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Additional Resources

New York Organizations

Buffalo ReformED
Charter Parent Action Network
Council of School Supervisors and Administrators
Democracy Builders
Families for Excellent Schools
Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability
New York Charter Schools Association
New York City Charter School Center
Parent Power Project
United Federation of Teachers

National Organizations

Citizen Schools
Democrats For Education Reform
Education Reform Now
Education Trust
Educators 4 Excellence
Leadership for Educational Equity
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
National Council on Teacher Quality
New Schools Venture Fund
Parent Revolution
Stand for Children
Teach for America
The New Teacher Project


Can You Leave High School Behind?
The National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014
This paper examines the relationship between high school and college in light that many states, including California, Texas and Oregon have changed their admissions policies to increase access to public universities for students from low-income communities. A key concern is how these students perform. Researchers found that high school characteristics do affect student performance and these effects seem more pronounced for women and low-income students.

2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in New York
National Center for Teacher Quality (NCTQ), 2013
This year NCTQ’s annual Yearbook focuses on the critical issue of teacher preparation and awards New York State a C- for its policies in that area. The report details recent policy updates, items requiring critical attention and next steps for addressing gaps in policy.

Ensuring Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching
Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project, 2013
The third and final installment of the MET’s three-year comprehensive study that included 3,000 teachers in seven districts including New York City concludes that teacher effectiveness can indeed be measured and identifies strategies for grading teachers.

Learning from the Test: Raising Selective College Enrollment by Providing Information
Columbia University, UC Berkeley, 2012
In this intriguing paper Columbia University economics Ph.D candidate Sarena Goodman explores whether a policy (so far adopted by five states) requiring all high school juniors to take the ACT college entrance exam can increase college enrollment, particularly at more selective colleges and particularly among students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In short, she finds the answer is yes, yes and likely yes.

Great Expectations: Teachers’ Views on Elevating the Teaching Profession
Teach Plus, 2012
Results of a survey of over 1,000 teachers nationwide suggest that while a majority of all teachers agree that clear standards of effectiveness will strengthen the profession, there is also a generational split in terms of how teacher effectiveness should be measured and how and when it should be taken into account. Teachers who joined the profession in the last decade tend to be more receptive to the use of student growth data in evaluation, as well as performance-based tenure and compensation systems, and they believe high standards and greater accountability will elevate the profession.

Keeping Irreplaceables in D.C. Public Schools: Lessons in Smart Teacher Retention
The New Teacher Project (TNTP), 2012
This case study shows that the dramatic changes the D.C. Public Schools district (DCPS) have made to its approach to teacher evaluation and compensation are having a positive impact on teacher retention patterns (with some caveats) consistent with the call for smart retention policies in their provocative report, “The Irreplaceables,” released earlier this year. Notably, in the 2010-11 school year, the district kept 88 percent of its top teachers but just 45 percent of its low performers.

From Teacher Education to Student Progress: Teacher Quality Since NCLB
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 2012
Arnold Schober of Lawrence University explains how the definition of teacher quality has changed over time from focus on certification to performance in the classroom. And while the author acknowledges that no consensus has emerged on the best approach to increasing teacher quality, he explores three areas that policy makers have proposed as quality “elixirs”: teacher preparation programs, recruitment incentives, and tenure and differentiated pay provisions.

Movin’ It and Improvin’ It! Using Both Education Strategies to Increase Teaching Effectiveness
Center for American Progress (CAP), 2012
A rational call for boosting teacher effectiveness by moving beyond the false choice between “movin’ it” strategies (focusing on recruitment, retention and “deselection”) and “improving it” strategies (focusing on development, coaching and feedback). In doing so we should leverage a combination of both. Equally important, the reports calls for closely tracking the effectiveness of both “movin’ it” and “improvin’ it” to ensure our limited resources are well spent.

The Irreplaceables
The New Teacher Project (TNTP), 2012
The real teacher retention crisis in America’s public schools is not that we don’t retain enough teachers, but that we don’t retain the best ones -- the irreplaceables. Using student performance data and survey of teachers and education leaders, this report drills into retention issues across the country and provides practical and actionable recommendations for creating smart teacher retention policy.

