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Teacher and School Leader Quality

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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A growing body of evidence confirms that teacher and leader effectiveness are the two most important in-school factors in student achievement. Yet there is still considerable debate about how to promote high-quality teaching, especially in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and about the characteristics that constitute an effective teacher or school leader.

Bellwether’s work addresses the full continuum of teacher and leader quality issues, including preparation, development, evaluation, and compensation. We use data to promote innovative yet feasible policy solutions to ensure that all students have access to effective instruction and all schools have high-performing leaders at the helm.

In addition to our philanthropically supported field-facing policy work, we have advised state education agencies, advocates, funders, and practitioners working to improve teacher and leader quality and preparation. Our deep experience working with a range of education organizations on teacher and leader quality issues informs our policy work in these areas.

The content below reflects our work on this issue:

Publications

June 4, 2019
Chad Aldeman, Andrew J. Rotherham
Fed up with stagnant salaries, teachers have gone on strike all across the country over the past few years. Meanwhile, education spending is hitting...
March 10, 2019
Max Marchitello, Justin Trinidad
Students of color are underserved by our public schools, as evidenced by large and persistent achievement gaps. And while diversifying the educator...
February 26, 2019
Bonnie O'Keefe, Melissa Steel King, Chad Aldeman
An Uneven Path: Student Achievement in Boston Public Schools 2007-2017 finds that Boston students outperform their peers in other cities on...
January 30, 2019
Kaitlin Pennington McVey, Justin Trinidad
National dialogue about teacher shortages is skewed by a flawed view that the issue is one generic problem. Reports in the 1980s and ’90s predicted a...
July 18, 2018
Ashley LiBetti, Justin Trinidad
Teaching is one of very few professions that expects new employees to be masters of their craft — where they handle all of the responsibilities of...

Blog Posts

March 23, 2017
Kaitlin Pennington
President Trump’s newly released budget would slash $9 billion — or 13.5 percent of funding — from the Department of Education. That’s a...
February 1, 2017
Kaitlin Pennington
Students are not learning, but teachers are told they’re doing their jobs effectively. This oxymoron is not new in American education, but...
June 2, 2016
Kaitlin Pennington
During the 2016 legislative session, several states’ bills attacked the use of student growth as part of teachers’ evaluations. While many...