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Educator Evaluation

Student & Staff Feedback

Student and staff feedback is an important source of evidence collected during the 5-Step Evaluation Cycle, in addition to artifacts of practice, observations, and measures of student learning, growth, and achievement. By including student and staff feedback in educator evaluation, teachers and administrators gain valuable information to improve their practice, and districts gain the ability to construct the most comprehensive, clear, and descriptive picture of an educator's effectiveness.

Districts have the flexibility to determine feedback instruments (not limited to surveys), administration protocols, and processes for integrating feedback into the evaluation cycle.

For more information read DESE's Quick Reference Guide: Student & Staff Feedback .

Check out DESE's Model Feedback Surveys!

DESE has developed the three instruments to help educators collect feedback:

Individual teachers or districts can download and use these instruments to collect meaningful, actionable feedback about their practice that is aligned to the Standards and Indicators of Effective Teaching and Standards for Effective Administrative Leadership Practice.

Resources & Guidance

  • Using Student & Staff Feedback to Improve Practice
    A Practical Guide for Teachers and School Leaders from DESE's Teacher and Principal Advisory Cabinets.

    • The Value of Student Feedback.
      Superintendent David DeRuosi discusses the value of collecting student feedback in promoting dialogue about student improvement as well as strengthening a building's climate and culture.

    • Empowering Teachers Through Soliciting Student Feedback.
      Fourth grade classroom teacher Ruth Freeman shares ways to collect student feedback, other than surveys. She discusses the role feedback plays in her own personal reflection on instructional practices and the sense of empowerment it affords her students.

    • Implementing Student Feedback Surveys in Your District.
      Superintendent Greg Myers discusses three key questions educators should ask themselves when collecting and reviewing feedback from students on instructional and leadership practices: (1) What are students seeing that affirm and value the work we're doing? (2) What can we learn from students' insights around which we might create new goals for ourselves? (3) How will we use this information going forward? Bringing as many stakeholders to the table when planning for and implementing student surveys will help to make the process as authentic and possible.

    • Empowering Students Through Soliciting Their Feedback.
      Fourth grade classroom teacher Ruth Freeman discusses the sense of empowerment and agency students feel when asked to provide feedback on their experiences in the classroom.

    • Roundtable Discussion on Implementing Student Feedback Surveys in a District.
      Fourth grade classroom teacher Ruth Freeman, Superintendent Greg Myers, Superintendent David DeRuosi and Claire Abbott discuss the importance of involving teachers and principals in the decision to administer student feedback surveys.

  • Using Staff & Student Feedback in the Evaluation Process (Part VIII of DESE's Model System)
    This guidance document includes information for schools and districts about how to identify appropriate feedback instruments, recommendations on the use of student and staff feedback in the 5-step evaluation cycle, and a review of alternative methods for collecting feedback from students and educators.

What does the research say?

The Massachusetts educator evaluation framework is designed to include information about educator practice from a wide and representative range of sources, including measures of student learning, observational data, and feedback. When taken together with other information sources, staff and student feedback helps to provide a more accurate and detailed picture of an educator's practice (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, January 2013).

Multiple studies have demonstrated the strong correlation between student feedback and student achievement gains (Wilkerson, et al., 2000; Kyriakides, 2005; Peterson, K., Wahlquist, C., & Bone, K., 2000) as well as student engagement and self-efficacy (Balch, 2012). In fact, when administered well, student surveys can yield information that's more consistent with teacher effectiveness than observational data (Ripley, 2012).

  • Balch, R. "The Validation of a Student Survey on Teacher Practice." Vanderbilt University. 2012.

  • Goe, L. June 2008. Approaches to Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness: A Research Synthesis.

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 2013. Ensuring Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching.

  • Kyriakides, L. (2005). Drawing from teacher effectiveness research and research into teacher interpersonal behavior to establish a teacher evaluation system: A study on the use of student ratings to evaluate teacher behavior. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 40(2), 44–66.

  • Peterson, K., Wahlquist, C., and Bone, K. 2000. Student surveys for school teacher evaluation. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 14(2), 135–153.

  • Ripley, A. "Why Kids Should Grade Teachers?" The Atlantic, October 2012.

  • Wilkerson, D. J., Manatt, R. P., Rogers, M.A., & Maughan, R. (2000). Validation of student, principal and self-ratings in 360° feedback® for teacher evaluation. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 14(2), 179–192.

Last Updated: April 18, 2024

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