establishing and maintaining rules and important aspect of effective teaching
procedures. (Good & Brophy, 2003). Likewise, the
Content strategies fall into three sub- teacher-student relationship is promi-
categories: those used for new content, measurement. For example, the Rapid nently positioned in the theory and
those used when students are prac- Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness research regarding student behavior
ticing and deepening their knowledge (RATE) was designed with an explicit (Evertson & Weinstein, 2006). Indeed,
of new content, and those used when measurement purposeto effectively Sheets and Gay (1996) identified poor
students are asked to apply knowledge and efficiently determine teacher teacher-student relationships as the root
by generating and testing hypotheses. competence in the classroom (Strong, cause of many, if not most, discipline
There are 18 types of content strategies 2011). The model includes only 10 cat- issues.
(Elements623). egories of teacher behavior that appear How does one reconcile this apparent
Strategies enacted on the spot are those sufficient to rank teachers in terms of contradiction? How could variables
that a teacher might not have planned to pedagogical skill. Those categories are like management and teacher-student
use in a given lesson or on a given day n Providing clear lesson objectives. relationships, which have research sup-
but that he or she must be prepared to n Understanding students back- porting their connections to important
use if needed. These strategies fall into ground and comfort with the material. student outcomes, not be good discrimi-
four categories: strategies for engaging n Using more than one delivery nators of teacher quality?
students, strategies that acknowledge mechanism. The answer is that these elements
adherence to or lack of adherence to n Providing multiple examples. are important correlates with student
rules and procedures, strategies that n Providing appropriate nonexamples achievementup to a point. If a
build relationships with students, (illustrations of the wrong way to do teacher has not achieved a certain level
and strategies that communicate high something). of competence in these areas, student

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achievement will suffer. However, once listed in Figure 1 correlate with student achievement (Hattie, 2009; Walberg,
a teacher reaches an acceptable level achievement but do not necessarily 1999) but only up to a certain point.
of competence in these areas, further discriminate well between teachers Indeed, a teacher can produce dramatic
skill development will not have a com- who represent a wide range of compe- gains in student learning without using
mensurate positive influence on student tence. For example, consider academic games at all.
achievement. games (Element25), which are certainly If we wished to use the model
A number of other strategy areas a useful tool in enhancing student presented in Figure1 to rapidly rate

FIGURE 1. A Model of Classroom Strategies and Behaviors

I. Routine Strategies III. Strategies Enacted on the Spot


A. Communicating Learning Goals, Tracking Student F. Engaging Students
Progress, and Celebrating Success 24. Noticing when students are not engaged
1. Providing clear learning goals and scales to 25. Using academic games
measure these goals 26. Managing response rates
2. Tracking student progress 27. Using physical movement
3. Celebrating student success 28. Maintaining a lively pace
B. Establishing and Maintaining Classroom Rules and 29. Demonstrating intensity and enthusiasm
Procedures 30. Using friendly controversy
4. Establishing classroom rules and procedures 31. Providing opportunities for students to talk about
5. Organizing the physical layout of the classroom themselves
32. Presenting unusual or intriguing information
II. Content Strategies G. Recognizing and Acknowledging Adherence or Lack
C. Helping Students Interact with New Knowledge of Adherence to Rules and Procedures
6. Identifying critical information 33. Demonstrating withitness
7. Organizing students to interact with new 34. Applying consequences for lack of adherence to
knowledge rules and procedures
8. Previewing new content 35. Acknowledging adherence to rules and
9. Chunking content into digestible bites procedures
10. Processing new information H. Establishing and Maintaining Effective Relationships
11. Elaborating on new information with Students
12. Recording and representing knowledge 36. Understanding students interests and
13. Reflecting on learning backgrounds
D. Helping Students Practice and Deepen Their 37. Using verbal and nonverbal behaviors that
Understanding of New Knowledge indicate affection for students
14. Reviewing content 38. Displaying objectivity and control
15. Organizing students to practice and deepen I. Communicating High Expectations for All Students
knowledge 39. Demonstrating value and respect for low-
16. Using homework expectancy students
17. Examining similarities and differences 40. Asking questions of low-expectancy students
18. Examining errors in reasoning 41. Probing incorrect answers with low-expectancy
19. Practicing skills, strategies, and processes students
20. Revising knowledge
E. Helping Students Generate and Test Hypotheses
about New Knowledge Note: Items highlighted in blue may be used to rapidly rate teacher
21. Organizing students for cognitively complex competence in the classroomthat is, as a measurement tool as opposed
tasks to a development tool.
22. Engaging students in cognitively complex tasks Source: From Effective Supervision: Applying the Art and Science of
involving hypothesis generation and testing Teaching (pp. 6263), by Robert J. Marzano, Tony Frontier, & David
23. Providing resources and guidance Livingston, Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Adapted with permission.

