[This information came via email on 2/21/2013 from the TN DOE. The web version of the email is accessible here.]
A number of districts* have decided to pilot student surveys this spring and for the 2013-14 academic year. Student surveys were an important component of the Measures of Effective Teaching study conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Student surveys were found to be a valid and reliable measure that is predictive of teacher effectiveness, more predictive, in fact, than observations.
By giving students the opportunity to provide feedback on their classroom experience, student surveys emphasize the importance of how teachers are challenging and engaging their students. The survey asks students to provide feedback on content, pedagogy, and relationships. In addition to providing a valuable measure of teacher quality, the student survey results are an important tool for targeting professional development to teachers based on their results.
*MNPS will be piloting the Tripod survey at the end of the 2012-13 school year.