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Knowledge From the Field: Teacher Quality and Leadership

Research Highlights

Identify research that can inform your grantmaking using summaries prepared by the Foundation Center.

Teacher Evaluation in Practice: Implementing Chicago's REACH Students

Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
Hart, Holly; Healey, Kaleen; Jiang, Jennie; Sporte, Susan E.; Stevens, W. David
September 2013

Analyzes survey and interview data from principals and teachers across Chicago regarding Chicago Public Schools' new teacher evaluation system that was rolled out in the 2012-2013 school year.

Parentsí Attitudes on the Quality of Education in the United States

Associated Press- NORC Center for Public Affairs Research
Agiesta, Jennifer; Benz, Jennifer; Tompson, Trevor
August 2013

Describes the results of a national survey of 1,025 parents of kindergarten through 12th grade students on perceived quality of education in the United States.

Funder(s): Joyce Foundation

A Path Toward a STEM Teacher Corps

Broad Institute, Google, Math for America
March 2013

Outlines key features that will be required of an effective national corps of STEM teachers. Makes specific recommendations on how to implement the program to accomplish these aims.

How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms

CollegeBoard; National Writing Project; Pew Research Center
Buchanan, Judy; Friedrich, Linda; Heaps, Alan; Purcell, Kristen
February 2013

Presents survey results on how high school and middle school teachers use technology in their classrooms and for professional development. Illuminates obstacles faced in providing students adequate access to digital tools.

Finding a New Way: Leveraging Teacher Leadership to Meet Unprecedented Demands

Aspen Institute Education & Society Program
Curtis, Rachel
February 2013

Addresses considerations involved in meaningfully implementing new forms of teacher leadership. Profiles a number of schools and school systems with effective teacher leadership models.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Joyce Foundation

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

Center for American Progress
Jerald, Craig D.
January 2012

Calls for reforms that use evaluations not only to recruit, retain, and dismiss teachers but also to enhance effectiveness through professional development. Recommends investing in proven professional development models and ensuring feedback is valuable.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning

Wallace Foundation
January 2012

Based on a decade of foundation research and work in school leadership, identifies five key actions that effective school principals take, including shaping a vision of academic success for all students and cultivating leadership in others.

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

Benchmarking 2011: Trends in Education Philanthropy

Grantmakers for Education
December 2011

Based on a survey of GFE members, examines funder characteristics; priorities such as closing the achievement gap; budgets; grantmaking strategies; important emerging trends; and response to public-sector funding cuts.

Funder(s): Target Corporation

Getting Better at Teacher Preparation and State Accountability

Center for American Progress
Crowe, Edward
December 2011

Profiles the goals, activities, implementation, and challenges of the twelve states that won Race to the Top federal funds to improve teacher quality and preparation program accountability; analyzes their strategies; and makes policy recommendations.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in LAUSD

National Council on Teacher Quality
June 2011

Examines how Los Angeles Unified School District and state policies on teacher assignment, evaluations, tenure, compensation, and work schedule facilitate or hinder improvements in quality. Lists recommendations, including removing seniority preference.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Research Findings to Support Effective Educational Policies: A Guide for Policymakers

Wallace Foundation
March 2011

Updates a 2009 guide with new research on what an effective school leader does; how to improve the training of principals to meet the tough demands of their jobs; how districts can better support and evaluate principals; and how to expand learning time.

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

High Impact Philanthropy to Improve Teaching Quality: Focus on High-Need Secondary Students

Center for High Impact Philanthropy at University of Pennsylvania
Barrett, Katherine; Zehua Li Hahn; Katherine Hovde; Katherina Rosqueta
February 2011

Offers models for improving teachers' skills, including through apprenticeships and in-school mentoring; creating an environment for great teaching through better leadership and whole-school reform; and guidance for donors on the policy environment.

