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IBS Speaker Series: Mimi Engel
October 10, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Title: Exploring Bias in Denver Public Schools’ Multi-Measure Teacher Evaluation System
Abstract: Multi-measure teacher evaluation systems are the norm in school districts across the nation. Stemming, in part, from the Race to the Top federal funding competition that incentivized use of multiple measures to evaluate teacher performance, the nature of teacher evaluation has been fundamentally transformed in the decade since its inception. This talk focuses on Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) teacher evaluation system, Leading Effective Academic Practice (LEAP). LEAP scores are the product of student surveys, classroom observations, student growth (Student Growth Percentiles [SGP]), and a measure of teacher professionalism. This study is embedded in an ongoing Research Practice Partnership (RPP) between University of Colorado researchers and DPS administrators. We explore whether the LEAP teacher evaluation system has unintended consequences that result in systematic bias.
Bio: Dr. Mimi Engel is an associate professor and Program Chair of the Research & Evaluation Methodology (REM) program in the CU Boulder School of Education and a Faculty Affiliate in IBS’ Prevention Science Program.
Through her research Dr. Engel aims to contribute to our understanding of how policies and programs affect children’s developmental outcomes and opportunities to learn. Her interest in studying how schools and other contexts influence students is informed by her training in human development and social policy and social work. Spanning several areas including 1) p-12 teachers (policies that affect public school teachers and teacher labor markets, particularly in large urban districts), and 2) early childhood education (kindergarten, P-3 alignment, mathematics teaching and learning), and contextual influences on children, the central aim of her research is to provide new information about contexts, policies, programs, and administrative factors that have the potential to improve students’ school-related outcomes, particularly among students from marginalized groups.
Dr. Engel is currently working with Denver Public Schools through a Research-Practice Partnership focused on the District’s teacher workforce and teacher policies with the aim of improving teacher retention and student outcomes. This work is generously funded by a William T Grant Foundation Institutional Challenge Grant, an Institute of Education Sciences(IES) RPP grant, and support from CU Boulder and the School of Education.