Book Review

Linking Teacher Evaluation and Student Learning

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, Va., 2005, 175 pp. with index, $26.95 softcover

By Pamela D. Tucker and James H. Stronge

Should the achievement of students be considered in the formative and summative evaluations of teachers?

In their book, Linking Teacher Evaluation and Student Learning, Pamela D. Tucker, associate professor of education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and James H. Stronge, Heritage professor in educational policy, planning and leadership at the College of William and Mary, make a strong case for including the performance of students as one of the measures used in the assessment of teacher performance.

After a discussion of the research on teacher effectiveness and student achievement, the authors describe the four school systems that have incorporated student performance into their teacher evaluation process: “Teacher Work Sample Methodology” in Oregon; a standards-based model in Thompson, Colo.; “Performance Evaluation Program” in Alexandria, Va.; and the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System.

A chapter devoted to each fully describes the process, lists its advantages, disadvantages and results of implementation. Perceptions of teachers and administrators are also given. Some of the forms and the rubrics used are fully presented in the appendices.

The authors conclude that traditional classroom observations of teacher performance are not sufficient and that linking the process to student achievement will increase student learning. They offer several caveats to assist districts in eliminating bias and in maintaining fairness if such a system is to be implemented. The most important point: Use student achievement as only one component of a teacher assessment system.

Reviewed by Leonard H. Elovitz, associate professor of educational leadership, Kean University, Union, N.J.