Teacher evaluation and school improvement: An analysis of the evidence

Philip Hallinger, Ronald H. Heck, Joseph Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, substantial investments have been made in reengineering systems of teacher evaluation. The new generation models of teacher evaluation typically adopt a standards-based view of teaching quality and include a value-added measure of growth in student learning. With more than a decade of experience and research, it is timely to assess empirical evidence bearing on the efficacy of this school improvement strategy. This paper examines the new generation of teacher evaluation along three lines of analysis: evidence on the magnitude, consistency, and stability of teacher effects on student learning, evidence on the impact of teacher evaluation on growth in student learning, and literature from the sociology of organizations on how schools function. Although the trend towards focusing on teacher evaluation is increasingly evident internationally, most of the empirical research evaluated in this paper is from the USA. This critical evaluation of the empirical literature yields two key conclusions. First, we conclude that the policy logic supporting this reform remains considerably stronger than the empirical evidence. Second, we suggest that alternative improvement strategies may yield more positive results and at a lower cost in terms of staff time and district funds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-28
Number of pages24
JournalEducational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Educational effectiveness
  • Teacher effectiveness
  • Teacher evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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