Funder(s): Ford Foundation

The Elusive Talent Strategy: An Excellent Teacher for Every Student in Every School

Carnegie Corporation of New York
Milgrom-Elcott, Talia
February 2011

Calls for improving the teacher applicant pool; preparing, recruiting and retaining the best; incentivizing hard-to-fill assignments; utilizing data to improve support systems and evaluations; and bolstering accountability. Includes lessons from abroad.

Funder(s): Carnegie Corporation of New York

30 Large Urban School Districts Show Better Relative Academic Performance Than Their States for African-American, Hispanic, or Low-Income Students

Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
December 2010

Presents findings from data collected in the Broad Prize selection process on large urban districts with higher-than-state-average performance among African-American, Latino, and low-income students and the policies and practices behind their success.

Funder(s): Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

Supporting Instruction: Investing in Teaching

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
December 2010

Describes the foundation's work in supporting the Common Core State Standards for literacy and math and a design collaborative developing tools for teachers to help students meet them, including template tasks, instructional modules, and courses.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Results-Based Leadership: Improving School Readiness in DeKalb County, Georgia

Annie E. Casey Foundation
November 2010

Presents a case study of how the Leadership in Action Program helped community leaders work collaboratively to improve school readiness through a pre-kindergarten program for refugee children, social workers encouraging early literacy, and other efforts.

Funder(s): Annie E. Casey Foundation

Evaluating Teachers: The Important Role of Value-Added

Brookings Institution
Glazerman, Steven; Dan Goldhaber; Susanna Loeb; Stephen Raudenbush; Douglas Staiger; Grover Whitehurst
November 2010

Outlines issues for evaluating teachers based on value added — their contribution to student learning — and the use of value added information, implications of classifying teachers, and reliability compared with other fields and evaluations.

Funder(s): Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, Walton Family Foundation

Using Competency-Based Evaluation to Drive Teacher Excellence: Lessons From Singapore

Public Impact
Steiner, Lucy
June 2010

Describes Singapore's use of performance-linked "competencies" and rating scales for each competency, modeled on effective teachers' behaviors, to measure, reward, and develop teacher performance. Considers lessons for U.S. teacher evaluation systems.

Funder(s): Joyce Foundation

3X for All: Extending the Reach of Education's Best

Public Impact
Hassel, Bryan C.; Emily Ayscue Hassel
June 2010

Proposes ways to extend the reach of the best teachers, who produce three times the learning gains that the least effective ones do, including focusing on instruction, managing multiple classrooms, and using technology. Looks at implementation challenges.

Funder(s): Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, Joyce Foundation

Shooting for Stars: Cross-Sector Lessons for Retaining High-Performing Educators

Public Impact
Ableidinger, Joe; Julie Kowal
June 2010

Examines key strategies from outside the education sector for retaining high performers and applications for K-12: offer differentiated pay and competitive packages, opportunities for advancement, flexible and challenging work roles, and team-building.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Joyce Foundation

An Evaluation of the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) in Chicago: Two Year Impact Report

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Glazerman, Steven; Allison Seifullah
May 2010

Discusses findings on the second-year impact of the TAP program, in which teachers earn extra pay and are promoted for delivering added value to student achievement and quality classroom performance, on student test scores and teacher retention rates.

Funder(s): Joyce Foundation

Central Office Transformation for District-Wide Teaching and Learning Improvement

Wallace Foundation
April 2010

Identifies five major changes that can help transform the focus of school district central offices from administration and compliance to improving classroom instruction, including strong engagement with principals and reorganizing and "reculturing."

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

Education Leadership: An Agenda for School Improvement

Wallace Foundation
April 2010

Reports on a 2009 school leadership conference on lessons learned, progress, and current issues such as changing principal training programs and district offices' priorities, with insights from researchers and government, district, and school leaders.

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

A Matter of Degrees: Preparing Teachers for the Pre-K Classroom

Pre-K Now
Bueno, Marisa; Linda Darling-Hammond; Danielle Gonzales
March 2010

Reviews the research on how pre-K teacher preparation affects learning and program quality. Explores the potential costs and benefits of raising preparation standards, expected challenges, and strategies states and localities have used to address them.

