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.