Students in 4th to 12th grade can distinguish dimensions of teaching when evaluating their teachers: a multilevel analysis of the TESS survey


Teacher evaluation systems across the United States are increasingly including student surveys as one source of data, but concerns remain about students’ ability to distinguish the multiple dimensions of teaching. We empirically examined this issue in an authentic evaluation system that uses a student survey based on the InTASC framework of teacher effectiveness. Our study addressed the factor structure and reliability of the Teacher Effectiveness Student Survey (TESS) using data from 5,178 surveys. We found that students’ perception of teacher effectiveness is consistent with the theory-based structure of the survey. Of particular importance, it suggests that elementary and secondary students are able to distinguish among different dimensions of teaching. Our results also indicated that TESS has a strong alignment with six InTASC-based teaching standards at both the student and teacher levels. Finally, we found that the aggregate student ratings reflect a reliable measure of the six theory-based teacher effectiveness constructs.

Publication Title

Educational Studies