Areas of Expertise
Teacher and Leader Effectiveness
Teachers have the greatest potential to impact student learning, and research has found that student achievement is related to teacher competence. AIR works to better understand and improve teacher effectiveness in the school setting. For example, we evaluate teacher preparation pathways, measure schools’ progress towards having “highly qualified teachers,” develop new teacher compensation strategies, and evaluate professional development approaches and programs. This work includes developing teacher knowledge tests and innovative approaches to measure teacher practice and student outcomes.
Teachers matter. Educators, policymakers, and the general public alike agree that great teachers are vital to a thriving K-12 education system, yet the pathways to assembling a high quality teaching force remain elusive. This case study of Garden Grove Unified School District, winner of the 2004 Broad Prize for Urban Education, explores the district culture and commitment to continuous improvement that produce effective practices of human capital development and enable these practices to achieve success.
Combining Multiple Performance Measures: Do Common Approaches Undermine Districts' Personnel Evaluation Systems?
Teacher and principal evaluation systems emerging in response to federal, state, or local policy initiatives typically require that student performance be considered along with other performance measures. This paper examines three common approaches to combining performance measures to determine whether these approaches reliably identify high- and low-performing teachers.
Teachers’ individual contributions to student learning and schools’ contributions are typically intertwined. This paper explores the key issues related to strategies for identifying a value-added model to account for school and teacher contributions that create appropriate incentives for teachers. The authors recommend estimating between-school differences and then considering what part of those
differences should be attributed to teachers.
Study Measures the Impact of Teacher and Leader Evaluation Systems on Student Learning and Performance
AIR, in partnership with other leaders in the field, was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to conduct a randomized control trial to study the implementation of a package of teacher and leader evaluation system practices in which teachers and principals receive feedback on their practices and their contributions to student growth.
The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders is a national content center funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. The center is dedicated to supporting state education leaders in all 50 states in their efforts to grow, respect, and retain great teachers and leaders for all students, including English Language Learners and students with disabilities.
Everyone at the Table: Engaging Teachers in Evaluation Reform is a research-based and field-tested practical guide for teachers and school and district leaders that provides materials to genuinely engage teachers in the evaluation process.