Research

The Danielson Group seeks to share research studies involving the Framework. We maintain a strong interest in encouraging independent research in support of quality professional development, process improvements, and significant teaching outcomes.

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2015: Teaching to the Core: Practitioner perspectives about the intersection of teacher evaluation using the Danielson Framework for Teaching and Common Core State Standards

In October 2014, the Teaching the Core study released findings based on national teachers’ and administrators’ perspectives on teacher evaluation with the implementation of Common Core State Standards. The study, funded by a grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, was conducted by independent researchers. They followed participants through observation cycles of Common Core-aligned instruction using two instruments: the Danielson Framework for Teaching (2013 version) and the Instructional Practice Guides, created by Student Achievement Partners (SAP). The study set out to explore four focal research questions:

  1. What are participants struggling with in terms of adoption of and alignment with Common Core State Standards?
  2. How well do participants think the instruments capture teaching to the Common Core State Standards?
  3. What are the general patterns of use for the instruments and observation practices?
  4. What are ideas for redesign to better align the Danielson Framework for Teaching with Common Core State Standards?

Data collection took place from March 2013 to June 2014 with four school districts across the United States in Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, and New York. The report yielded 10 key findings and 33 suggestions from participating teachers and administrators. Results highlight both the challenges faced by those implementing Common Core and the potential benefits that alignment of teacher evaluation and Common Core can achieve.

To read the results of the Teaching the Core study, click HERE for the summary of the study, including key findings and suggestions.

An additional part of the study was to capture videos of multiple bell-to-bell lessons aligned to the Common Core State Standards. On March 17, 2015, SAP launched the “Teaching the Core” website: http://www.teachingthecore.org. SAP has chosen to include 60 lessons in this release. Additional lessons will be added to the collection over time. The lessons have been edited to show bell-to-bell instruction. Users can easily:

  • Jump to annotated moments exemplary of the CCSS
  • Access the lesson plan and materials
  • See example student work
  • Watch an interview with the teacher
  • Download the grade appropriate coaching tool

The site features full coverage of grade levels and of core actions/indicators in math (meaning at least 1 video per grade level and at least 1 annotated moment per core action/indicator) and nearly complete coverage in ELA/Literacy. SAP will continue to review additional videos, and anticipates having full coverage in ELA/Literacy as well, when the library is complete.

2013: Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project Releases Final Research Report

Ensuring Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching: Culminating Findings from the MET Project's Three-Year Study

"In January 2013, the MET project released its third and final set of findings, which sought to answer three questions from practitioners and policy-makers:

  1. Can measures of effective teaching identify teachers who better help students learn?
  2. How much weight should be placed on each measure of effective teaching when combining classroom observations, student surveys, and student achievement gains?
  3. How can teachers be assured trustworthy results from classroom observations?

Along with a brief summarizing all of the findings, and the three research papers detailing the technical methods, in January 2013 the MET project a released set principles for effective evaluation systems based on lessons learned over the three years of the study."

More recommendations and helpful information: To read the results and conclusions of a three year study of whether or not effective teaching can be identified reliably and measure the effects on student learning, click here for the MET Project website containing all the available reports and recommendations from the MET Project.

2012: Background on the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project

The MET project is a partnership between 3,000 teacher volunteers and dozens of independent research teams. The project aims to help teachers and schools understand what great teaching looks like. Launched in 2009, the study will identify multiple measures and tools that – taken together – can provide an accurate and reliable picture of teaching effectiveness. By understanding what great teachers do and by improving the ways teachers gain insight into their practice, we can help more teachers achieve success for their students.

Research shows that a teachers' contribution matters more than anything else within a school. More than class size. More than school funding. More than technology. For decades, most initiatives to improve public education have focused on improving poor performing schools. But studies show that there are bigger differences in teaching quality within schools than there are between schools. This means that in the same school, a child taught by a less effective teacher can receive an education of vastly different quality than a student just down the hall who is taught by a more effective teacher. And the way evaluations are currently conducted don't provide the teacher who is struggling with a roadmap to improve.

