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Knowledge From the Field

Empowering Effective Teachers: Strategies for Implementing Reforms

Published: February 2010

Publisher(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Related Organization(s): Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Company, Parthenon Group

View Report (20 pages; 604KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Teacher Quality and Leadership


This brief focuses on finding ways to measure and improve teacher effectiveness. It looks at nine school districts and one coalition of charter management organizations, proposing strategies to improve teacher effectiveness and assessing four key conditions that support efforts to implement reforms.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

= Shared leadership, good data systems, stakeholder management and participation, and financial sustainability are the minimum conditions required for successful implementation of reform.

= A more rigorous process for deciding tenure is an important step in ensuring effective teachers remain and those less effective do not.

= Developing a salary system based on effectiveness, rather than experience or degree, will encourage teachers to continually improve and do more for students.

= Providing financial incentives to teachers in classrooms with greater needs will attract better teachers to the school.

= Student outcomes, observation data, family and student feedback, and a measure of teacher attitudes and beliefs are all part of measuring teacher effectiveness.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Teacher effectiveness; school reform; teacher quality; classroom improvement; reform strategies

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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