Press Releases

Statements of Support 6/01/2009

Presentation of Findings 6/01/2009

Press Release 6/01/2009

In the news

Teacher Evaluation 2.0
The New Teacher Project 10/06/2010

Teacher evaluations are broken. So how can we fix them? This guide proposes six design standards for a rigorous and fair evaluation system. It offers states and school districts a blueprint for better evaluations that can help every teacher thrive in the classroom—and give every student the best chance at success.

How Federal Education Policy Can Reverse The Widget Effect
TNTP Release 2/25/2010

As federal policymakers gear up to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), they have an opportunity to re-think the use of Title II funds, which total $3 billion annually.

No (Tenured) Teacher Left Behind
The Wall Street Journal 2/23/2010

A New Teacher Project study last year looked at tenure evaluations in multiple states and found that “less than 1% of teachers receive unsatisfactory ratings, even in schools where students fail to meet basic academic standards, year after year.” Less than 2% of teachers are denied tenure in LA, where the high school dropout rate is 35% and growing.

DPS Teacher Evaluations Don’t Mirror Quality, Group Says
The Denver Post 2/18/2010

About 55 percent of Denver teachers believe teaching quality in the district is substandard, but that is rarely conveyed in evaluations, teachers surveyed by the New Teacher Project said. The conclusion is DPS’s performance-management system is broken.

Reconciliation of Toledo Public Schools Teacher Dismissal Data
TNTP Release 2/08/2010

After TNTP released data on teacher dismissals in Toledo Public Schools (TPS) in The Widget Effect, the Toledo Federation of Teachers contacted TNTP with concerns about the accuracy of the data. TNTP agreed to work with TFT on a careful examination of the data to reach a conclusion about final figures. This memorandum provides a summary of our findings.

Top Teachers Assigned Unevenly
Cincinnati Enquirer 12/20/2009

Earlier this month, The New Teacher Project, an independent consultant, recommended that CPS overhaul its teacher-assignment system, including providing incentives for good teachers to go to struggling schools.

Can Your Teacher Teach?
Chicago Tribune 11/11/2009

The ability of the teacher is the most powerful factor in a classroom, the big difference in how well and how much children learn. But public schools have knit together a warm and cozy fiction that all teachers are good.

Teacher Test
CommonWealth Magazine 10/30/2009

Identifying effective teachers is vital to improving schools. So why do we act as if all teachers are interchangeable?

A Way to Improve Schools, One Instructor at a Time
Boston Globe 11/01/2009

In June, the New Teacher Project, a New York-based nonprofit, released a report that looked at teacher evaluation data from 12 school systems around the country. In districts that use a so-called binary evaluation system with just two categories…more than 99 percent of teachers were judged satisfactory over the four-year period from 2003 to 2006.

Our View: Teacher Evaluations Need to Be Credible For All to Succeed
Rockford Register Star 10/28/2009

Keillor knew Lake Wobegon wasn’t all that perfect, and Rockford residents know all the teachers aren’t excellent. Yet those are the findings in a survey by The New Teacher Project, a nonprofit group seeking to improve teacher quality.

School Board Updated on Evaluation Study
Rockford Register Star 10/28/2009

The Rockford School District is keeping teachers who should be dismissed or aren’t meeting performance expectations, according to a study presented Tuesday to the School Board.

Talks Represent Tremendous Opportunity
Cincinnati Enquirer 10/22/2009

How can we identify, recognize, reward and retain excellent teachers in CPS? How can we attract our best teachers to the schools that need them most? These are not questions that typically have been easy for public school systems to answer – and they certainly cannot be well answered without listening to the voices of our teachers and principals.That is why I am so enthusiastic about our partnership with the New Teacher Project.

Now is the Chance to Focus on Good Teaching
Cincinnati Enquirer 10/22/2009

The New Teacher Project, with financial support from local foundations and education stakeholder groups, is assisting with this effort by preparing a report that identifies Cincinnati’s specific policy challenges and makes pragmatic recommendations for reform. The analysis, which will include survey results from more than 1,000 teachers and administrators as well as various other data, will be released this fall.

How Should Teacher Effectiveness Be Assessed?
National Journal, Expert Blogs 10/19/2009

In a report titled “The Widget Effect,” the nonprofit New Teacher Project found that in public schools nationwide, teacher effectiveness is not measured, recorded or used to inform decision-making in any meaningful way. How should teacher effectiveness be assessed? What role should student performance and standardized testing have in this equation?

