Dr. Randi Freeman

We are pleased to share with our supporters that 2018 Doctoral Dissertation Grant (DDG) recipient Dr. Randi Freeman won this year’s Washington Educational Research Association’s (WERA) Research Award. According to WERA’s website, recipients of this award will demonstrate that their research has Washington “state-wide application in terms of results, methodology, or analyses,” and that it has “long-term value.”

The award was bestowed upon her for her TIRF-funded study, Using the Danielson Framework to Evaluate the Teachers of English Language Learners in Washington State: A Mixed-Methods Study. Her research examined the appropriateness of using the Danielson Framework for Teaching (FFT) (Danielson, 2011) to make high-stakes decisions regarding the quality of instruction provided to English language learners (ELLs) in Washington.

Unlike other studies on the FFT, by employing the Quality Teaching for English Learners Approach as the theoretical framework, Dr. Freeman’s work positioned the specialized instructional needs of ELLs at the center of the data collection and analyses. It was found that the FFT does not contain critical indicators of quality instruction for ELLs and, similar to previous studies, serious concerns about inter-rater reliability were raised; therefore, the study concluded that it is inappropriate to use the FFT to evaluate teachers of ELLs.

When asked to comment on what receiving the award meant to her, Dr. Freeman stated the following: “There are many educators who, like me, have primarily spent their careers working directly with language learners. These teachers’ professional experiences are rarely publicly acknowledged. By receiving the WERA Research Award, I am able to publicly honor the voices and experiences of the 185 Washington State K-12 educators who so generously participated in my study.” She continued, “Furthermore, the announcement of my award to the WERA mailing list provides me with a wider audience for my research. To me, as a newly minted Doctor of TESOL, this free publicity could prove invaluable. Finally, this nod from my fellow researchers gives me encouragement to continue the dissemination of my findings with the goal of impacting state policy regarding teacher evaluation.”

Please join TIRF in congratulating Dr. Freeman!