To improve teaching and learning in schools, research and discourse on effective education reform must confront and critically examine the preparation, support, and evaluation of educators. Growing evidence indicates that school leadership and teacher quality are primary in-school determinants of students academic success. Yet, too often, decision-makers become overly focused on broad changes in governance and administration that, ultimately, produce little change in school level behaviors. Recently, a number of reform initiatives have sought to more strongly align state and local policymaking with classroom practice, including developing frameworks that define effective leadership and high-quality instruction, providing direct support for key drivers of educator excellence, and using assessment results and other measures to evaluate educator quality. While such reforms may hold promise, evidence is still emerging and requires careful analysis.
The Rennie Center's Educator Preparation and Evaluation study area examines policies and programs intended to ensure effective practice among adults working to advance student learning, including: teacher preparation, instructional practice, teacher retention and distribution, teacher evaluation, and twenty-first century skills.