Superintendent spreads the gospel of 'value-added' teacher evaluations
Los Angeles Times 10/18/2009

Value-added analysis promises to address one of public education’s central conundrums: On one hand, research shows that effective teachers are the single most important factor in improving student performance. On the other, most states use subjective evaluation systems — based on occasional classroom visits by administrators — that give nearly all teachers a satisfactory rating.

U46 expands its Mentoring Program to Teachers New to District
The Courier News (Elgin, IL) 10/05/2009

School District U46 is expanding its teacher mentor program to include all teachers who are new to the district, not just new to teaching. The announcement of the new initiative comes after a recent national study conducted by The New Teacher Project, entitled “The Widget Effect,” noted a nationwide tendency to treat teachers as being interchangeable.

The Sources of Innovation
Learning Matters TV 9/14/2009

Education’s ‘one size fits all’ approach to evaluating and paying teachers has to dampen enthusiasm for trying new approaches. Why bother if you aren’t going to be rewarded? As “The Widget Effect,” a new report from the New Teacher Project, makes clear, administrators don’t pay much attention to teacher effectiveness.

California Needs 'Race to the Top' Funds
Los Angeles Times 9/18/2009

As a recent report from the New Teacher Project makes clear, this firewall contributes to a perverse situation in which teachers are treated as widgets, neither rewarded nor supported because the performance of one cannot be distinguished from another. It’s hard to think of another field that would tolerate such an arrangement.

Back to School
The Pueblo Chieftain 9/14/2009

The issue of training for Pueblo City Schools teachers was highlighted recently when representatives of the nonprofit group the New Teacher Project shared the results of a study which analyzed teacher evaluation practices. The study found that new teachers don’t always get the training they need, due in part to the (legislated) binary evaluation rule.

Doyle, Barrett say Milwaukee Schools Need Radical Change
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 9/01/2009

In recent weeks, independent research from the New Teacher Project has put Wisconsin at the bottom of all 50 states when it comes to having the necessary reform models in place to be eligible for Race to the Top- a point Bonds has emphasized in arguing that a takeover would not raise the state’s chances of receiving federal money.

The Rubber Room: The Battle Over New York City's Worst Teachers
The New Yorker 8/24/2009

In a system with eighty-nine thousand teachers, the untouchable six hundred Rubber Roomers and eleven hundred teachers on the reserve list are only emblematic of the larger challenge of evaluating, retraining, and, if necessary, weeding out the poor performers among the other 87,300.

Editorial: Grand Rapids Schools are in the Race
Grand Rapids Press 8/22/2009

How does Michigan rate? Middle of the pack, according to the nonprofit New Teacher Project, which handicapped each state. Michigan was ranked “somewhat competitive,” behind 16 states ranked highly competitive or competitive.

Opinion: Find, Reward Most Effective Teachers
The Miami Herald 8/23/2009

A survey of 15,000 teachers and 1,300 school administrators by The New Teacher Project found, ``A teacher’s effectiveness — the most important factor for schools in improving student achievement — is not measured, recorded or used to inform decision-making in any meaningful way.’‘

Louisiana is Strong Candidate for Share of $4.3 Billion Grant
The Times-Picayune 8/17/2009

A national education group has deemed Louisiana one of the two most competitive states in the hunt for a share of $4.3 billion in discretionary money that the U.S. Department of Education will award over the next year.Timothy Daly, the president of the group, called the report “a quick and dirty analysis” that he hopes states will use as a guide.

La. Well Positioned for "Race to the Top" Funds
The Independent (Louisiana) 8/17/2009

Louisiana is one of two states in prime position to capitalize on the U.S. Department of Education’s $4.3 billion ‘Race to the Top’ grant sweepstakes, according to a new report from a national nonprofit group. The New Teacher Project handicaps the race, listing Louisiana and Florida as the only “highly competitive” states.

Editorial: If Illinois Blows This...
Chicago Tribune 8/17/2009

Competition for Race to the Top money will be fierce. And Illinois has plenty to do if it wants to qualify. According to The New Teacher Project, a non-profit organization that works nationally to improve teacher quality, Illinois now is only “somewhat competitive” for Race to the Top funding.