Funder(s): Pew Charitable Trusts

Primary Sources: America's Teachers on America's Schools

March 2010

Analyzes findings from a survey of teachers on challenges and solutions for higher achievement, including clear common standards, multiple measures of student performance, innovation, accurate measures of teacher performance, and bridging school and home.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Teacher Employment Patterns and Student Results in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University
February 2010

Presents slides on a study of links between teacher effectiveness, based on a model that estimates gains in student test scores attributable to teachers, and hire date, certification, degree program, placement, experience, retention, and other factors.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Empowering Effective Teachers: Readiness for Reform

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
February 2010

Outlines a spectrum of conditions needed for the successful implementation of teacher effectiveness reform, including shared leadership, vision, and commitment; a culture of data-driven decision making; stakeholder engagement; and supportive policies.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Empowering Effective Teachers: Strategies for Implementing Reforms

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
February 2010

Analyzes teacher effectiveness proposals at ten sites, including adopting multi-dimensional measures, robust evaluations, and rigorous tenure decisions; rewarding performance with differentiated pay; and placing effective teachers where most needed.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

An Evaluation of the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) in Chicago: Year One Impact Report

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Glazerman, Steven; Nancy Carey; Allison McKie
May 2009

Based on test scores, teacher records, surveys, and interviews, examines the first-year impact of the TAP program, in which teachers delivering added value to student achievement and quality classroom performance earn extra pay and become mentors.

Funder(s): Joyce Foundation

Achieving Teacher and Principal Excellence: A Guidebook for Donors

Philanthropy Roundtable
Rotherham, Andrew J.
September 2008

Discusses the need to invest in high-quality teachers and principals and the best opportunities for donors to help improve human capital. Profiles current initiatives, proposes strategic priorities, and lists promising ideas requiring financial support.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Challenge Foundation, Joyce Foundation

Becoming a Leader: Preparing School Principals for Today's Schools

Wallace Foundation
June 2008

Describes efforts by states and districts to improve training for principals, identifies key elements of success based on new research, and offers lessons for effective preparation, including more focused training and high-quality mentoring.

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

Improving the Distribution of Teachers in Low-Performing High Schools

Alliance for Excellent Education
April 2008

Analyzes the factors behind the persistent inequitable distribution of effective teachers, and recommends measures to prepare, recruit, and retain more highly qualified teachers to improve academic outcomes in schools with mainly poor minority students.

Funder(s): MetLife Foundation

A Better Pipeline to the Principalship

Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy at University of Washington
Mezzacappa, Dale
October 2007

Describes the design and outcomes of Atlanta's Superintendent's Academy for Building Leaders in Education, a Wallace-funded program that encourages reflection, collaboration, problem-solving, and communication to improve teaching and student achievement.

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

Preparing School Leaders for a Changing World: Lessons From Exemplary Leadership Development Programs

Stanford Educational Leadership Institute
Darling-Hammond, Linda; Michelle LaPointe; Debra Meyerson; Margaret Orr
April 2007

Presents eight case studies of effective school leadership training programs and provides the key characteristics of high-quality training to help states and districts address long-standing weaknesses in the way principals are prepared for their jobs.

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

Getting Principal Mentoring Right: Lessons From the Field

Wallace Foundation
March 2007

Looks at mentoring programs in two school districts — Jefferson County, Kentucky, Public Schools and New York City — and proposes quality guidelines for states and districts thinking about adopting new programs or improving existing ones.

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

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Top Funders and Recipients

Top 50 Foundations Awarding Grants for Teacher Quality and Leadership

Top 50 Recipients of Foundation Grants for Teacher Quality and Leadership

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Resource Links

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Key Statistics

View charts illustrating elementary/secondary education's share of overall foundation giving and how funding within the field breaks down.
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