By equating teacher effectiveness with teacher effects on student test scores, the Measures of Effective Teaching project fails to address what we value most in education.
In 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the investigation of a $45 million question: How can we identify and develop effective teaching? Now that the findings from their Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project have been released (see "Initial Findings from the MET Project," p. 47), it's clear they asked a simpler question, namely, What other measures match up well with value-added data?
Although we don't question the utility of using evidence of student learning to inform teacher development, we suggest that a better question would not assume that value-added scores are the only existing knowledge about effectiveness in teaching. Rather, a good question would build on existing research and investigate how to increase the amount and intensity of effective instruction.
A Narrow View of Effectiveness