Press Releases

12 September 2011


Jana Rausch

Bonnie Somers



BPC provides powerful, proven support for educator evaluation


Santa Monica, CA—The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) today announced the launch of its Best Practices Center (BPC), which offers “service, support and solutions” to states, districts and schools seeking to implement new educator evaluation and observation systems that accurately measure performance and support improvements in teacher skills.

Services include the direct training of evaluators to accurately rate lessons and provide post-conferencing feedback to teachers, online certification and recertification for evaluators, and controls to ensure that ratings are consistent among evaluators (“inter-rater consistency”).   

“NIET is excited to be expanding our reach and service offerings within the area of educator effectiveness through our new Best Practices Center,” said Dr. Gary Stark, president and CEO of NIET.  “On behalf of our Chairman and Founder, Lowell Milken, and the entire NIET staff, we look forward to working with many new schools and districts across the country.  The BPC will provide experienced trainers, on-site support, and powerful Web-based tools designed to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of educators.”

Expertise in educator evaluation—and the professional support systems to make effective use of evaluation results—is drawn from more than a decade of on-the-ground work with teacher quality reforms.  One of the first BPC projects is based at the State of Tennessee, which selected the TAP Teaching Standards as the basis for classroom observation in its new statewide teacher evaluation system.  In preparation, NIET supported the Tennessee Department of Education in training and certifying 5,000 evaluators in more than 100 four-day sessions this past summer.

 “As we seek to provide an outstanding education for every child, our enthusiasm for reform must be matched by expertise in implementation,” said Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre.  “NIET is providing states and districts with the tools and support to enhance teacher effectiveness, and ultimately increase student achievement for all kids.”

The Best Practices Center offers guidance for states, districts and schools in the following areas: 

  • Educator evaluation systems using multiple measures of performance including classroom observation and student achievement growth
  • NIET Best Practices Portal, an innovative online tool with resources to support teacher evaluation including hundreds of professionally filmed lessons from Pre-K-12 grade with ratings and evidence, interactive training modules, evaluator certification and support tools such as the scripting app
  • Performance data systems designed to manage and analyze teacher evaluation data as well as ensure inter-rater consistency using numerous real-time reports
  • Technical assistance in the areas of teacher compensation reform, the development of teacher leader roles and responsibilities, and in structuring data-driven systems of effective professional development

“Integrating the TAP Teaching Standards into our teacher preparation program has helped us develop a strong structure of best practices for our educators to follow,” said Virginia McElyea, Teacher Incentive Fund director at Arizona State University.  “NIET’s experience and innovative tools are valuable assets to our delivery of services and enhance the skills of teachers in the field who need them the most.” 

NIET is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that pursues its mission to increase educator effectiveness through two signature initiatives: TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement and the NIET Best Practices Center (BPC).

To learn more about the Best Practices Center and NIET, visit  Preview the Best Practices Portal at Follow NIET on Twitter at and on YouTube at