Rating Teachers Cheaper, Faster, and Better
Journal of Teacher Education
Gargani and Strong claim to have developed and validated an observation system that requires only 4 hr of training, but one that can identify effective teachers using just 20 min of one video-taped lesson. They further contend that their six-item inventory requires little judgment from those who use it. They describe their instrument, the Rapid Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness (RATE), as better, faster, and cheaper than other available instruments. Although we find some aspects of their work (e.g., their work describing instrument development) as well done, we find, more generally, that their claims are premature and inflated. Their work suffers from several problems including inattention to relevant historical work, no demonstrated ecological validity, no working theory, and lacks a clear conception of what RATE is. At this stage of development, we rate RATE as having limited, if any, capacity for improving teaching.
Good, T. L., & Lavigne, A. L. (2015). Rating teachers cheaper, faster, and better: No so fast [Peer commentary on the paper, “Can we identify a successful teacher better, faster, and cheaper? Evidence of innovating teacher observation systems” by J. Gargani & M. Strong]. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(3), 288–293.