A "Parent Trigger" for New York: Empowering Parents to Reform Their Children’s Schools
Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability (FERA), 2012
This report is a helpful resource for learning about the education reform policy known as "parent trigger." It explains the concept, gives a nice history of legislation in other states and provides the arguments for and against the policy. In making the case for a "parent trigger" option in New York State, it lays out the components of an ideal parent trigger law.

Recent State Action on Teacher Effectiveness
Bellwether Education Partners, 2012
This is a handy guide to the recent flurry of state-level education reforms aimed at improving teacher effectiveness. Created by non-profit education consulting firm Bellwether Education Partners, the report rates 20 states (including New York) that took major legislative or regulatory action over the past three years on teacher effectiveness. Judged against 13 criteria, each state received an overall score ranging from 3 to 11.75 (New York got a 5.75) along with an explanation for underlying scores given for each criteria.

The long-term impacts of teachers: teacher value-added and student outcomes in adulthood
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), 2011 (revised 2012)
Definitively validates the efficacy of using test scores to measure teacher quality by showing the long-term positive outcomes enjoyed by students of teachers who drive higher test-score gains (i.e. have high value-added scores). These students are less likely to have children as teenagers and more likely to have higher salaries, live in higher socio-economic neighborhoods, and save more for retirement. To put a finer point on it, replacing a teacher whose students’ test-score gains are in the bottom 5% with a teacher whose test-score gains are average would increase those students’ lifetime income by more than $250,000 each.

Education Next prepared this special issue on the report as well.

Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City
National Bureau of Economic Research, 2011
An impressive and comprehensive analysis of 35 charter schools in New York City by Harvard University researchers Will Dobbie and Roland G. Fyer, Jr. finds that frequent teacher feedback, the use of data to guide instruction, high-dose tutoring, increased instructional time and setting high expectations all drive higher student achievement. Their data also suggests that traditional inputs such as class size, per pupil expenditures, the amount of teachers with no certification and the fraction of teachers with an advanced degree generally have no connection to student achievement, and in some cases even have a negative correlation (not that same as causation) on student achievement.

Beyond Satisfactory: A New Teacher Evaluation System for New York
Educators for Excellent (E4E), 2011
After five months of research and debate, E4E’s Evaluation Policy Team issued this report detailing an evaluation framework for New York teachers based on what actual classroom teachers would recommend. What they came up with is fair to both teachers and students. Based on six components, their framework would give teachers information about their own strengths and weaknesses in the classroom and provide them with actionable steps to improve their practice.

Education Department Releases Results of Grade 3-8 Math and English State Tests; Reform Efforts Underway to Boost Achievement
New York State Department of Education, 2011
52.8 percent of grade 3-8 students across the state met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard;
63.3 percent met or exceeded the standard in math

National Graduation Rate Rebounds; 1.2 Million Students Still Fail to Earn Diplomas
EPE Research Center, 2011
Nearly 3 out of every 10 students in America's public schools still fail to earn a diploma. That amounts to 1.2 million students falling through the cracks of the high school pipeline every year, or 6,400 students lost every day. New York is the leading producer of dropouts: 40,000 per year.

2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook - New York
National Council on Teacher Quality, 2011
The National Council on Teacher Quality grades New York at a "C" regarding its teacher quality policies; while the state ranks relatively high compared to other states, NCTQ cites specific weaknesses regarding the state's teacher certification and preparation policies.

Keeping Our Best Teachers: An Alternative to Seniority-Based Layoffs
Educators4Excellence, 2011
Educators for Excellence argues that New York City’s “Last in, First out” policies are disproportionately affect lower-income schools, are detrimental to ensuring effective teachers stay in the classroom, and undercut efforts to create a more diverse teaching corps.

Closing the talent gap: Attracting and retaining top-third graduates to careers in teaching
McKinsey & Co, 2010
This report by management consulting firm McKinsey’s Social Sector Office offers the first quantitative research-based answer to the question of how the U.S. could substantially increase the portion of new teachers each year who are higher caliber graduates, and how this could be done in a cost-effective way. Based on lessons learned from three of the most successful school systems in the world -- South Korea, Finland and Singapore -- the report recommends pursuing efforts to recruit, develop and retain teachers from the “top third +” of students (based on SAT, ACT and/or GPA scores for example).

