The MET project: Measures of Effective Teaching
Teacher Evaluation Systems Under Scrutiny
In the fall of 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiated the two-year long Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, which is a research project designed to help determine what teaching and classroom management methods, skills, and techniques can be measured and how they affect a teacher’s effectiveness. The project was launched in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Memphis, Tampa, Pittsburgh, and New York City. The long range goal of the MET project is to support teachers and provide them with information to do their jobs more efficiently.
The 2012 MET study employed 5 different measurement systems that observed and rated teachers and also assessed student progress, student classroom feedback, classroom recordings, evaluations of teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, and teachers’ feedback on support services provided at their schools. It involved 7,491 videos of 1,332 teachers who each taught between four and eight lessons. The videos were rated by 900 trained volunteers using five teacher observation measures. After the research is concluded, MET Project and its affiliates will have “pinpointed” what effective teaching “looks like in practice” and share their conclusive findings with policy makers and practitioners in the summer or fall of 2012.
In January of 2012, the foundation released its recent findings in a report, “Gathering Feedback for Teaching: Combining High-Quality Observations with Student Survey and Achievement Gains.” The report outlined guidelines for researchers to conduct a comprehensive and accurate analysis of effective teaching measures. The report indexed data found in initial assessments. A value-added system was used to assess the impact of teacher competencies in targeted fields such as, intellectual engagement, teacher-student interactions, usage of teaching strategies on achievement in different subjects. The report detailed challenges, questions, and possible solutions that emerged as the research progressed.
Current teacher evaluation systems fail to provide educational institutes and professionals with accurate information on educators’ instructional performance. Additionally, the systems do not provide insight into what needs to be done to close the achievement gap, which differs among school districts. Nor can the current systems conclude why student achievement differs from teacher to teacher.
The MET project is a study of the observation tools available (reliability and validity) and uses them to study factors that predict effective teaching. #