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teachers, wed only need to consider his or her classroom. For example, if a to ensure that all student populations
15 elements (these are highlighted in teacher were unaware of strategies for represented in class are experiencing its
the figure). In other words, if our goal engaging students in friendly contro- positive effects. For example, to help
is efficient measurement, following versy (Element30 in Figure1), he or English language learners better under-
Strongs model, which appears to dis- she would be at the not using level. stand new content, a teacher might
criminate between teachers better than At the beginning level, a teacher uses a adapt a previewing strategy by using
many previous models, we would need strategy but with errors and omissions. pictures downloaded from the Internet.
only a relatively small subset of elements For example, a teacher who simply asks These five levels are designed to
and could leave out some variables that students to state their opinions about enable teachers (usually with the aid
have historically been associated with a topic with the goal of generating dis- of a supervisor or instructional coach)
effective instruction. agreement would be at the beginning to pinpoint their current level of per-
However, if we wished to help level because errors and omissions are formance for a specific strategy and
teachers develop instead of just mea- in play. Although students are, in fact, set goals for operating at higher levels
suring them, wed obtain ratings on all stating their opinions, they need to learn within a given period of time.
41 elements so teachers could identify how to support their opinions using Contrast this scale with one designed
primarily for measurement. To illus-
trate, consider the scale for one of the
elements in the RATE system: under-
standing students backgrounds and
comfort with the material (Strong,
2011). This element involves three
parts: intentionally sequencing the
material based on knowledge of where
students are in the instructional process,
relating new knowledge to content that
students have already mastered, and
conveying to students that they are able
to reach the learning goal in a manner
areas of strength and weakness and then evidence and how to disagree respect- that instills confidence.
systematically begin improving those fully with others. The scale for this element involves
areas of weakness. Teachers dont need At the developing level, the teacher three levels. A teacher receives a score
to be scored on each of the 41elements doesnt make such mistakes. Rather, he of 1 if he or she exhibits none or only
yearly. Rather, they should gradually or she uses the strategy without signif- one of these elements or does a poor
work through the elements over time as icant error and with relative fluency. job trying to execute these elements. A
they seek to improve their competence Although using a strategy at the teacher receives a score of 2 if two of the
in the classroom. developing level is a step in the right three elements are present. A teacher
direction, its at the applying level and receives a score of 3 if all three ele-
The System Includes above that a strategy starts to produce ments are present at levels that clearly
a Developmental Scale positive returns in student learning. At influence students in a positive way.
A second characteristic of a teacher the applying level, a teacher monitors Although this type of scale is efficient
evaluation system that focuses on the class to ensure that the strategy is and effective for measurement purposes,
development is that it employs a scale having its desired effectin this case, it provides little guidance to teachers,
or rubric that teachers can use to guide that students are backing up their instructional coaches, or administrators
and track their skill development. Such opinions with evidence and expressing regarding how to improve.
a scale would articulate developmental disagreement in a controlled and
levels, such as not using, beginning, devel- respectful manner. The System Acknowledges
oping, applying, and innovating (Marzano, Finally, at the innovating level, the and Rewards Growth
Frontier, & Livingston, 2011). teacher not only monitors the class to The third characteristic of an evalu-
At the not using level, a teacher is ensure a strategy is having its desired ation system designed for teacher
not even aware of a particular strategy effect with the majority of students development is that it acknowledges
or is aware of it but has not tried it in but also makes necessary adaptations and rewards teacher growth. In a