Dangling Money, Obama Pushes an Education Shift
The New York Times 8/16/2009

The New Teacher Project, a nonprofit group, published a report this month handicapping states’ chances [for Race to the Top funding]. Florida and Louisiana, it said, were “highly competitive,” New Jersey and others were “competitive,” and Connecticut was “somewhat competitive.”

Editorial: La. Improving under Pastorek
Baton Rouge Advocate 8/17/2009

Two groups have looked at the complex rules written into the federal stimulus law to govern distribution of $4.35 billion of “Race to the Top” funds — money that states taking the lead in education reform can win in a national competition.One group is the New Teacher Project, which produced a report analyzing the criteria for the Race to the Top grants.

Reality Check in Race for School Funds
Denver Post 8/17/2009

Colorado officials are confident about the state’s chances of winning a slice of the competitive $4.3 billion in “Race to the Top” education stimulus funds, but one report says that may not be a sure thing. Colorado is “somewhat competitive” relative to other states — or in the middle of the pack — according to a report by The New Teacher Project.

Make Up Your Mind, Please, Gov. Strickland
Flypaper Blog 8/14/2009

The New Teacher Project (TNTP) just issued a report to help states interpret the RttT guidelines and see how well they fare according to the give criteria. Overall, TNTP considers Ohio to be competitive, but notice where our weakness lies.

Peer-Assistance and -Review: The Toledo Numbers
Education Week, Teacher Beat 8/06/2009

There was a bit of a mini-controversy in June when the New Teacher Project released its Widget Effect report. But it wasn’t the report’s overall thrust that did it. The controversy was about the data on dismissals in one particular district: Toledo, Ohio.

Pueblo Teachers' Report Cites Need for Change
Education News Colorado 7/29/2009

Pueblo’s worst teachers are more likely to be bounced from building to building than fired, at least partly because principals in the city school district say it’s too difficult to get rid of them. Those are among the key findings of an in-depth report on the hiring, firing and evaluation of Pueblo teachers.

District Should Revamp Its Teacher Evaluations
The Pueblo Chieftan 7/29/2009

School districts should stop seeing their teachers as “widgets,” two consultants told the Pueblo City Schools Board of Education Tuesday night and address their individual needs for training and realistic evaluations.

Evaluating Teachers: Beware of Formulas
New York Teacher 7/03/2009

The report’s recommendations — that administrators get far more training, and pay far more attention to evaluations, done for the purpose of improvement, not dismissal — are a sea change in the tone and tenor of the national discussion on teacher quality.

More than 500 extra teachers rated “unsatisfactory” this year
Gotham Schools 7/21/2009

A recent bout of research argues that poor teaching is partly to blame for poorly performing schools, and a report by The New Teacher Project singled out poor teacher evaluation systems as part of the problem… U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan endorsed the report, and his staff has urged school districts to improve their teacher evaluation systems.

Tenured-teacher firings rare in Sioux Falls
Argus News-Leader 7/12/2009

A recent study from The New Teacher Project suggests districts are setting the bar too low. “The Widget Effect,” which looked at evaluations at 12 school districts in four states, found that less than one percent of teachers aren’t meeting supervisors’ expectations.

Obama Official to New York: Change Your Tenure Law or Else
Gotham Schools 7/09/2009

Weiss was in town to discuss The New Teacher Project’s report “The Widget Effect,” which was released last month and urged districts to overhaul their teacher performance evaluations. She spoke on a panel at the Carnegie Corporation alongside Rob Weil, the American Federation of Teacher’s deputy director of educational issues.

Editorial: Grading Teachers
The Houston Chronicle 7/08/2009

The hacked-off NEA members appear to prefer what Duncan described as “the industrial, factory model of education that treats all teachers like interchangeable widgets.” That every-cog-is-equal model is great for union solidarity and teachers’ job security, but it’s rotten for kids stuck with teachers who can’t teach. And it’s high time that our kids took priority.

Mediocre Teachers? Not Around Here
St. Petersburg Times 7/08/2009

We asked [for our local teacher evaluation data] more than a month ago, prompted by this highly praised report from The New Teacher Project, but for some reason it took a while for the numbers to trickle out.

Report: Good, Bad U-46 Teachers Go Unaddressed
Chicago Daily Herald 7/03/2009

Teachers may not come off assembly lines like Fords. But school districts across the country, including Elgin Area School District U-46, treat them as if they do, one study claims.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan Notes "Widget Effect" in Remarks to National Education Association

In a major speech to the National Education Association, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said policies created over the past century have produced an industrial factory model of education that treats all teachers like interchangeable widgets.

