What is the MET Project?

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The MET project was a research partnership between 3,000 teacher volunteers and dozens of independent research teams. The project's goal was to build and test measures of effective teaching to determine how evaluation methods could best be used to tell teachers more about the skills that make them most effective and to help districts identify and develop great teaching. Launched in 2009, the study has identified multiple measures and tools that -- taken together -- can provide an accurate and reliable picture of teaching effectiveness. By understanding what great teachers do and by improving the ways teachers gain insight into their practice, we can help more teachers develop their practice and achieve success for their students.

Research shows that a teacher's contribution matters more than anything else within a school. More than class size. More than school funding. More than technology. For decades, most initiatives to improve public education have focused on improving poor performing schools. But studies show that there are bigger differences in teaching quality within schools than there are between schools. This means that in the same school, a child taught by a less effective teacher can receive an education of vastly different quality than a student just down the hall who is taught by a more effective teacher. And the way evaluations are currently conducted don't provide a teacher who is struggling with a roadmap to improve.

Because teaching is complex, no single measure can capture the complete picture of a teacher's impact; yet many evaluation systems use tools that measure only a few aspects of teaching. The information that results provides teachers with very limited, occasional feedback to help develop their practice. Multiple measures are needed to help school leaders understand how teaching contributes to student success. By evaluating multiple aspects of teaching, instructors and school leaders can create better professional development programs that promote proven techniques and practices that help students learn, and can make better-informed hiring and tenure decisions.

The project was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of ongoing efforts to give teachers the tools they need to be successful and to improve student achievement in public schools across the United States.

More information is available on the official MET Project website.