Dr. Jennifer Lewis, professor of mathematics education in the Wayne State College of Education, has been awarded $548,970 by the W.T. Grant Foundation to study the implementation of observational assessments that are used as a part of teacher evaluation systems.
Along with co-investigators Courtney Bell and Nathan Jones at Educational Testing Services, UCAST (Understanding Consequential Assessment Systems of Teaching) will track 1600 observers who will create consequential ratings of teachers, beginning with their training and then the subsequent adoption of these rating systems of observed instruction. A smaller focus group of 40 observers will be studied more closely. With the rapid increase of assessment systems used to evaluate teachers across the country, findings from the UCAST study will inform school districts about whether and how observational rating systems can be deployed to improve instruction.