Editorial: Best in Class
The Washington Post 7/01/2009

It’s a system that is indifferent to teacher effectiveness or student achievement…. As a recent study by the New Teacher Project found, [teachers] are too often treated as interchangeable widgets. Because teachers are the single most critical factor in improving student achievement, it’s time to start drawing distinctions in how they are retained, promoted and rewarded.

Editorial: Detroit Needs to Ensure Teacher Quality is Part of Contract with Schools
The Detroit News 6/29/2009

The ground-breaking study should prompt Bobb and the Detroit Federation of Teachers to review Detroit’s evaluation system to see if it has the same flaws the study outlines. If so, Detroit needs a truthful, fair and comprehensive teacher evaluation method that rewards and keeps great teachers, improves average ones and gets rid of the bad ones.

To the Editor: Teach Your Children Well
South Philly Review 6/29/2009

Last week, the New Teacher Project released a comprehensive research report on the “nation’s failure to assess teacher effectiveness, treating teachers as interchangeable parts.” The Philadelphia story is no different.

Teachers or 'Widgets'?
Minnesota Public Radio 6/22/2009

Effective teachers are the key to student success. Yet school systems treat all teachers as interchangeable parts, not professionals, according to The New Teacher Project, an organization dedicated to changing the way teachers’ performance is evaluated.

Why Not Grade the Teachers?
The Globe and Mail 6/18/2009

In the United States, widespread teacher mediocrity is the single biggest barrier to Barack Obama’s goal of education reform. The New Teacher Project found that, as in Canada, the system reacts with vast indifference to variations in performance. Teachers are treated like widgets, not individual professionals – and a culture of low expectations is the norm.

Editorial: Paying for Bad Teachers
Los Angeles Times 6/15/2009

A recent study by the New Teacher Project, a training organization in New York, found that in many schools where teachers agreed that a colleague should be fired for poor performance, no one was even given an “unsatisfactory” rating on evaluations. Some objective measures are necessary.

Editorial: All Children Deserve Only the Best Teachers
The Phildelphia Inquirer 6/14/2009

As we end this school year and prepare for the next, let us commit that our school district staff, parents, and community leaders will work together to guarantee that neither students nor teachers will suffer from a “widget effect” in Philadelphia’s public schools.

L.A. Unified Vote Foretells Difficulties for School Reform
Los Angeles Times 6/14/2009

The issue [of teacher effectiveness] came up again this month in a study by the New York-based education reform group the New Teacher Project, which described a “national failure” to measure teacher success.

Teachers Are Widgets
Daily Kos 6/11/2009

And something else everyone knows, the evaluations are worthless. Now a new study by the New Teacher Project confirms what everyone knows. Entitled “The Widget Effect,” the study show that teachers are fungible.

When Your Child’s Teacher Is a Rotten Apple
The Wall Street Journal 6/11/2009

A new report on teacher effectiveness by the nonprofit New Teacher Project shows nearly every teacher passes administrators’ evaluations, regardless of their skill, and poor performers are seldom removed from the classroom, based on a study of schools in four states.

Editorial: Truth in Teaching
The New York Times 6/10/2009

Education reform will go nowhere until the states are forced to revamp corrupt teacher evaluation systems that rate a vast majority of teachers as “excellent,” even in schools where children learn nothing. A startling new report from a nonpartisan New York research group known as The New Teacher Project lays out the scope of the problem.

Using Teacher Evaluation Data
Education Week, Teacher Beat 6/08/2009

Imagine the possibilities if these evaluations actually meant something and districts could sort through the results of such evaluations electronically and analyze them in various ways.

Peanut Butter Politics: Education Funding Is a Sticky Issue
Newsweek 6/05/2009

Teacher effectiveness–say it three times. Last week a group called the New Teacher Project released a report titled “The Widget Effect” that argues that teachers are viewed as indistinguishable widgets–states and districts are “indifferent to variations in teacher performance“–and notes that more than 99 percent of teachers are rated satisfactory.

Short Reviews: The Widget Effect
The Education Gadfly 6/05/2009

This revelatory study, with as much detail, rigor, and thoroughness as one could possibly want, proves what we’ve long suspected: the formal process of teacher evaluation as it exists today is a sham.

