Areas of Expertise
Teacher Quality and 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.
This paper addresses the teachers’ use of educational research to improve their instructional practice. Based on two qualitative, exploratory studies AIR conducted in the Chicago metropolitan area between 2008 and 2011, researchers found that teachers do appreciate and use research when there is a pressing need.
Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study: Findings After the Second Year of Implementation
This study examines the impact of intensive mathematics professional development (PD) on teachers' knowledge and teaching skills for 7th grade mathematics in rational number topics such as fractions, decimals, percent, ratio, and proportion. The intensive PD studied includes over 100 hours of support in the form of summer institutes, seminars, and in-school coaching.
The final report of a study of teacher preparation in early reading instruction describes pre-service teachers' perceptions about the content of their training programs and summarizes their scores on an assessment of their knowledge of the essential components of reading instruction, as defined in the Reading First legislation.
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.
AIR is conducting the independent evaluation of The New Teacher Project’s Teacher Effectiveness and Certification (TEACh) Initiative. The initiative focuses on preparing teachers for high-needs placements in urban schools and includes pre-service training, in-service training, and assessments of teacher effectiveness.
The National Charter School Resource Center at AIR, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is designed to aid development of high-quality charter schools. The center organizes conferences, publishes a monthly newsletter, leads an ongoing series of webinars, and supports a variety of technical assistance focused on critical issues facing the charter school community.