NEW Research from TERA finds Black and male teachers recieve lower observation scores than white and female peers.
New Research Reveals Disparities Along Racial and Gender Lines in Teacher Observations
Recently the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) released new research that reveals stark disparities along racial and gender lines in teacher observations over the last decade. Regardless of the evaluation system used (i.e. TEAM, COMPASS), Black and male teachers in Tennessee have received lower observation scores than White and female teachers every year since the state’s evaluation system began in 2011. This holds true across all school levels, even when teachers have similar qualifications (i.e. experience levels and degree attainment) and student achievement growth scores. This is extremely unfortunate and problematic; it has strong implications that impact the recruitment and retention for Black and male teachers.
Since TECA’s inception, we have consistently heard from teachers of color in districts across the state that they lack access to leadership opportunities (teacher leadership, aspiring instructional coaches and aspiring administrator programs) and roles. Admission and selection to the many of the programs and roles, take into consideration an educators’ overall evaluation score, oftentimes referred to as level of effectiveness or LOE. In many instances, teacher observations make up 50-70 percent of teachers’ level of effectiveness. For Black and male teachers that have continually and consistently received lower observation scores, this can have an impact on their ability for career advancement and progression, which may influence their decision to leave the profession.
Teachers of color make up approximately 15 percent of Tennessee’s educator workforce, and of that total 12 percent are Black teachers. In order to increase teacher diversity in the state, it is paramount that we retain our existing teachers of color. TERA’s research illuminates one of many racial inequities that our educator workforce faces.