MI Monday | Data Driven Teacher Accountability
Welcome to MI Monday I Week #14
Teachers are important – if they are not at school and not teaching, children do not learn.
In India, teachers miss an average of one in every four days of school (World Absenteeism Survey); and when teachers are at school, they are often spending time on other activities. One survey found that, on average, teachers spend less than half the time they are supposed to be teaching actually doing so (Chaudhury et al. 2006). Overall, absence rates were similar in government and affordable-private schools. This needs to change. There are some promising ways to do this both in terms of holding teachers to account and in terms of creating incentives for teachers to work their hardest.
One study in Rajasthan, for example, found that by linking teacher pay to attendance and verifying attendance with photos taken on cameras with tamper-proof date and time stamps, teacher absences were reduced by half and, most importantly, students learned more (Duflo et al. 2010a).
The following STIR micro-innovations are ideas that schools have found useful in increasing teacher accountability.
As school manager, HK Sharma was frustrated by a lack of teacher motivation in effectively implementing techniques designed to improve pupil learning, especially the holistic development of his students.
The micro-innovation designed to overcome this involved the use of data to monitor both
student progress and teachers’ progress towards targets:
• Student reporting entails teachers completing monthly reports on every child, from academic grades in each subject, through to whether the students have met the dress code and attendance & punctuality policy.
• Specific teacher targets are then set (for example, for every child in a class to know their times tables from 10 to 12, within a fortnight) and monitored – successful implementation and meeting of targets is the basis for teacher rewards. However, he provides the carrot as well as the stick, by running a set of teacher development
workshops on everything from “how to create lesson plans” to “learning the brain friendly way”, using these sessions as an opportunity for him to share the school targets and energise his staff in the school’s vision.
This innovation recognizes the importance of accountability for both students and teachers and makes interesting use of information provided by students to understand their individual learning needs and family background. It also emphasizes strongly the teachers’ responsibility for their students’ learning.
Potential implementation challenges
The process described is quite time intensive. To be truly effective, the teachers will need to make full use of the tracking data to inform their own practice, as well as relying solely on ‘topdown’ targets.
Impact so far (according to teacher)
HK Sharma is now able to answer parent queries with a depth of knowledge and information on each student’s progress, as well as to set effective targets for teachers, resulting in improved achievement.
Download the implementation guide for Data Driven Teacher Accountability.