resources

Reports

Teacher Compensation

Recent Evaluations of Performance-Pay Programs

Craig Jerald for the Gates Foundation   |   March 2012

As states and districts across the country roll out new teacher evaluation and support systems, a new report from the Gates Foundation provides lessons from leading practitioners about how to ensure the classroom observations that are a lynchpin of those systems produce accurate results. Ensuring Accurate Feedback from Observations offers methods—including those used in TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement—to ensure that classroom observations provide teachers with the critical feedback they need to improve their practice and addresses key considerations and lessons from early implementers. The report examines topics from how to select a rubric to training and certifying raters. When done well, classroom observations should be a springboard to providing the supports needed for teachers to continually improve their practice.

The Effects of Performance-Based Teacher Pay on Student Achievement

Sally Hudson   |   July 2010

Published by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, this study finds that schools implementing the comprehensive TAP system increase student achievement gains more than similar non-TAP schools. Conducted by Sally Hudson under the guidance of Scott and Donya Bommer Professor in Economics Caroline Hoxby, this paper examines the impact of TAP on student growth in 151 TAP schools in 10 states.Hudson evaluates the effects of TAP on state achievement exam scores in mathematics and reading using synthetic control matching. These student achievement results are particularly relevant as policymakers consider the impact of performance-based compensation reform applied as part of a comprehensive system supporting teacher and principal improvement.

Aligned by Design: How Teacher Compensation Reform Can Support and Reinforce Other Educational Reforms

Craig Jerald for the Center for American Progress [CAP]   |   July 2009

Written for CAP by leading education researcher Craig Jerald, this report counteracts the failures of existing professional development and evaluation systems by citing TAP as a comprehensive system that reforms teacher compensation, along with other support structures, in an effective and sustainable way. Jerald uses TAP to illustrate the importance of building human capital at the school and district levels. The report notes that performance compensation for master and mentor teachers in TAP schools—the "less famous" aspect of this performance-pay reform—is essential to its ability to not only recognize and reward effective teaching but to also systemically generate improvements in teacher effectiveness.

Teacher Evaluation

Ensuring Accurate Feedback from Observations

Craig Jerald for the Gates Foundation   |   March 2012

As states and districts across the country roll out new teacher evaluation and support systems, a new report from the Gates Foundation provides lessons from leading practitioners about how to ensure the classroom observations that are a lynch pin of those systems produce accurate results. Ensuring Accurate Feedback from Observations offers methods--including those used in TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement--to ensure that classroom observations provide teachers with the critical feedback they need to improve their practice and addresses key considerations and lessons from early implementers. The report examines topics from how to select a rubric to training and certifying raters. When done well, classroom observations should be a springboard to providing the supports needed for teachers to continually improve their practice.

Movin' It and Improvin' It! - Using Both Education Strategies to Increase Teaching Effectiveness

(Craig Jerald for the Center for American Progress [CAP], January 2012)   |   January 2012

Written for CAP by leading education researcher Craig Jerald, this report discusses reforms to teacher evaluation systems in the wake of the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top program. Jerald identifies two prevalent strategies for boosting teacher effectiveness: "movin' it" and "improvin' it." Jerald categorizes state policies that base decisions about tenure, layoffs, and dismissal on results of the new evaluations as "movin' it" strategies. On the other hand, "improvin' it" strategies refer to providing all teachers with useful feedback following classroom observations or using the results of evaluation to individualize professional development. CAP advocates a combination of the two strategies to maximize increases in teacher effectiveness. The organization also argues that federal and state policymakers should incentivize school systems to eradicate ineffectual and unproven professional development and invest in proven models. The TAP system is cited as one promising model.

A Teacher Evaluation System That Works

Glenn Daley and Lydia Kim   |   August 2010

The NIET Working Paper A Teacher Evaluation System That Works analyzes evidence from TAP's work in the field that validates the strength of TAP's evaluation system in differentiating effective from ineffective teaching; producing classroom evaluations and value-added student growth evaluations that are correlated with and complementary to each other; providing useful information to enable teachers to improve their practice over time; and contributing to an increase in the retention of effective teachers as compared to ineffective teachers. The Research Brief summarizes the findings.

The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness

The New Teacher Project [TNTP]   |   June 2009

This report examines the teacher evaluation systems of 12 diverse districts across Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio and concludes that evaluation systems do not provide accurate and credible information about individual teachers’ instructional performance. Calling it the "widget effect," The New Teacher Project reveals that the teacher evaluation systems studied treat teachers as interchangeable parts by failing to recognize and address variations in teacher effectiveness. In response, TNTP recommends adopting a comprehensive and integrated performance evaluation system for which evaluators are competently trained and held accountable.

Rush to Judgment: Teacher Evaluation in Public Education

Education Sector   |   January 2008

In this report, Thomas Toch and Robert Rothman examine the causes and consequences of the crisis in teacher evaluation,as well as its implications for the current national debate about performance pay for teachers. The report also examines a number of national, state and local evaluation systems that serve as models for how to improve teacher evaluations.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning

The Education Trust   |   June 2012

Released by The Education Trust, "Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning" outlines the need to pair efforts to improve outdated, inadequate teacher evaluation systems with the policy and culture changes that must accompany them. The report also highlights strategies that five school districts employ--including the implementation of the TAP system in the Ascension Parish Public School System--to help low-performing schools identify, attract, nurture, and keep talented teachers.