Opportunity at the Top: How America’s Best Teachers Could Close the Gaps, Raise the Bar, and Keep Our Nation Great
Public Impact, 2010
A clear call for vastly expanding the opportunities for the great teachers we already have to achieve success, impact, and rewards by building an “opportunity culture” in education. Appropriately dubbing them a “National Treasure,” the report notes that the top 25% of teachers -- more than 800,000 of them – are already achieving amazing results with the 12.5 million students they teach. It also offers a range of strategies that when combined over five years would result in 87% of the nation’s classes being taught by great teachers.

Teacher Evaluations 2.0
The New Teacher Project (TNTP), 2010
Everyone agrees that teacher evaluations are broken. So how can we fix them? This guide proposes six design standards that any rigorous and fair evaluation system should meet. It offers states and school districts a blueprint for better evaluations that can help every teacher thrive in the classroom — and give every student the best chance at success.

Teacher Layoffs: An Empirical Illustration of Seniority vs. Measures of Effectiveness
Urban Institute, 2010
Using value-add measures for New York City public school fourth and fifth grade teachers, the Urban Institute finds that seniority-based layoffs are detrimental to retaining effective teachers in the classroom.

Charter Schools: A Report on Rethinking the Federal Role in Education
Brookings Institute, 2010
There are presently five randomized trials that have addressed the performance of charter schools. The four studies finding positive impacts each involved charter schools serving minority populations, three in large urban districts (Chicago, New York City, and Boston, respectively) and one in smaller, low-income city north of Boston.

Charter School Performance in New York City
CREDO, Stanford University, 2010
Overall the results found that the typical student in a New York City charter school learns more than their virtual counterparts in their feeder pool in reading and mathematics. The New York City study finds that 51% of New York City charter schools show significantly larger growth in math, and 29% in reading, than students in district schools.

The New York City Charter Schools Evaluation Project
Caroline M. Hoxby, Sonali Murarka, Jenny Kang, 2009
"On average, a student who attended a charter school for all of grades kindergarten through eight would close about 86 percent of the “Scarsdale-Harlem achievement gap” in math and 66 percent of the achievement gap in English."

The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness
The New Teacher Project (TNTP), 2009
Extensive research of teacher evaluation systems in 12 schools districts highlights our pervasive and longstanding failure to recognize and respond to variations in the effectiveness of our teachers. Teachers evaluations sustain and reinforce the "Widget Effect," the tendency of school districts to assume all teachers are equally effective (i.e. widgets). Calls for the creation of comprehensive performance evaluation systems that fairly, accurately and credibly differentiate teachers based on their effectiveness in promoting student achievement.

Mutual Benefits: New York City’s Shift to Mutual Consent in Teacher Hiring
The New Teacher Project, 2008
The New Teacher Project looks into the impact of mutual consent staffing practices, implemented in the teachers’ contract for New York City’s public schools in 2005.

Educating School Teachers
The Education Schools Project, 2007
Based on national surveys of teachers and principals and a study tying student achievement to teacher preparation, this report finds that the vast majority of the nation's teachers are prepared in programs that have low admission and graduation standards. In addition, accreditation agencies have failed to ensure that teachers are ready for the classrooms in which they will teach. The report also provides a series of recommendation on how to improve teacher education in America.

Upstate School Reform: The Challenge of Regional Geography
The Brookings Institute, 2006
The Brookings Institution examines the diversity, both racially and economically, of Upstate New York schools, arguing for reforms including the need for improved teacher recruitment, retention, and development.

Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job
The Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution, 2006
Analysis of test score data shows that teacher certification is a poor indicator of teacher effectiveness, but that effectiveness varies widely among teachers (regardless of whether they have a traditional or alternative certification). Policy recommendations that follow from this are: reduce barriers to entry into teaching; raise tenure standards; pay teachers more to teach in low income areas; include student performance among the measures used to evaluate teachers; and provide federal funding to states to link test score data to individual teachers.

Increasing the Odds: How Good Policies Can Yield Better Teachers
National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), 2004
This very accessible synthesis of the best research available at the time examines the attributes of effective teachers. Find out why having a masters degree or taking education classes may have less impact on teacher effectives than the college they attend or their “level of literacy” (and what “level of literacy” actually means).

A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform
National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983
A seminal work that sparked the current wave of education reform, this report, commissioned during the Reagan Administration, outlines in dramatic terms many of the same challenges our public education system faces today. It also provides a roadmap to achieving the twin goals of equity and high quality schooling that is striking in its relevance 30 years later.