Instructional Alignment as a Measure of Teaching Quality
Instructional Alignment as a Measure of Teaching Quality
Published online first in:
Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis
May 13, 2014

Morgan S. Polikoff, University of Southern California
Andrew C. Porter, University of Pennsylvania


Recent years have seen the convergence of two major policy streams in U.S. K–12 education: standards/accountability and teacher quality reforms. Work in these areas has led to the creation of multiple measures of teacher quality, including measures of their instructional alignment to standards/assessments, observational and student survey measures of pedagogical quality, and measures of teachers’ contributions to student test scores. This article is the first to explore the extent to which teachers’ instructional alignment is associated with their contributions to student learning and their effectiveness on new composite evaluation measures using data from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching study. Finding surprisingly weak associations, we discuss potential research and policy implications for both streams of policy.

News Coverage

Teacher quality and test scores: Recent studies raise questions
The Seattle Times, July 25, 2014

Using standardized test scores in teacher evaluations (K-12 Education Blog)
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, June 24, 2014

DC to Suspend Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations
Associated Press (via ABC, June 19, 2014


Gates Foundation urges delay in using tests for teacher evaluation
Washington Post, June 10, 2014


Education Accountability We Can Believe In
AlterNet, June 5, 2014


Scores alone don't ID good teachers
The Virginian-Pilot, May 19, 2014


Test scores tied to good teaching?
Newsday, May 14, 2014

New research deals blows to metrics used in New York teacher evaluations
Chalkbeat (New York), May 14, 2014 

New study includes Dallas ISD data to dis Value Added Model for teacher evaluations
Dallas Morning News (Education Blog), May 14, 2014

Casting doubt on linking teacher evaluations to test scores
Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2014

Good teaching, poor test scores: Doubt cast on grading teachers by student performance
The Washington Post, May 13, 2014

The irony in new study that bashes popular teacher evaluation method
The Washington Post (The Answer Sheet), May 13, 2014

Report Finds Weak Link Between Value-Added Measures and Teacher Instruction
U.S. News and World Report, May 13, 2014


The Death of Creativity in the Classroom
The Huffington Post, May 13, 2014

Morning Education: Another study appearing in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Politico, May 13, 2014

Studies Highlight Complexities of Using Value-Added Measures (subscription required)
Education Week, May 13, 2014

Researchers give failing marks to national effort to measure good teaching
The Hechinger Report (Education by the Numbers), May 13, 2014

Another blow to reliability of measuring teacher effectiveness through test scores
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 13, 2014

Author Interview
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