Ensuring Effective Teachers for All Students: Six State Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Effective Teachers in High-Poverty and High-Minority Schools

Center for American Progress (CAP)   |   May 2009

This paper highlights six strategies that states can undertake to help ensure that every student has access to an effective teacher:
1) analyze and report on the distribution of teachers between schools using value-added estimates and other measures;
2) design a model evaluation system for measuring teacher effectiveness and improving teacher performance;
3) support programs that offer financial incentives to effective teachers in high-poverty schools;
4) provide funding and models for recruitment and preparation programs that are specifically targeted to high-needs schools;
5) provide an induction and mentoring program for new teachers in high-poverty schools; and
6) require schools to report their budgets by actual expenditures, rather than positions.

The Cost of Teacher Turnover in Five School Districts: A Pilot Study

National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future [NCTAF]   |   2007

In 2007, the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF) completed an 18-month study of the costs of teacher turnover in five school districts across the country. The study examines the costs of recruiting, hiring, processing and training teachers at both the school and district levels.

Student Assessment

Roundtable Discussion on Value-Added Analysis of Student Achievement: A Summary of Findings

Working Group on Teacher Quality   |   2007

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) and fellow members of the Working Group on Teacher Quality held a roundtable discussion with policymakers, researchers and practitioners with expertise in value-added analysis of student achievement. This document presents a summary of the roundtable's major themes, findings and lessons learned.

Federal Policy

Performance-Based Compensation: Design and Implementation at Six Teacher Incentive Fund Sites

Dr. Jonathan Eckert   |   August 2010

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, this paper presents an analysis of six sites that are implementing teacher and principal compensation reforms under the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF). Of the six sites studied, four are implementing TAP. Through interviews, focus groups, data analysis and site-based observations, Eckert identified a number of similarities in the design and implementation of these projects. From Eckert’s analysis, these common practices contributed to promising results in these six TIF sites and provide insight for states and districts looking to design effective performance-based compensation systems.

Getting the Facts Straight on the Teacher Incentive Fund

Center for American Progress (CAP)   |   July 2009

This brief addresses common misconceptions about the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) in order to advocate for the Obama administration's proposal to dramatically increase funding for the program. Topics included are using multiple measures to evaluate teacher effectiveness, promising results of performance-pay initiatives, TIF's emphasis on a comprehensive approach to school reform, the collaboration and support of teachers in the process, and sustaining the systems beyond the life of the grant.

The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness

The New Teacher Project (TNTP)   |   June 2009

This report examines the teacher evaluation systems of 12 diverse districts across Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio and concludes that evaluation systems do not provide accurate and credible information about individual teachers' instructional performance. Calling it the "widget effect," The New Teacher Project reveals that the teacher evaluation systems studied treat teachers as interchangeable parts by failing to recognize and address variations in teacher effectiveness. In response, TNTP recommends adopting a comprehensive and integrated performance evaluation system for which evaluators are competently trained and held accountable.

Teacher Incentive Fund Addresses Three Key Issues

Center for American Progress [CAP]   |   June 2009

The article highlights how the Teacher Incentive Fund, a federal program that supports performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need schools, addresses three critical issues: 1) the way we currently pay teachers does little to attract or retain top talent, particularly in high-poverty schools; 2) federal funding is needed to catalyze changes in compensation for teachers and principals; and 3) evidence shows that pay-for-performance programs can increase teacher retention and improve student achievement. Further, the author notes the Obama administration's proposal to dramatically increase funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund from $97 million this year to $487.3 million in fiscal year 2010 and additional support for the program with $200 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Teacher Effectiveness

America’s Opportunity: Teacher Effectiveness and Equity in K-12 Classrooms

National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality [TQ Center]   |   October 2009

The TQ Center's second biennial report synthesizes research to help educators think systemically about policies and practices that support teacher effectiveness and equitable distribution of K-12 teachers. More specifically, the report addresses the leadership role of state policymakers in integrating multiple reform efforts to ensure long-term improvements in the educator workforce. TAP is cited as a model for states and districts that are designing and implementing alternative compensation systems to enhance teacher effectiveness.

Children of Poverty Deserve Great Teachers: One Union’s Commitment to Changing the Status Quo

Center for Teaching Quality [CTQ] and the National Education Association [NEA]   |   September 2009

Jointly released by CTQ and NEA, this report highlights strategies to identify and develop effective teachers and to recruit and retain them for high-need schools. Part of NEA’s $6-million “Turn Around for Great Public Schools Initiative,” the paper outlines four recommendations to transform high-poverty schools: 1) recruit and prepare teachers for work in high-need schools; 2) take a comprehensive approach to teacher incentives; 3) improve the right working conditions; and 4) define teacher effectiveness broadly, in terms of student learning. TAP is cited as an example of a comprehensive approach to compensation reform.

Achieving Teacher and Principal Excellence: A Guidebook for Donors

Philanthropy Roundtable   |   September 2008

This guidebook provides philanthropists a solid grounding in the nature of the human capital challenge; it distills the best advice from pioneering donors in the field, while exploring the current landscape, most effective interventions and opportunities for donors seeking to achieve an excellent teacher and principal for every child.

Effective Teachers in Every Classroom

Strong American Schools, ED in ’08   |   2008

This briefing discusses the problems with the way teachers are treated in America and introduces some of the innovative solutions state and local leaders across America are using to put effective teachers in every classroom.

Teacher and Principal Leadership

Learning From Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning

Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement/University of Minnesota and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto   |   July 2010

This report gathers and analyzes quantitative data confirming that education leadership has a strong impact on student achievement, as measured by student test scores. The study shows that leadership makes its mark largely by strengthening a school's "professional community" - an environment where teachers work together to improve classroom instruction. It also finds that rapid turnover of principals reduces student achievement. In addition, the study shows that the highest-performing schools operate by a "collective leadership" that involves many interested players -- including parents and teachers -- in decision-making.