Editorial: Good, Bad or Whatever
Akron Beacon Journal 6/05/2009

A well-designed system offers critical feedback, identifying effective and bad teachers and practices, providing incentives to improve student and school performance. It shouldn’t take Akron the next 100 years to develop a fair, accurate and credible system.

The Widget Effect: Where Every Teacher is Above Average
The Philadelphia Public School Notebook 6/03/2009

The TNTP report makes a bigger point: that evaluation systems don’t use the generally perfunctory evaluation process to inform decisions regarding professional development, compensation, tenure (except for Toledo), or layoffs, when they are necessary. Worse, there is no way to recognize excellence.

Editorial: The Difference Between Good and Bad Teachers
The Denver Post 6/02/2009

Imagine a business that can’t recognize its best employees and ignores its failures. Would you invest in it? Such a dynamic haunts our nation’s public schools, according to a new study, and you invest in them plenty.

Chicago, Elgin, Rockford Get Scrutiny on Teacher Evaluation
Catalyst Chicago 6/02/2009

Three Illinois school districts – Chicago, Elgin and Rockford – were among 12 studied for a new report that calls for an overhaul of teacher evaluation, a long-standing issue across the country that school districts have made little progress in changing.

National Report: Colorado Teacher Evaluations Flawed
KKTV (Pueblo, Colorado) 6/02/2009

A new national report says teacher evaluations in Colorado are flawed. The report claims evaluations are short and infrequent, most based on two or fewer classroom visits.

Teachers Need Honest Evaluations, National Report Says
St. Petersburg Times 6/02/2009

Bad teachers and the hurdles to firing them are real problems. But they’re just one part of a more pressing dilemma – the failure of schools to honestly and accurately evaluate teachers, says a new report out this morning from The New Teacher Project.

Finding Poor Teachers
Arkansas Times 6/02/2009

The Arkansas Education Association sends around a statement cheering a new national report that suggests part of the problem with poor teachers is that there’s a “pervasive indifference” to evaluating teachers

Study Flunks School Policies
The Denver Post 6/01/2009

Excellent teaching goes unrecognized and poor teaching is ignored across the country and in Denver, according to a national study that says failed policies make teachers as interchangeable as widgets.

Report: “Meaningless” Teacher Evaluations Need Improvement
Gotham Schools 6/01/2009

A new report is urging school districts across the country to beef up their methods of evaluating teachers, which the report describes as so slipshod as to be “largely meaningless.”

Nation's Teachers Treated Like Widgets
Education News Colorado 6/01/2009

Call it the Lake Woebegon effect – all of the nation’s teachers are above average, even if their students’ achievement is not.

Do Schools Treat Teachers Like "Widgets"?
The Education Report 6/01/2009

They concluded, among other things, that rookie teachers receive little support, that ineffective teachers with tenure are rarely dismissed for poor performance, and that “… on paper, almost every teacher is a great teacher…”

Study Finds Teacher Evaluations Usually Rosy
Education Week 6/01/2009

Few parents, principals, or even teachers themselves agree that all teachers are equally effective at helping children learn. Yet formal teacher evaluations tell a different story, one that looks a bit like something out of Lake Wobegon.

Report: CPS Keeps Bad Teachers
Cincinnati Enquirer 6/01/2009

Just one of the 37 Cincinnati Public schools that failed to meet mandatory improvement goals in 2008 fired a tenured teacher for poor performance, according to a report out Monday.

Akron Principals, Teachers Disagree on Performance Ratings
Akron Beacon Journal 6/01/2009

Akron Public Schools principals believe about 2 percent of Akron’s teachers should be fired for poor performance in the classroom. But they didn’t name names in a national report released today criticizing the effectiveness of teacher evaluations. Akron teachers themselves believe 5 percent of their fellow teachers deliver poor instruction, again without naming names, according to the report.

New New Teacher Project Report 6/01/2009

Despite all the rhetoric about how important teachers are and despite the importance of people in a labor-intensive field like education, the lack of systematic attention to teacher effectiveness in education is shocking. This report is the most ambitious effort to date to look at that question systematically and offer concrete steps that can be taken to improve the status quo.

Schools Failing to Assess Teacher Effectiveness, Treating Teachers as Interchangeable Parts
U.S. Secretary of Education, TNTP Press Release 6/01/2009

“Effective teachers who are fairly compensated are vital ingredients in the reforms our schools need. Schools need to have evaluation systems that fairly and accurately identify effective teachers.” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan