Technology and Rural Education

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Full Report [pdf] Technology holds great potential for rural schools, such as extending the reach of excellent teachers and expanding course offerings. But digital devices in a pre-digital school structure will not transform K-12. This paper, written for the Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho, offers policymakers and philanthropic leaders a set of recommendations to capitalize on the potential of technology to serve students: expand broadband access to schools lacking it, … [Read more...]

Teacher Pay and Career Paths in an Opportunity Culture

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A Practical Policy Guide Full Guide [pdf] | Summary [pdf] To help all students reach their potential, district leaders must ensure that every student has consistent access to excellent teaching. Opportunity Culture compensation and career path structures help make that possible, and this guide shows how. Teacher Pay and Career Paths in an Opportunity Culture: A Practical Policy Guide shows how districts can design teacher career paths that will keep excellent teachers in the … [Read more...]

Seizing Opportunity at the Top II

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State Policies to Reach Every Student With Excellent Teachers Brief [pdf] | Checklist [pdf] To ensure that every student has access to excellent teaching consistently, states and districts must help excellent teachers extend their reach to far more students, directly and by leading teaching teams, and earn far more, within budget. How can states craft the policies to support this?   Public Impact explains how in this checklist and brief. These update our earlier … [Read more...]

Projected Statewide Impact of “Opportunity Culture” School Models

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Policy Brief Download Policy Brief [pdf] This brief estimates the impact of a statewide implementation of Opportunity Culture models, using North Carolina as an example. Impacts estimated include student learning outcomes, gross state product, teacher pay, and other career characteristics, and state income tax revenue. Estimates indicate the potential for a statewide transition to Opportunity Culture models to provide a brighter future for students, teachers, and the state’s … [Read more...]

Giving Every Student Access to Excellent Teachers

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A Vision for Focusing Federal Investments in Education Report [pdf] In a new brief written for the Center for American Progress, Public Impact explains why and how the federal government must focus states and districts on giving every student access to excellent teachers. Public Impact suggests four ways the federal government can dramatically increase access to excellent teaching and catalyze a transformation of America’s public education system: Structure competitive grants … [Read more...]

A Better Blend

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A Vision for Boosting Student Outcomes with Digital Learning Full Report [pdf] “Technology alone isn’t going to improve student achievement. The best combination is great teachers working with technology to engage students in the pursuit of the learning they need.” — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Blended learning that combines digital instruction with live, accountable teachers holds unique promise to improve student outcomes dramatically. This brief explains how … [Read more...]

Using Teacher Data

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Using Teacher Data to Attract, Reward & Retain Top Teachers Using Teacher Data [pdf] Thanks to increasingly meaningful teacher evaluations, we know far more than ever about the effectiveness of teachers in public school classrooms. What should states, districts, and schools do with that knowledge? In policy debates, much of the attention has focused on teachers at the “ineffective” end of the spectrum. However, state and district policymakers should instead focus on … [Read more...]

Improving Conditions & Careers

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How Blended Learning Can Improve the Teaching Profession Full Report [pdf] | Executive Summary [pdf] "Technology does not replace a teacher, but rather it empowers teachers and enhances their work." This white paper, written in collaboration with Getting Smart and Digital Learning Now!, is the seventh installment of the DLN Smart Series. The paper, executive summary, and accompanying infographic explain how blended learning can help create better teaching conditions and expanded … [Read more...]

Using Competency-Based Evaluation to Drive Teacher Excellence


Lessons from Singapore Full Report [pdf] Many of Singapore’s lower-achieving students are learning at levels higher than gifted-student curricula in U.S. schools. What is the secret to Singapore’s success? The complete recipe for Singapore’s educational success is not public, but one element stands out: the development and thorough use of performance-linked “competencies” to measure, reward, and develop teacher performance. This report, written with support from The Joyce … [Read more...]

Measuring Teacher and Leader Performance


Cross-Sector Lessons for Excellent Evaluations Full Report [pdf] Performance measurement systems need to document and recognize differences among educators A recent national push to use performance evaluations for critical personnel decisions has highlighted the shortcomings of our current systems and increased the urgency to improve them dramatically. This report, written with support from The Joyce Foundation, summarizes best practices and research from other sectors for education … [Read more...]

Teacher Tenure Reform


Applying Lessons from the Civil Service and Higher Education Full Report [pdf] | Presentation [pdf] Could redesigned K-12 teacher tenure actually improve student learning? Could it help to grow the size and power of an elite teaching corps that reaches far more children? This paper examines lessons from higher education and the civil service and applies fresh thinking to offer new “elite” and “inclusive” tenure designs and a framework for policymakers who want to make tenure … [Read more...]

Leaping Forward Without Holding Schools Back


In this collection of essays, Education Sector asked commentators to address a set of dilemmas facing the nation in the current reform moment. Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel tackled one: Will the Common Core and new teacher evaluation systems strangle innovation? These reforms, they argue, would have been perfectly timed for 1962, with 50 years ahead of seat time-based grade levels and a one-teacher-one-classroom staffing model. But what about now, when the combination of new … [Read more...]

How Should States Define Teacher Effectiveness?


As evidence continues to pile up about the central importance of effective teaching, states nationwide are rethinking how they define and measure the effects individual teachers have on educational outcomes. Full Report [pdf] In this slide deck, Public Impact sets out some guiding principles for states entering this design process, including: defining a teacher’s “effect” as the product of her level of effectiveness and her reach: the number of students she … [Read more...]