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Exploring Race and Gender Gaps in Classroom Observation Scores in Tennessee

This brief analyzes patterns in classroom observation scores teachers receive along racial and gender lines. Across evaluation systems and in schools with different characteristics across Tennessee, Black and male teachers have consistently received lower observation scores than White and female teachers since the adoption of the state’s evaluation system in 2011. Additionally, Black and male teachers still receive lower observation scores than their peers even when they have similar student achievement growth scores.

 

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Key Findings
Evaluation gaps brief photo  

  • Black teachers and male teachers in Tennessee consistently receive lower classroom observation scores than their White and female peers each year, across every observation system (e.g. COACH, TEAM), and at every school level.

  • Black teachers and male teachers receive systematically lower observation scores than their White and female peers even when they have similar qualifications and their students achieve similar test scores and other outcomes.

  • While we have few clues as to what could be driving the gender gap in observation scores, the magnitude of the race gap is influenced by several factors. These include the racial composition of the school’s faculty, the differing characteristics of students who are assigned to Black and White teachers, and the race of the teacher’s observer.  

Suggested Citation:

Grissom, J. A., Bartanen, B., & Toone, A. (2021). Exploring race and gender gaps in classroom observation scores in Tennessee. Tennessee Education Research Alliance. https://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/TERA/evaluation_gaps.php.