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Teacher and Leader Effectiveness in High-Performing Education Systems

Project Dates: 
July 2010-February 2011
Project Researchers: 
Linda Darling-Hammond
Project Funders: 
Alliance for Excellent Education
National Public Education Support Fund

In an effort to find best practices in enhancing teacher effectiveness, the Alliance for Excellent Education and SCOPE looked abroad at education systems that appear to have well-developed and effective systems for recruiting, preparing, developing, and retaining teachers and school leaders. The goal was not to find policies that could be imported wholesale to the United States; rather, the idea was to learn from international examples and see if lessons could be applied in the U.S. context.

Five key practices were identified about these jurisdictions’ systems that researchers correlated with student success. They are:

  • It takes a system.
  • Get it right from the start.
  • Make teaching an attractive profession.
  • Invest in continuous learning.
  • Proactively recruit and develop high-quality leadership.

The policies of these nations are not expected to be imported wholesale into the United States, the researchers note. Rather, these policies can expand U.S. policymakers’ views of what is possible. The examples also show how these policies can be implemented in different contexts.