Lessons: When Networks Build a Platform, Students Step Up

Education and Literacy;Government Reform

Lessons: When Networks Build a Platform, Students Step Up

Profiles effective networks working to increase college access and success by helping welfare mothers navigate the system, empowering students to tell their stories as a way to boost postsecondary success, and by engaging students in policy advocacy.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Western)-California;North America-United States (Southern)-Florida;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Rhode Island

Value Added of Teachers in High-Poverty Schools and Lower-Poverty Schools

Education and Literacy, Poverty

Value Added of Teachers in High-Poverty Schools and Lower-Poverty Schools

This paper examines whether teachers in schools serving students from high-poverty backgrounds are as effective as teachers in schools with more advantaged students. The question is important. Teachers are recognized as the most important school factor affecting student achievement, and the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their better off peers is large and persistent.

Using student-level microdata from 2000-2001 to 2004-2005 from Florida and North Carolina, the authors compare the effectiveness of teachers in high-poverty elementary schools (>70% FRL students) with that of teachers in lower-poverty elementary schools (<70% FRL students). The results show that the average effectiveness of teachers in high-poverty schools is in general less than teachers in other schools, but only slightly, and not in all comparisons. The authors also find differences in within-school-type variation in teacher effectiveness in nearly every comparison. These differences are largely driven by the longer tail at the bottom of the teacher effectiveness distribution in high-poverty schools. Teachers at the top of the effectiveness distribution are very similar across school settings. The observed differences in teacher quality between high-poverty and lower-poverty schools are not due to differences in the observed characteristics of teachers, such as experience, certification status and educational attainment. Rather, they appear to arise from differences in the marginal return or payoff from increases in a characteristic. In particular, the gain in productivity from increased experience is much stronger in lower-poverty schools. The lower return to experience in high-poverty schools does not appear to be a result of differences in the quality of teachers who leave teaching or who switch schools. Rather, it may be the case that the effect of experience on teacher productivity may depend on the setting in which the experience is acquired. If there are positive spillovers among teachers that depend on teacher quality (ie. teacher "peer effects") or if exposure to challenging student populations lessens the future productivity of teachers (i.e. leads to "burn out"), teachers in schools serving large proportions of low-income students may simply not improve much as time goes by. These findings suggest that solutions to the achievement gap between high and lower-poverty schools may be complex. Changing the quality of new recruits or importing teachers with good credentials into highpoverty schools may not be sufficient. Rather, the findings suggest that measures that induce highly effective teachers to move to high-poverty schools and which promote an environment in which teachers' skills will improve over time are more likely to be successful.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-North Carolina, North America-United States (Southern)-Florida

Building Community Partnerships in Support of a Postsecondary Completion Agenda

Education and Literacy

Building Community Partnerships in Support of a Postsecondary Completion Agenda

This report highlights key lessons from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Community Partnerships portfolio evaluation. It assesses the communities' progress over the course of the investment, and describes their work in the areas of building public commitment, using data, building and sustaining partnerships, and aligning policies and practices. The OMG Center served as the national evaluator of this initiative and the report also discusses the steps these communities can take to sustain their programs.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-Florida-Duval County-Jacksonville;North America-United States (Southern)-North Carolina-Mecklenburg County-Charlotte;North America-United States (Southern)-Kentucky-Jefferson County-Louisville;North America-United States (Western)-California-San Francisco County-San Francisco;North America-United States (Southwestern)-Texas-Cameron County-Brownsville;North America-United States (Southern)-North Carolina-Wake County-Raleigh;North America-United States (Southwestern)-Texas-Potter County-Amarillo;North America-United States (Northwestern)-Oregon-Multnomah County-Portland;North America-United States (Western)-California-Riverside County-Riverside;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia;North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Suffolk County-Boston;North America-United States (Southwestern)-Arizona-Maricopa County-Phoenix;North America-United States (Southwestern)-Arizona-Maricopa County-Mesa;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio-Montgomery County-Dayton

Cultivating Talent through a Principal Pipeline

Education and Literacy;Employment and Labor

Cultivating Talent through a Principal Pipeline

This report, the second in a series, describes early results of Wallace's Principal Pipeline Initiative, a multi-year effort to improve school leadership in six urban school districts. The report describes changes in the six districts' practices to recruit, train and support new principals. It also offers early lessons for other districts considering changes to their own principal pipelines.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Western)-Colorado-Denver County-Denver;North America-United States (Southern)-North Carolina-Mecklenburg County-Charlotte;North America-United States (Southern)-Maryland-Prince George;North America-United States (Southern)-Georgia-Gwinnett County;North America-United States (Southern)-Florida-Hillsborough County;North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City

Strengthening Community Colleges' Influence on Economic Mobility

Education and Literacy;Employment and Labor

Strengthening Community Colleges' Influence on Economic Mobility

Examines the role of community colleges in enhancing upward mobility. Compares family incomes of community college and four-year college students and incomes by degree attained. Recommends ways to help more students obtain degrees in high-earning fields.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-Florida

More Districts Adopt Innovative Teacher Pay Plans

Education and Literacy

More Districts Adopt Innovative Teacher Pay Plans

In 2009 the Committee for Economic Development called on district and state education officials to revamp the way that teachers are paid. New compensation systems are needed to attract highly qualified individuals into teaching under labor market conditions that have changed substantially since the typical framework for teacher salaries was adopted.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-Maryland-Baltimore, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Allegheny County-Pittsburgh, North America-United States (Southern)-Florida-Hillsborough County

Charter Schools in Eight States: Effects on Achievement, Attainment, Integration, and Competition

Education and Literacy, Government Reform

Charter Schools in Eight States: Effects on Achievement, Attainment, Integration, and Competition

Examines the student characteristics and effects of charter schools on students' test-score gains, high school graduation and college attainment rates, and test scores in nearby traditional public schools. Includes policy and research recommendations.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago, North America-United States (Western)-Colorado-Denver County-Denver, North America-United States (Southern)-Florida, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Wisconsin-Milwaukee County-Milwaukee, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia, North America-United States (Western)-California-San Diego County-San Diego, North America-United States (Southwestern)-Texas

Patching the Pipeline: Addressing Teacher Satisfaction and Retention in Duval County

Education and Literacy, Employment and Labor

Patching the Pipeline: Addressing Teacher Satisfaction and Retention in Duval County

In "Patching the Pipeline: Addressing Teacher Satisfaction and Retention in Duval County," the Jacksonville Public Education Fund provides a comprehensive look at the last five cohorts of new teachers in Duval County Public Schools, and conducts a survey of all teachers in the district to get their opinions about a wide variety of different factors.

This report details the turnover among new teachers in Duval County Public Schools -- half leave in the first five years -- and raises the voices of teachers themselves about what factors keep them in the classroom.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-Florida-Duval County

See More Reports

Go to IssueLab