Published: May 25, 2017

Allison AtteberryDrawing from a unique combination of datasets, Allison Atteberry will explore the effects of changes in teacher evaluation policies with support from a 2017 National Academy of Education (NAEd)/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Announced today, only 30 early career scholars working in critical areas of education research nationwide have been selected out of roughly 300 applicants for the competitive NAEd/Spencer fellowship program. The fellows will receive $70,000 for a period of up to two years to support research proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education. The program also provides support for recipients through professional development activities with senior academy members.

Atteberry is assistant professor of education in the Research and Evaluation Methodology program. She will combine multiple data sources — National Council on Teacher Quality teacher evaluation policy reports, the Stanford Education Data Archive, and the School and Staffing Survey — to link state-year variation in evaluation policies to outcomes that, theory suggests, should be responsive to these policy changes.

Stimulated by Race to the Top initiatives, the majority of states have revised their teacher evaluation policies over the past ten years. Yet, there have been conflicting theories about whether making these policies more stringent would positively or negatively affect the teacher workforce and student outcomes. Findings are mixed due to differences in settings and methods, Atteberry says. Her work will create a national picture of whether changes in state-level teacher evaluation policies are associated with concurrent changes in: student achievement, achievement gaps, teacher job satisfaction, and teacher retention. 

"The NAEd/Spencer Fellowship Programs not only promote important research, but also help to develop the careers of scholars who demonstrate great promise for making significant contributions to education," said NAEd President Michael Feuer.