A student survey system known as the Tripod Project is helping districts harness student feedback on teachers in an effort to improve academic achievement, according to U.S. News & World Report. Developed by a Harvard professor, Tripod presents students with statements such as, “My teacher knows when the class understands, and when we do not,” and “My teacher has several good ways to explain each topic that we cover in this class.” The survey has three versions tailored for students in grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-12. Surveys administered to high schoolers feature five response options ranging from totally untrue to totally true. According to U.S. News, more than 3,000 K-12 teachers in six districts utilized the survey in 2009-10 as part of the Measures of Effective Teaching Project, which is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They have also been administered in China and Canada. Cambridge Education, a consulting group, distributes the survey and analyzes the results, which are reported back to schools…

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