Publications & Resources

Teachers’ Assignments as Indicators of Instructional Quality in Elementary Schools

Jul 2001

Lindsay Clare, Rosa Valdes, Jenny Pascal and Joan Rector Steinberg

This report describes ongoing research investigating the use of teachers’ assignments as an indicator of classroom practice. The purpose of this work is to develop a measure of students’ learning environments that could potentially be used to help monitor the influence of school reform efforts on the quality of the classroom learning environment and support the improvement of instructional practice. Past research indicated good results in regard to the technical quality and feasibility of the method for describing practice in urban school environments. This report describes additional research investigating the reliability and validity of this method for describing the quality of students’ learning environments in schools serving higher achieving and middle-class elementary school students as well. Results indicated good reliability between raters, but not within raters over time. Results also indicated that the quality of assignments was statistically significantly associated with the quality of observed instruction and student work. Finally, results indicated that at least three assignments would need to be collected from teachers to determine a stable estimate of quality.

Clare, L., Vald├ęs, R., Pascal, J., & Steinberg, J. R. (2001). Teachers’ assignments as indicators of instructional quality in elementary schools (CSE Report 545). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).