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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:


February 1, 2018
Chad Aldeman
School districts across the country are reporting difficulties in hiring high-quality teachers, and states are being asked to respond. However,...
November 1, 2017
Bonnie O'Keefe
Supporting Minnesota Educators is a new website from Bellwether Education Partners that delves into findings from a local initiative to reveal...
October 12, 2017
Chad Aldeman and Paulina S. Diaz Aguirre
Years of irresponsible budgeting practices have left the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) almost $12 billion in debt. Without...
April 17, 2017
The 74 Million -- We’re all in favor of creative ways to recruit and retain good teachers, but this isn’t it.
December 5, 2016
Kaitlin Pennington, Sara Mead
In 2012, as states and districts were in the trenches changing teacher evaluation policy, Bellwether Education Partners released The Hangover, a...