At Pittsburgh Public Schools, we know that there is an undeniable link between learning today and success tomorrow.

There is a lot of research on the important role teachers play in students' lifelong success. And the research supports our approach to increasing student achievement by helping our teachers get better.
The research and our District's data is driving teacher recruitment, development, evaluation, promotion, recognition, retention and compensation for the benefit of students. Did you know...

Teacher Effectiveness Matters

  • In Pittsburgh, teachers' impacts on students are substantial. "   90th-percentile teacher in Pittsburgh produces a little more than a year of additional learning (in one school year of instruction) relative to a 10th-percentile teacher." Source: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 2012
  • Effective teachers have the ability to close the racial achievement gap. The most effective teachers in PPS produce gains in student achievement that, if accumulated over several years without decay, could erase achievement gaps between black and white students, or between Pittsburgh students and statewide averages.” Source: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 2010
  • The impact of effective teachers lasts a lifetime. Replacing a teacher whose true value-added is in the bottom 5% with one of average quality would generate cumulative earnings gains of $52,000 per student or more than $1.4 million for the average classroom; discounting at a 5% interest rate to age 12 yields a present value gain of more than $250,000 per classroom.” Source: The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood, Raj Chetty and John N. Friedman, Harvard University and NBER, Jonah E. Rockoff, Columbia University and NBER, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 17699, December 2011

Multiple Measures Provide the Best Estimate of Teacher Effectiveness

  • For too long, school districts have not been able to measure differences in teacher effectiveness, much less use this information to help teachers improve. A 2008 survey administered by the District showed that fewer than 15 percent of teachers strongly agreed with the statement that, “Teacher evaluation in my building is rigorous and reveals what is true about teachers’ practice. ”
  • The use of multiple measures outperforms traditional teacher evaluations. "The combination of classroom observations, student feedback, and student achievement carries three advantages over any measure by itself: (a) it increases the ability to predict if a teacher will have positive student outcomes in the future, (b) it improves reliability, and (c) it provides diagnostic feedback that a teacher can use to improve.” “Combining the three approaches (classroom observations, student feedback, and value-added student achievement gains) capitalizes on their strengths and offsets their weaknesses.”Source: Gathering Feedback for Teaching, MET Project, 2011, p.29
  • Multiple measures are a stronger predictor of teacher effectiveness than degrees or years of experience. "Whether or not teachers had a master’s degree or many years of experience was not nearly as powerful a predictor of a teacher’s student achievement gains on state tests as was a combination of multiple observations, student feedback, and evidence of achievement gains with a different group of students.” Source: Gathering Feedback for Teaching, MET Project, 2011 p. 5