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Teacher Workforce; Quality; Support; Effectiveness Projects and Publications

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Detroit-Area Early Childhood Workforce Report

Through this project, Research for Action will assess the early child education workforce in the Detroit area. The purpose of this report is to provide local Head Start programs with actionable research to demonstrate the…

Evaluating the Reimagine Learning Initiative for New Profit, Inc.

RFA is conducting a formative evaluation of New Profit’s Reimagine Learning initiative, which was developed to support schools and communities in creating learning environments that serve the needs of all students by providing supports for…

STEM Training for Philadelphia Teachers: An Evaluation Funded by the National Science Foundation

RFA serves as the external evaluator for the GRASP-Teacher Partnership in Robotics Education (TPRE) project funded by the National Science Foundation. TPRE provides 6th-8th grade Philadelphia teachers a six-week summer engineering and robotics research experience…

Improving Early Literacy: An Evaluation of Early Reading Matters

RFA serves as the evaluation partner for the Early Reading Matters (ERM) program, a teacher professional development program in New York City public schools developed by Teaching Matters, Inc. The ERM program seeks to build…

An Evaluation of Delaware’s Teacher Evaluation System

RFA served as the evaluator for Delaware’s teacher evaluation system, known as the Delaware Performance Appraisal System (DPAS-II). RFA’s mixed-methods study consisted of examinations of the system’s implementation and related outcomes. Data was drawn from…

Using Common Assignments to Strengthen Teaching and Learning

The Common Assignment Study (CAS) is a three-year effort being led by the Colorado Education Initiative and the Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative…

Providing Technical Assistance to the New Jersey Department of Education

The Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center (MACC) is a federally-funded organization housed at WestEd that provides technical assistance to states as they work to improve and reform public schools. As a MACC partner, RFA worked with the…

Evaluating Teacher Engagement for the Hope Street Group

RFA conducted an evaluation for the Hope Street Group, centering on how the organization engages teacher fellows in Kentucky.

Evaluating Project L.I.F.T.: A Cross-Sector Effort to Close the Achievement Gap

In 2012, RFA began a five-year, mixed methods study of Project L.I.F.T. (Leadership and Investment for Transformation), a philanthropic initiative designed to close the achievement gap in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS). Focusing on the…

Examining the Implementation, Scale Up, and Sustainability of Teacher-Developed Formative Assessment Tools Aligned to the CCSS: A National Study

For the past several years, RFA has conducted a national, multi-site examination of the implementation and effectiveness of teacher-developed formative assessment tools aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Funded by the Bill and…

Teacher Turnover in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The advent of the Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS) made statewide analysis of teacher turnover possible for the first time. Using this database, RFA examined teacher retention and turnover across the state and conducted comparative…

Using Data to Inform Instruction: Examining Teachers’ Use of Data to Inform Mathematics Instruction

The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Pennsylvania has received a grant from the Spencer Foundation to provide professional development to teachers on data use in order to study how…

Need in Deed Formative and Outcome Evaluation

Need in Deed (NID), a Philadelphia-based organization, prepares and supports teachers as they integrate service-learning into their classroom practice. RFA conducted a one-year outcomes evaluation to determine the ways in which NID's work with teachers…

An Evaluation of the Pennsylvania High School Coaching Initiative, a Classroom-Based Coaching Model

RFA conducted a comprehensive, mixed methods evaluation study designed to inform, support, and assess the Pennsylvania High School Coaching Initiative, a partnership of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Penn Literacy Network, and Foundations, Inc.…

An Evaluation of the Keystone Science Network (KSN): Franklin Institute Science Museum

RFA conducted a three-year evaluation of the KSN, a project of The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia. KSN's goal is to create a professional learning community in eastern Pennsylvania, which promotes the implementation of standards-based K-8…

Twenty Years of Reflection and Action: Lessons from an Exemplary Urban Professional Development Group

