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Tool Name
School Observation Measure (SOM)

Evaluation Type
Classroom Observations

All Subjects

All Grades

Use of Evaluation


This product was developed by the University of Memphis Center for Research in Educational Policy.

Product Description
The SOM was originally designed to identify classroom practices as they are used across a school, not in a single classroom. Categories of instructional practice that the protocol measures include instructional orientation, instructional strategies, classroom organization, student activities, technology use, and assessment. In addition, the tool asks observers to rate the amount of academically focused class time and engagement of students. Though not intended for individual teacher evaluation, the results of the SOM could inform the formative development of teachers.

General Target Population Information
This observation instrument is designed to gather schoolwide information; it is not intended to be used for individual teacher evaluation.

Stage of Teacher Development
All Stages

The SOM is designed for use by researchers and evaluators.

Research and Resources

Sterbinsky, A., & Ross, S. M. (2003). School Observation Measure: Reliability study. Memphis, TN: Center for Research in Educational Policy. Retrieved on April 2, 2010 from

McDonald, A. J., Ross, S. M., Abney, J., & Zoblotsky, T. (2008). Urban school reform: Year 4 outcomes for the Knowledge is Power Program in an urban middle school. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York.

Cost is negotiated with CREP.

Contact Information
Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP)
325 Browning Hall
Memphis, TN 38152-3340
Phone: 901-678-2310
Toll Free: 866-670-6147
Fax: 901-678-4257

Support Available

Support is available by contract with CREP.