About the Project

Two years... 3,000 teachers from a number of districts... informing education reform efforts nationwide

About the MET Project

The MET project will be implemented over the next two school years (2009-2010 and 2010-2011) in a number of school districts around the nation. It will involve teachers and their students in the following courses: Math and English Language Arts (ELA) in grades 4 through 8, Algebra I at the high school level, Biology (or its equivalent) at the high school level, and English in grade 9.

Researchers will collect six types of data:

Videotaped Classroom Observations: Researchers will videotape four lessons each year in each selected class and subject. These videotapes will be reviewed using several different sets of nationally recognized teaching standards.

Click here for a short video on videotaping in the classroom.

Teacher reflections on their videotaped lessons: Teachers will provide written commentary and any relevant supporting materials to provide context about the videotaped lessons, and to share their self-reflections.

Student Feedback: All students in participating teachers' classrooms will complete surveys inquiring about their experiences in the classroom and their teachers' ability to engage them in the course material. In a small number of classrooms, student work also will be collected. Researchers will review the quality and quantity of this work to assess teacher expectations and student effort.

Supplemental Student Assessments: Many state tests assess a wide range of content but dedicate relatively few items to each individual content area. Project researchers will administer an additional test that focuses on the most important content areas for a given course of study. Use of this additional test will allow researchers to assess whether students who perform well on the broader assessment also can perform well on the conceptually deeper assessment. The test will be given in the last 30 days of each school year and will be no longer than 60 minutes per subject at the elementary/middle school level and no more than 90 minutes per subject at the high school level.

Assessment of Teachers' Ability to Recognize and Diagnose Student Misperceptions: In Year 2 of the project (2010-2011), researchers will assess participating teachers' ability to recognize and diagnose common student misperceptions in their subjects and at the appropriate grade levels.

Teacher Surveys: All participating teachers will complete surveys asking them about the quality of working conditions within their schools and the amount of instructional support they receive.

Year 1 of the project (2009-2010) will focus on teacher recruitment and data collection. Year 2 of the project (2010-2011) will focus on validation of the most promising measures of effective teaching. This validation will be accomplished through the use of a lottery process to assign participating teachers to class sections in their subject/grade combinations.

The lottery process will be implemented as follows: Principals will draw up all classroom rosters and student course schedules as usual. Working with MET project staff, principals will then assign the participating teachers to classes in their given subject/grade combinations by lottery.

This process will accomplish the research goals of the project and ensure that the results are not compromised by the composition of the classes of participating teachers. Moreover, since the only teachers eligible to participate in the MET project are those who can be assigned to teach any of the classes in their given subject/grade combination that will be assigned teachers through the lottery, the study is designed to ensure that principals retain control over the decisions that impact students and that students are assigned only those teachers deemed appropriate by their school principal. Help me to understand how this works.

Your Contribution to Education Reform

In order to inform education reform efforts nationwide, the findings of this project - as well as the tools developed through it - will be made available to the public. None of the individual, teacher-level data collected will be shared with principals or other school or district personnel. If it is determined that aggregated data would prove helpful to school districts, and if such data can be provided without identifying individual teachers, then the data will be provided at school districts' request.

“This national research study is going to help all of us in public education learn about great teaching because it's going to study real teachers in real classrooms.”
-Pete Gorman,
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools