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By Learning Forward
April 2016
Evaluating Evaluations Revisiting the Widget Effect: Teacher Evaluation Reforms and the Distributionof Teacher Effectiveness Brown University, 2016 In 2009, a study by TNTP (The New Teacher Project) documented the discrepancy between formal teacher evaluation and perceptions of actual teacher effectiveness, showing that administrators rate more teachers above proficient whom they actually believe should be rated below. This discrepancy, named the “widget effect,” is revisited in this working paper, which examines 19 states that have adopted major reforms to their teacher evaluation systems. The report finds that the widget effect has improved only slightly: In a majority of these states, for example, less than 3% of teachers are rated below proficient. The authors find that a lack of professional development support is a key reason why

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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