This project examined the work of one exemplary teacher network, the Philadelphia Teachers' Learning Cooperative (PTLC). Funded jointly by the MacArthur/Spencer Professional Development Research and Documentation Program, this study investigated effective and adaptive forms of…

An Evaluation of the Science Learning Network (SLN): Franklin Institute Science Museum

The Science Learning Network (SLN) was a telecomputing project of The Franklin Institute in collaboration with Unisys Corporation and five other urban science museums and their partner schools. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the…

An Evaluation of the Bread Loaf Rural Teachers’ Network (BLRTN): Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College

BLRTN, funded by the DeWitt-Wallace Reader's Digest Fund, provides professional development to rural middle and high school English teachers. BLRTN emphasizes the use of telecomputing as a catalyst for learning and provides support to classroom…

An Evaluation of the New York City Mathematics Project: Lehman College, City University of New York

The New York City Mathematics Project requested an evaluation of the impact of the implementation of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards on urban schools and students. RFA designed a formative evaluation process…

New Data on Teacher Diversity in Pennsylvania

Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Education provided new data for 2016-17 that include the race and gender of the 155,854 teachers in Pennsylvania's public schools. RFA compiled and cleaned the raw data and is providing, for…

Patching the Leaky Pipeline: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color in Pennsylvania

Research shows that exposure to teachers of color has a positive impact on students of all races, and particularly on students of color. Despite these positive effects, only 4% of Pennsylvania's teachers are people of…

Executive Summary: Child Care Funding and Finance in Pennsylvania: Budgeting for Survival or Paying for the Cost of True Quality?

Efforts underway to expand access to high-quality child care and pre-K programs in Pennsyl­vania are aimed at improving school readiness for low-income children and mitigating the wide achievement gaps plaguing them in the later grades.…

Full Report: Child Care Funding and Finance in Pennsylvania: Budgeting for Survival or Paying for the True Cost of Quality?

Efforts underway to expand access to high-quality child care and pre-K programs in Pennsyl­vania are aimed at improving school readiness for low-income children and mitigating the wide achievement gaps that plague them in the later…

Project LIFT: Year Three Student Outcomes Memo

Using Common Assignments to Strengthen Teaching and Learning: Research on the Second Year of Implementation

In this second report on implementation of the Common Assignment Study (CAS), RFA’s research focuses on providing formative feedback on unit implementation; teacher collaboration; the status of context and conditions for CAS success, including school…

LDC’s Influence on Teaching and Learning

RFA has been studying LDC since its inception in 2010. With the support of the Gates Foundation, RFA has been examining the implementation of LDC, as well as the context and conditions necessary for scaling…

MDC’s Influence on Teaching and Learning

RFA has been studying MDC since its inception in 2010. With the support of the Gates Foundation, RFA has been examining the implementation of MDC, as well as the context and conditions necessary for scaling…

Project LIFT: Year Two Report

Research for Action (RFA) has completed its second year of a five-year external evaluation of the Project Leadership and Investment for Transformation (LIFT) Initiative in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS). Project LIFT is a public-private…

Using Common Assignments to Strengthen Teaching and Learning: Research on the First Year of Implementation

The Common Assignment Study (CAS) is a research project designed to shed light on the progress and outcomes of the initiative. RFA’s research focuses on providing formative feedback on unit design, unit implementation, and supports…

Project LIFT: Year One Report

Research for Action (RFA) is currently in the second year of a five-year external evaluation of the Project Leadership and Investment for Transformation (LIFT) Initiative in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS). Project LIFT is a…

Teacher Effectiveness: An Update on Pennsylvania’s Teacher Evaluation System

This policy brief provides a closer look at Pennsylvania's new teacher evaluation system and the efforts of the Pittsburgh Public Schools to implement reforms. This brief includes implications for state policymakers, district leaders, and education…

Lessons From Inside the Classroom: Teachers’ Perspectives on the LDC Initiative

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in the development and dissemination of instructional tools to support teachers' incorporation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into their classroom instruction. Literacy experts have developed…

