Quality teaching depends on a wide array of personal and contextual factors. An emerging and s quality by examining how teachers’ abilities to influence student achievement change over the course of their career and how these changes are influenced by the context in which they work. This series of studies suggests that teachers continue to grow more effective in supporting important student outcomes—academic performance, attendance, reading behaviors—long after their first few years in the classroom and that teachers improve at greater rates when they work in supportive school conditions, including schools with opportunities for collaboration with colleagues and strong principal leadership.
The authors urge state leaders to revisit and to rethink their approach to teacher policy under ESSA. They argue that a large and growing body of research suggests that attention to teaching quality—the ability of teachers to support meaningful learning among students—is a promising approach for improving the quality and equity of educational opportunities in public schools. Policies focused on improving teaching quality attend to the conditions, resources, collaborative learning opportunities, and support from leadership that can accelerate the developmental trajectory of teachers and, in doing so, foster improvement among the teaching force broadly.
Thanks to the Sandler Foundation for their generous support of this project.
A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of these different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education.