Categories for Quality Teachers

IES Reviews Two Teacher Preparation Programs

February 28, 2018

WWC Examines the Evidence on Two Teacher Training Programs

News Summary: If teachers are to have a significant impact on student learning it is necessary for them to be well trained and prepared for the role of teacher.  This report examined the effectiveness of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) and My TeachingPartner Pre-K.  The NBPTS is a professional certification program for teachers that have taught at least three years and can meet the NBPTS standards.  My TeachingPartner Pre-K incorporates multiple media and coaching to prepare early education teachers.  The results of the What Works Clearinghouse review of NBPTS is that it had mixed effects in mathematics in grades 3-8 and no discernable effect on English language arts achievement.  There were no studies that met WWC standards for review so no judgment can be made about its effectiveness.  The results of this review highlight the necessity of evaluating the effectiveness of teacher training programs.  The stakes are very high for the students and families being served by teachers and nationally very large amount of money is spent on training teachers.  It would be nice to know which approaches to teacher professional development are effective and which have no beneficial effect.

Citation: What Works Clearinghouse, Institute for Education Science (2018).  National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification Intervention Report. Retrieved from




What Impact Does Student Teaching Placement Have on a Teacher’s Future Effectiveness?

November 15, 2017

Does the Match Matter? Exploring Whether Student Teaching Experiences Affect Teacher Effectiveness

This descriptive study examines the relationship between student teaching experiences and a teacher’s future effectiveness on the job. The primary finding is that teachers are more effective when the student demographics of their current schools are similar to the student demographics of the schools in which they did their student teaching. This study suggests that further experimental research be conducted to determine if the data hold up. If they do, the implication is that, in recruiting new teachers, school principals would be well served by choosing candidates whose student teaching experiences were in schools whose demographics match those of their own schools. Teacher preparation programs can also assist by assessing candidates’ preferences for where they plan on working and match student teaching placements to schools with similar demographics where new teachers are likely to be employed.

Citation: Goldhaber, D., Krieg, J. M., & Theobald, R. (2017). Does the match matter? Exploring whether student teaching experiences affect teacher effectiveness. American Educational Research Journal, 54(2), 325–359.




How Important Is Teacher Qualification in Early Childhood Learning?

August 3, 2017

The Relationship Between Teacher Qualification and the Quality of the Early Childhood Education and Care Environment

Research suggests that inadequate or poor-quality early education and care can lead to increased negative social, emotional, educational, health, economic, and conduct outcomes for children. This systematic review published by the Campbell Collaboration examines the evidence on the relationship between childcare teacher qualification and the quality of the care children receive. The study reveals that the higher the qualification, the higher the quality of the services delivered and, most important, the more positive the outcomes.

Citation: Manning, M., Garvis, S., Fleming, C., & Wong, G. T. W. (2017). The relationship between teacher qualification and the quality of the early childhood education and care environment. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 1. Oslo, Norway: Campbell Collaboration.




What We Know About Supporting New Teachers

June 14, 2017

Creating Supportive School Cultures for Beginning Teachers: Mitigating the Cultural Contextual Factors

This systematic literature review examines factors that affect new teachers as they become employed. It suggests that new teachers experience significant stress as they transition from teacher preparation programs to everyday teaching. The pressures experienced by novice instructors are evidenced by high rates of turnover during the first 5 years of teaching. This initial period entails a steep learning curve as new teachers try to match and adjust what they learned in pre-service training with the unique cultural practices of their new placements. To mitigate the challenges new teachers face, schools have implemented an array of practices subsumed under the heading “teacher induction.” Unfortunately, the literature review finds that the lack of standardization of practices including mentoring to coaching has reduced the overall impact of teacher induction and the ability of schools to effectively align the education philosophy and cultural values of new teachers with the strategies, procedures, needs, and resources of the schools where the new teachers are beginning their careers.

Citation: Kutsyuruba, B, Walker, K. D., and Gooden, L., (2017). Creating supportive school cultures for beginning teachers: Mitigating the cultural contextual factors. International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership, 24(2), 1–18.