Lessons from Inside the Classroom: Teachers’ Perspectives on the MDC Initiative

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in the development and dissemination of instructional tools to support teachers' incorporation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into their classroom instruction. Math experts from the…

Enacting Common Core Instruction: How School District Leadership Drove Implementation of LDC and MDC in Kenton County, KY

Following two years of extensive data collection in eight sites throughout the country, Research for Action (RFA) is producing four case studies to illustrate how the LDC and MDC tools have been adopted in different…

Brief Four: Conditions for Scale and Sustainability

The transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) represents an unprecedented opportunity to transform educational practice. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in the development and dissemination of high quality instructional and…

Brief One: LDC and MDC Theory of Action and the Landscape of Implementation

To support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested in the development and dissemination of two tools aimed at operationalizing classroom instruction based on the standards:…

Brief Three: Robust Implementation of MDC: Teacher Perceptions of Tool Use and Outcomes

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in the development and dissemination of high-quality instructional and formative assessment tools to support teachers' incorporation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into their classroom instruction.…

Brief Two: Robust Implementation of LDC: Teacher Perceptions of Tool Use and Outcomes

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in the development and dissemination of high-quality instructional and formative assessment tools to support teachers' incorporation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into their classroom instruction.…

Issue Brief: Performance Pay for Teachers

This PACER Issue Brief--the third in a series--examines alternative teacher compensation models, specifically pay for performance. It builds on the series' first brief on teacher effectiveness to provide context, identify challenges, and answer questions about…

A View from the Inside: Teachers’ Perceptions and Use of the LDC Framework

As part of our multi-year evaluation for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of literacy teaching tools aligned to the CCSS, this booklet is a synthesis of what we learned from practitioners over the course…

A View from the Inside: Teachers’ Perceptions of the MDC Initiative and their Use of the Formative Assessment Lessons

As part of our multi-year evaluation for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of mathematics teaching tools aligned to the CCSS, this booklet is a synthesis of what we learned from practitioners over the course…

Establishing a Strong Foundation: Classroom Implementation of the LDC and MDC Frameworks Executive Summary

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in the development and dissemination of high quality instructional and formative assessment tools to support teachers' incorporation of the Core Common State Standards (CCSS) into their classroom…

Establishing a Strong Foundation: District and School Supports for Classroom Implementation of the LDC Framework

In 2010-11, the LDC framework was piloted in six districts, a teacher network, and a network of schools. In most cases, school districts applied for and received grants to implement LDC; in others, regional intermediaries…

Establishing a Strong Foundation: District and School Supports for Classroom Implementation of the MDC Framework

In 2010-11, the Mathematics Design Collaborative (MDC) was piloted in four districts and two networks of schools. In most cases, school districts applied for and received grants to implement MDC; in others, national networks were…

Teacher Effectiveness: The National Picture and Pennsylvania Context

This first-in-a-series issue brief poses questions and provides research-based answers on teacher evaluation systems - a top priority of legislators during the fall 2011 legislative session. It provides a summary of research and emerging practices…

CCSS Literacy and Math Tools: An Interim Report on Implementation and Sustainability during the Pilot Year

This document summarizes the findings from the initial round of research on the development and piloting of two types of instructional tools designed to support teachers' integration of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in…

Philadelphia’s Teacher Appraisal System: Needs Improvement

Philadelphia's Teacher Appraisal System lays out a number of features of the current appraisal system used by the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) that keep it from effectively supporting high-quality teaching. District schools rate teacher…

Making the Most of Interim Assessment Data: Lessons from Philadelphia

Under No Child Left Behind, urban school districts have increasingly turned to interim assessments, administered at regular intervals, to help gauge student progress in advance of annual state exams. These assessments have spawned growing debate…

Links to Learning and Sustainability: Year Three Report of the Pennsylvania High School Coaching Initiative

Research for Action's third and final report completes a three-year evaluation study of the Pennsylvania High School Coaching Initiative (PAHSCI). This report presents lessons from the PAHSCI model of school-based instructional coaching and mentoring as…