The Graduate Review


Teacher evaluation has gained wide-spread attention and implementation in recent decades. In 2011, the State of Massachusetts adopted new regulations for the evaluation of all teachers designed to assist in developing talented educators through self-directed analysis, reflection, planning, action steps, and collaboration. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of Massachusetts State mandated teacher evaluation on teacher perceptions of professional growth. In this study, professional growth refers to reflecting on feedback from observations as well as formative and summative meetings with evaluators to adjust practice in the classroom. Specifically, the development of a teacher’s professional growth includes reflecting upon one’s curriculum, planning, assessment and goal setting.

The participants in this study are 173 teachers from six high schools that share homogeneous demographics and socio-economic status in the suburbs south of Boston, Massachusetts. Participants have a varied range of teaching experience. The data in this study strongly suggests that the Massachusetts Educator Evaluation System has not affected positive change in most educators’ professional growth in any significant way. However, new teachers, those with five or less years experience, do perceive positive change in their development as an educator compared to those with more experience. Other variables such as a teachers’ primary evaluator and experience with other evaluation systems also yielded statistically significant findings.

States and districts spend a great deal of time and money developing and implementing teacher evaluation systems. If educators do not see the new evaluation system as improving their professional growth and practice, then the system should be adjusted to ensure this essential aspect is achieved.

Note on the Author

Craig Goldberg began his teaching career for the New York City Department of Education after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, NY and a Master’s Degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He graduated from Bridgewater State University in May 2017, having earned a C.A.G.S. in Educational Leadership. This research was completed under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen J. Nelson during the 2016-2017 academic year. He is currently a history teacher at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, Massachusetts. He lives in Easton, Massachusetts with his wife, Meredith; daughter, Madison; and son, Declan.

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