Formative Assessment Overview (Wing Institute Paper)

June 13, 2017

Effective ongoing assessment, referred to in the education literature as formative assessment or progress monitoring, is indispensable in promoting teacher and student success. Feedback through formative assessment is ranked at or near the top of practices known to significantly raise student achievement. For decades, formative assessment has been found to be effective in clinical settings and, more important, in typical classroom settings. Formative assessment produces substantial results at a cost significantly below that of other popular school reform initiatives such as smaller class size, charter schools, accountability, and school vouchers. It also serves as a practical diagnostic tool available to all teachers. A core component of formal and informal assessment procedures, formative assessment allows teachers to quickly determine if individual students are progressing at acceptable rates and provides insight into where and how to modify and adapt lessons, with the goal of making sure that students do not fall behind.

Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2017). Overview of Formative Assessment. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.




How Effective Is Teacher Merit Pay?

April 17, 2017

Teacher Merit Pay and Student Test Scores: A Meta-Analysis

Teacher merit pay has garnered significant attention as a promising reform method for improving teacher performance and, more importantly, student achievement scores. This meta-analysis, which examined findings from 44 studies of teacher merit pay, found that merit pay is associated with a modest, statistically significant, positive effect on student test scores. The research also found that not all merit pay programs are equal. The best results are dependent on constructing efforts that incorporate sound, evidence-based practice elements. The authors of the meta-analysis concluded that while a merit pay program has the potential to improve student test scores, success hinges on school administrators and policymakers paying close attention to how the program is structured and implemented. The meta-analysis also recognized the need for additional research to better delineate features and practice elements that produce the best results.

Citation: Pham, L., Nguyen, T., & Springer, M. (2017). Teacher Merit Pay and Student Test Scores: A Meta-Analysis. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.




Read to be Ready

February 8, 2017

The Tennessee Department of Education combines coaching, instruction in evidence-based reading practices, and a multitiered system of supports in a new initiative called Read to be Ready. The initiative trains teachers in the best ways to teach children literacy skills. Ample evidence supports the importance of students reading at grade level. Effective reading has been shown to be a reliable indicator of future success in school and adulthood. This initiative is designed to increase literacy by coaching teachers on how to use evidence-based practices of reading. For the past 20 years much attention has been paid to explicit instruction of phonics to improve students’ reading scores. This initiative will build on these efforts by also requiring explicit comprehension instruction to build skills for deriving meaning, analyzing the logic of argumentation, generating conclusions, and interpreting content.




Effects of Ability Grouping and Acceleration on Academic Achievement

January 25, 2017

What One Hundred Years of Research Says About the Effects of Ability Grouping and Acceleration on K–12 Students’ Academic Achievement: Findings of Two Second-Order Meta-Analyses

This paper analyzed the results of research on the effects of ability grouping and acceleration on students’ academic achievement. Nineteen meta-analyses met criteria for inclusion for the review. The researchers divided ability grouping into four types:

  • between-class ability grouping, students in the same grade divided into low, medium, or high level classes;
  • within-class ability grouping, students within a classroom taught in groups based on levels;
  • cross-grade subject grouping, students of different grades combined into the same class depending on achievement; and
  • grouping for gifted students

Results were found for improved academic achievement within-class grouping, cross-grade grouping by subject, and grouping for the gifted. No positive effects were identified for between-class grouping. The results were consistent regardless of whether students were high, medium, or low achievers. The study found acceleration appeared to have a positive, moderate, and statistically significant impact on students’ academic achievement.

Steenbergen-Hu, S., Makel, M. C., & Olszewski-Kubilius, P. (2016). What One Hundred Years of Research Says About the Effects of Ability Grouping and Acceleration on K–12 Students’ Academic Achievement: Findings of Two Second-Order Meta-Analyses. Review of Educational Research, 86(4), 849-899.



New Report on Teacher Preparation Entry Standards

December 9, 2016

Within Our Grasp Achieving Higher Admissions Standards in Teacher Prep

Within Our Grasp: Achieving Higher Admissions Standards in Teacher Prep is the tenth annual publication in the State Teacher Policy Yearbook report series released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). This report focuses on teacher preparation program compliance with admissions policies required at the state level. A strong body of research supports a relationship between student performance and the selectivity of admissions into teacher preparation. Nations, such as Finland, whose students outperform ours on national tests recruit teacher candidates from the top 10 percent of their college graduates.

Walsh, K., Joseph, N., and Lewis, A. (2016). Within Our Grasp: Achieving Higher Admissions Standards in Teacher Prep. National Council on Teacher Quality