In the News: No Consensus Against Using Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations, Contra Democratic Platform

It is unusual that a party’s platform mentions education research, but this year the Democratic platform states, “We oppose … the use of student test scores in teacher and principal evaluations, a practice which has been repeatedly rejected by researchers.”

The 74 contacted researchers who study teacher evaluation to see if they agree that the use of test scores has been rejected.

Matt Barnum writes:

Several of the researchers said that measures of test score growth had significant limitations, but also provided meaningful information about a teacher’s impact on long-run outcomes; moreover, other ways to evaluate educators, particularly classroom observations, have some of same flaws as value-added. Some studies have found that teacher evaluations that include test scores can lead to improve student outcomes.

You can read the full responses of the scholars here.

Perhaps the best known study connecting a teacher’s impact on test scores with their students’ long-term outcomes can be found in Education Next: “Great Teaching: Measuring its effects on students’ future earnings,” by Raj Chetty, John Friedman, and Jonah Rockoff.

— Education Next

Last Updated


Notify Me When Education Next

Posts a Big Story

Business + Editorial Office

Program on Education Policy and Governance
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone (617) 496-5488
Fax (617) 496-4428

For subscription service to the printed journal
Phone (617) 496-5488

Copyright © 2024 President & Fellows of Harvard College