UMass Amherst Receives Grant to Improve Teacher Evaluation

The University of Massachusetts – Amherst (UMass Amherst), an NEC member, has been awarded a $842, 571 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop more holistic evaluations for teachers.

UMass Amherst’s grant is part of a $2.8 million federal grant split between the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Kansas, and Michigan State University.  Over the next five years, the four universities will collaborate to develop more complete, evidence-based evaluation frameworks for teachers by allowing faculty members in each discipline to identify what they value most in teaching.  The grant will allow research findings to be implemented as soon as Fall 2018 and researchers at Michigan State University will analyze and asses the effectiveness of the new evaluation processes across the three schools.

“Universities have long relied on student surveys as the sole means of evaluating teaching. That approach has hindered the adoption of evidence-based teaching practices, which emphasize student learning as the central outcome of instruction,” says Gabriela Weaver, the lead investigator at UMass Amherst who will oversee the project. “These teaching practices are known to result in deeper learning and greater success for students, in addition to closing performance gaps between underrepresented minority group students and majority group students.”

The New England Council commends UMass Amherst on this effort to produce a more complete evaluation of teachers that will benefit students and their teachers alike. Read more on UMass’s website.

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