Because teaching is complex, no single measure can capture the complete picture of a teacher's impact; yet many evaluation systems use tools that provide teachers with very limited, occasional feedback. Multiple measures are needed to help school leaders understand how teaching contributes to student success, because as teachers know, there are no silver bullets in the classroom. Armed with this information, teachers and school leaders can create better professional development programs that promote proven techniques and practices that help students learn, and can make better-informed hiring and tenure decisions.

2011: Rethinking Teacher Evaluation in Chicago; Cincinnati: Effect of Evaluation on Performance

Rethinking Teacher Evaluation in Chicago: Lessons Learned from Classroom Observations, Principal-Teacher Conferences, and District Implementation, Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute, November 2011

This report summarizes findings from a two-year study of Chicago’s Excellence in Teaching Pilot, which was designed to drive instructional improvement by providing teachers with evidence-based feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. The pilot consisted of training and support for principals and teachers, principal observations of teaching practice conducted twice a year using the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching, and conferences between the principal and the teacher to discuss evaluation results and teaching practice. Download the report.

"The Effect of Evaluation on Performance: Evidence from Longitudinal Student Achievement Data of Mid-career Teachers" Taylor, Eric, Tyler, John H. : NBER Working Paper No. 16877.

This study investigated the effect of teacher evaluation on the quality of instruction, and found that the very act of going through a year-long evaluation process in Cincinnati strengthens teacher performance. The results suggest that the correlations are positive, and the effect sizes are large enough to be quite consequential. Furthermore, they found that not only does a teacher's effectiveness increase in the year in which they are undergoing evaluation, but the effects of going through the evaluation cycle are even larger in the years after the evaluation. Read the report here.

2010: Identifying Effective Classroom Practices Using Student Achievement Data

"Identifying Effective Classroom Practices Using Student Achievement Data" Kane, et. al.

This paper combines information from classroom-based observations and measures of teachers' ability to improve student achievement as a step toward addressing these challenges. Classroom based measures of teaching effectiveness are related in substantial ways to student achievement growth. Results point to the promise of teacher evaluation systems that would use information from both classroom observations and student test scores to identify effective teachers. Results also offer information on the types of practices that are most effective at raising achievement. Read more...

2009: Excellence in Teaching Project

"Evaluation of the Excellence in Teaching Pilot; Year 1 Report to the Joyce Foundation" Sartain, et. al.

Research on the implementation of the Framework as a reliable measure of teaching practice (Year 1) and the validity of the Framework, i.e. it measures what it claims to measure (Year 2), as well as each year understanding the principal and teacher perceptions of the pilot evaluation at the school level. The findings from Year 1 include that 1) principals and trained teacher and research experts use the rating scale consistently overall; 2) more teachers were identified as low-performing under the new evaluation system; 3) principals found four areas of instruction to be particularly challenging to evaluate; 4) principals had no trouble identifying unsatisfactory teaching practices; and 5) just over half of the principals were highly enthusiastic about the evaluation process.

2006: Assessing the Relationship Between Student Achievement and Teacher Performance

2006

Multi-year, mixed-methods study investigating the validity of teacher evaluation in four sites: Cincinnati, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; Reno/Sparks, Nevada; and Coventry, Rhode Island. Heneman, et. al.

The study used linked student and teacher data to assess the relationship between student achievement and teachers' performance evaluation scores. The value-added model used achievement scores that were estimated on prior achievement and other student characteristics which determined a fairly high correlation in two of the four sites between what the teachers were observed to be doing in the classroom and their students' achievement gains. The authors of study noted that high correlations could be due to using multiple observation data, highly trained evaluators, and the teachers having a shared understanding of what constituted good teaching.

2005: Correlation Between Domains 1 and 3 and Student Achievement

"Correlation Study between teachers' scores on Domains 1 (Planning and Preparation) and Domain 3 (Instruction) and student achievement" Borman & Kimball The authors found that teacher quality as determined by standards-based evaluation contributed slightly to student achievement.

2004: Three Studies Correlating Teacher Evaluation Scores with Student Achievement

"In-depth, mixed-methods study of one Los Angeles elementary charter school serving approximately 1,200 students." Gallagher

The author found that there were significant differences in student achievement relative to teachers' evaluation scores. In particular, literacy and composite evaluation scores were significantly related to student achievement, whereas mathematics and language arts scores were not. Alignment and consistency in the pedagogical approach were factors in the correlation between literacy evaluation scores and student achievement. Interestingly, Gallagher also correlated teacher certification and experience data with student achievement and found no relationship with student test scores.

