Finding measures of effective teaching

The Challenge 

In 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a new project to find ways to fairly and effectively evaluate teachers and identify what effective teaching is.

The Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project studied 3,000 teachers in 6 school districts around the country. Leaders from local teachers’ unions, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and education consultants also participated in the study.

The Gates Foundation asked Westat to help manage the project and oversee data collection.

Our Solutions 

  • We compiled and organized information that others had collected, including a survey of students’ perceptions, information on teachers’ working conditions, an assessment of how much teachers know about the subjects they teach, and more. We also provided uniform and streamlined instructions for teachers and students to facilitate easy administration of the various surveys and assessments.
  • Our data sets served as the basis for all of the project’s research briefs and reports.
  • Additionally, we set up and ran the MET Service Center, which served as the point of contact for school districts’ staff and teachers. The MET Service Center provided communication and technical support, such as helping participants use procedures that ensured uniform information collection.

The Results 

  • Policymakers, state and local government officials, and academics studying teacher effectiveness continue to cite the results from the MET project.
  • In many states, schools districts are revising their teacher evaluation systems based on the findings from the MET project.
  • Because in part of the success of the MET project, the Gates Foundation launched MET Extension, a digital library of more than 15,000 classroom lessons.



Our Client 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation