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Eric Taylor is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research fellow at CESifo, and affiliated with the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard. He is currently a co-editor at the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Taylor studies the economics of education, focusing on labor and employment relationships in the education sector, and teaches courses in applied econometrics and personnel economics. His research on the teacher workforce has included questions on hiring decisions, job design, training, and job performance evaluation. His work has been published in the American Economic Review, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, and Journal of Labor Economics; and featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Education Week. Taylor was recognized for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring by the Stanford GSE in 2013.
Click here to see a full list of Eric Taylor's courses.
The Evaluation Partnership Program (EPP), currently being scaled statewide by the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), is designed to lastingly improve teacher job performance by pairing teachers in year-long working partnerships focused on addressing the performance feedback received in formal, classroom-observation-based evaluation. In brief, a teacher with low evaluation scores in a particular area of instructional practice (e.g., Questioning or Lesson Structure and Pacing) is matched to a partner teacher in the same school who has high evaluation scores in the same areas of practice. The partnership is encouraged to discuss evaluation results, observe each others teaching, share strategies and tactics, and follow-up with each other. EPP was designed in a partnership between the TDOE and researchers (John Papay and John Tyler at Brown University, and Eric Taylor now at HGSE). Results from a pilot test of EPP are encouraging. In schools randomly assigned to EPP, students test scores improved (0.08 student standard deviations in reading and math), teachers observed practices improved, and teachers attitudes about performance evaluation improved.
The current grant proposal will expand the experimental evaluation of EPP, examining the effects of the program at statewide scale and testing hypotheses about mechanisms. The random-assignment evaluation will be extended to include all approximately 1,800 schools in Tennessee (half assigned to implement EPP, the other half to a business-as-usual control). The project also intends to inform broader questions about the scale-up of promising practices to statewide programs, including questions about why schools do or do not choose to participate. Finally, the grant proposal explicitly involves continuing and expanding partnerships between TDOE and researchers at Brown, HGSE, and Vanderbilt, in part to build research and evaluation capacity at the TDOE.