"Correlation study examined the relationship between teacher evaluation scores and student achievement in nine grade-test combinations in Washoe County" Kimball, et. al.

This research targeted specifically on 1a: Pedagogical and content knowledge, 1e: Coherent lesson design and 1f: Designing/Aligning Student Assessment, 3c: Engaging student learners, and 3e: Flexibility and Responsiveness. The authors found teacher practices, as measured by the evaluation instrument, contributed slightly to student achievement. The authors concluded that evaluation scores were stronger predictors of student achievement than were teacher education and experience.

"Correlation study of the relationship between teacher evaluation scores and student achievement in a large Midwestern district using value-added measures with 212 teachers in grades 3-8" Milanowski

Small to moderate correlations were determined between teacher evaluation scores and student growth with 0.27 in science, 0.32 in reading, and 0.43 in mathematics.

2003: Cincinnati Student Achievement/Teacher Evaluation Correlation Study

"Correlation study to compare student achievement with teachers' evaluation scores for 246 Cincinnati Public School teachers" Holtzapple

The study using a value-added model of predicted achievement versus actual achievement found that teachers who received low ratings on the instructional domain of the teacher evaluation had students with lower achievement scores than would have been predicted by prior achievement. Teachers with "advanced" or "distinguished" rankings generally had students with higher than expected test scores, whereas teachers rated "proficient" had students with average gains.

"Danielson’s Framework for Teaching has been a revelation to me; the best analogy I can offer is that the Framework is like having voice-guided GPS to direct you to a destination, when before you might have only had a destination name and an outdated road map."

Pre-Service Teacher, May 2016

“[The consultant] gave the best PD I have seen in 15 years of teaching, and was the first to explain [the] Danielson [Framework] in a human way. Bravo.”

A teacher, June 2015

“I am so impressed with the Danielson Group consultants. They are all so real. Your trainers helped make [proficient] teaching stronger and steered [basic teaching] toward increasing effectiveness.” 

A principal, June 2015

"Due to your consultant's seamless and meaningful transitions, knowledge of content, and rapport with the audience, the room was alive with energy and it made us all feel ready to begin the year off with success."

"Never before have I seen a group of seasoned educators like your consultants master the art of communicating with an audience with varied levels of expertise and interests. The two days that I spent with your team, I walked away with a desire to use the rubric to truly enhance my own practice."

"I left with a renewed look at the rubric, thinking that the rubric is the Great Equalizer! We can ALL enhance our practice by using it as a tool and a roadmap to produce students who think and are ready for college and careers. THANK YOU!"

"Your consultants' presence and organization of the day will not only impact the new teachers that attended, but will make the year alive for a vast number of students this year."

"Our workshop focused on calibration and inter-rater agreement training, so it was directly aligned to our individual and collective work with teacher performance evaluation.  With new administrators on the team, this type of training is critical."

"We were highly impressed with our Danielson Group consultant and the workshop. We have nothing but positive things to share. Staff have been emailing us, thanking us. This is the most worthwhile presentation we've been to in a while."

"The workshop you provided was hands-on, interesting, practical, and respectful of time limits. I heard more positive feedback about this workshop from staff than I have about any other."

"We wanted to let you know how much we appreciated the flexibility and professionalism that your consultant provided in our unique context. It helped us to keep on track with our schedule at a critical time. For that we are truly grateful."

"Your consultant presented a perfectly differentiated learning experience for all our principals. They were highly engaged, as demonstrated by on-topic conversations using academic language, completion of tasks requiring evidence identification, and note taking and 'grading' during classroom videos of teaching."

"Our school principals said the Framework observation training was the best training they had ever had, including the training provided when earning their Master’s degrees."

"I have a principal who was so excited about the breakthrough work with her staff in special education. I am already getting my money back!"

"My concern about the extra time it would take to implement the Framework successfully was not accurate. It took about the same amount of time as our prior evaluation system, and the benefits in professional growth and increased student achievement were more than worth it."

"I want to truly thank you for the brilliant job that you did with our training. I got such positive feedback from the team. They feel re-energized and like they have a direction and new tools to do the job."