18 EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP / NOVEMBER 2012

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developmental model, each year Evertson, C., & Weinstein, C. S. (Eds.).
teachers identify elements on which to (2006). Handbook of classroom manage-
improve and then chart their progress ment: Research, practice, and contemporary
issues. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
throughout the year. A teacher might
select one strategy from each of the An evaluation Good, T. L., & Brophy, J. E. (2003). Looking
in classrooms (9th ed). Boston: Allyn and
three major categories depicted in Bacon.
Figure1: for example, establishing system designed for Hattie, J. A. C. (2009). Visible learning: A syn-
classroom rules and procedures, thesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to
chunking content into digestible bites, teacher development achievement. New York: Routledge.
Marzano, R. J. (2007). The art and science of
and asking questions of students for
whom he or she may have had low
acknowledges teaching: A comprehensive framework for
effective instruction. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
expectations in the past. Presumably and rewards Marzano, R. J., Frontier, T., & Livingston,
D. (2011). Effective supervision: Supporting
these strategies would be ones for which
the teacher was at the beginning or not teacher growth. the art and science of teaching. Alexandria,
VA: ASCD.
using level. Sheets, R. H., & Gay, G. (1996, May).
The teacher would then select specific Student perceptions of disciplinary con-
growth targets to accomplish during the flict in ethnically diverse classrooms.
year. To illustrate, assume a teacher was NASSP Bulletin, 80(580), 8493.
Strong, M. (2011). The highly qualified
at the beginning level for all three target
teacher: What is teacher quality and how
strategies and set a goal to reach the on teacher development, the model do you measure it? New York: Teachers
applying level on all three by the end of needs to be both comprehensive and College Press.
the year. In addition to scoring teachers specific and focus on the teachers Toch, T., & Rothman, R. (2008). Rush to
on their current level of proficiency on growth in various instructional strat- judgment: Teacher evaluation in public
the various elements within the evalu- egies. These distinctions are crucial to education. Washington, DC: Education
Sector.
ation modelwe refer to these ratings the effective design and implementation U.S. Department of Education. (2009). Race
as status scoresteachers would be of current and future teacher evaluation to the Top program executive summary.
scored on the extent to which they systems. EL Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from
reached their growth goals. Attaining www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/
all three growth goals would earn the References executive-summary.pdf
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (2011). Walberg, H. J. (1999). Productive teaching.
highest growth score, attaining two of In H. C. Waxman & H. J. Walberg (Eds.),
three goals would earn the next highest Learning about teaching: Initial findings
from the Measures of Effective Teaching New directions for teaching and practice
growth score, and so on. project. Bellevue, WA: Author. Retrieved research (pp. 75104). Berkeley, CA:
At the end of the year, teachers would from www.gatesfoundation.org/college- McCutchan.
have two scores: an overall status score ready-education/Documents/preliminary- Wang, M. C., Haertel, G. D., & Walberg,
findings-research-paper.pdf H. J. (1993). Toward a knowledge base
and an overall growth score. Both of for school learning. Review of Educational
these scores would be considered when Research, 63(3), 249294.
assigning teachers to a summative Weisberg, D., Sexton, S., Mulhern, J., &
category at the end of the yearfor Keeling, D. (2009). The widget effect:
example, advanced, proficient, needing Our national failure to acknowledge and
act on differences in teacher effectiveness.
improvement, or not acceptable. Such a
Brooklyn, NY: New Teacher Project.
system would communicate to teachers Retrieved from http://widgeteffect.org/
that the school expectsand rewards downloads/TheWidgetEffect.pdf
continuous improvement.
Watch the Interview
The Best of Both Worlds Robert J. Marzano (robert.marzano@
Robert J. Marzano talks with marzanoresearch.com) is cofounder and
Both measurement and development are
EL editor in chief Marge Scherer CEO of Marzano Research Laboratory
important aspects of teacher evaluation.
about the purposes of teacher in Denver, Colorado. His latest book,
When measurement is the primary evaluation at www.ascd.org/ coauthored with Tony Frontier and David
purpose, a small set of elements is suffi- el1112marzano. Livingston, is Effective Supervision: Sup-
cient to determine a teachers skill in the porting the Art and Science of Teaching
classroom. However, if the emphasis is (ASCD, 2011).

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