How America’s Best Teachers Could Close the Gaps, Raise the Bar, and Keep Our Nation Great - Public Impact

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  building an opportunit y culture  for americ a’s teachers  Opportunity at the Top How America’s Best Teachers Could Close the Gaps, Raise the Bar, and Keep Our Nation Great bryan c. hassel and emily ayscue hassel About the Authors BRYAN C. HASSEL is Co-Director of Public Impact. He consults nationally with leading public agencies, nonprofit organizations and foundations working for dramatic improvements in K-12 education. He is a recognized expert on charter schoo
  building an opportunity culture  for america’s teachers  How America’s Best Teachers Could Close the Gaps,Raise the Bar, and Keep Our Nation Great bryan c. hassel and emily ayscue hassel Opportunity at the Top  About the Authors BRYAN C. HASSEL is o-Director o Public m- pact. e consults nationall with leading publicagencies, nonprot organizations and oundations working or dramatic improvements in K- educa-tion. e is a recognized expert on charter schools,school turnarounds, education entrepreneurship,and human capital in education. Dr. assel re-ceived his doctorate in public polic rom arvardniversit and his master’s degree in politics romOxord niversit, which he attended as a hodescholar. e earned his .. at the niversit o orth arolina at hapel ill, which he attendedas a orehead cholar.EMILy AYSCUE HASSEL is o-Director o Publicmpact. he provides thought leadership and over-sight to Public mpact’s work on human capital,organizational transormation, parental choice o schools, and emerging opportunities or dramaticchange in pre-K to grade  education. he previ-ousl worked or the a Group, a leading humanresources consulting rm. s. assel received herlaw and master’s in business administration degreesrom the niversit o orth arolina at hapelill. About the Series This report is part o the series  Building anOpportunity Culture or America’s Teachers .To see all reports in this series, including anexecutive summar or this report, please visit www.opportunitade possible with the support o: Acknowledgements This report was made possible b the generous sup- port o the Joce Foundation. t is part o a serieso reports about “uilding an Opportunit ul-ture or merica’s Teachers.” The authors wouldlike to acknowledge the assistance o numerousPublic mpact colleagues in the preparation o this report. Daniela Dole led the creation o themodel used to orecast the eects o changing ourteacher policies, with signicant support rom Jacob osch. s. Dole and r. osch, along  with Joe bleidinger, provided extensive researchassistance. Julie owal and uc teiner providedinvaluable comments on an earl dra, and Danarinson oversaw production and dissemination o the report. n addition, several external reviewers provided helpul eedback and insights, though allerrors remain our own. Finall, we would like tothank haron ebschull arrett or careul edit-ing, and pril eidig-iggins or the design o thereport.© 00 Public mpact, hapel ill, Public mpact is a national education polic andmanagement consulting rm based in hapel ill,. We are a team o researchers, thought leaders,tool-builders, and on-the-ground consultants whohelp education leaders and policmakers improvestudent learning in K- education. For more onPublic mpact and our research, please visit: mpact encourages the ree use, repro-duction, and distribution o this working paper ornoncommercial use. We require attribution or alluse. For more inormation and instructions on thecommercial use o our materials, please contact usat opportunity at the top | 1 Thanks to two decades o research, everone nowunderstands the vital role teachers pla in studentlearning. These das, ew would debate that teachersdier widel in their eectiveness. Our schools haveamazingl powerul teachers, woeull inadequateteachers, and ever gradation in between. nd ew would dispute now that these dierences have anenormous impact on how much students learn. nthe schoolhouse, nothing matters more. lthoughschools are tring to improve proessional develop-ment and mentoring o teachers alread on the job, wide agreement has emerged that replacing ineec-tive teachers with high-potential teachers can di-rectl and immediatel improve student outcomes.This consensus has generated two major responsesrom policmakers and education reormers. First,numerous eorts are underwa to improve the pipe-line o teachers entering the proession. We areencouraging more o our talented college seniors toconsider teaching, enticing mid-career proessionalsto change jobs, and retooling the was we prepareteaching candidates or the challenges o teaching.1econd, we are becoming more serious about removing the least eective teachers rom class-rooms . purred b compelling research,2 the ederalace to the Top competition,3 and major philan-thropic initiatives, states and districts across thecountr are working to revamp teacher-evaluationsstems to refect the perormance dierences ev-erone knows are there. nd as measures improve, policmakers are beginning to consider was to usethe data, such as b dismissing or dening tenure toteachers who all short on the new ratings.et in our zeal to bring in new sources o talentand relieve schools o their lowest perormers, werisk overlooking what is perhaps the most obvious,immediate source o improved teaching eectiveness: the great teachers we already have. The top  percent o .. teachers — more than800,000 o them — alread achieve a level o resultsthat could enable all o our children to meet andexceed standards, graduating rom high school reador college and careers.5 n two was, however, we areailing as a nation to capitalize on this extraordinarresource: Our nation is squandering one o its most important resources—our best teachers — and children are paing the price. { The top  percent o .. teachers —more than 800,000 o them — alreadachieve a level o results that could enableall o our children to meet and exceedstandards. Opportunit at the Top ow merica’s est Teachers ould lose the Gaps,aise the ar, and eep Our ation Great  ran . assel and mil scue assel  2 | opportunity at the top   →    We lose ar too many o the best teachers : n-nuall, an estimated 8 percent o these high-fiersleave teaching, a loss o about 64,000 ver e-ective teachers every year. That’s  times morethan Teach For merica brought into teaching in009.  →    We ail to leverage their talent or students’benet : ven when great teachers sta, their im- pact generall remains small over their careers.For example, onl 600 students will benet romthe instruction o an excellent elementar schoolteacher even i she stas on the job or 0 ears.7 We lack eective sstems to enable these teachersto reach more students b helping other teachersor b educating more students directl.n this report, we show that even i we achieve ourboldest current goals or top-teacher recruitment anddismissal o low perormers, the great majorit o children will still lack access to eective instruction.Our stubborn achievement gaps will persist, andadvanced learners will continue to all short o their potential. n contrast, we also show that b coupling these goals with retaining more high-perorming teachers and extending their reach to more students,nearl all children could have great teachers ear aer ear. ducation in merica would at last achieve its promise.This outcome is well within our reach — but onli we vastl expand the opportunities or top teachersto achieve success, impact, and rewards b building an “opportunit culture” in education. Our Best Teachers: A National Treasure What Having a Great Teacher Means or Students O course having a great teacher makes a dierence,but how much o a dierence? n this section, webrief recount major research, which reveals that ournation’s stubborn achievement gaps could be closedin a mere hal-decade i lagging children gained ac-cess to toda’s top teachers.n one earl stud o teaching eectiveness, re-searchers in Tennessee ound that low-perorming stu-dents with the top 0 percent o teachers learned twoto our times as much as students with the bottom 0 percent. ince then, man other rigorous studies havereturned results showing that the best teachers consis-tentl produce sizable and signicant learning gainsar in excess o their less-eective peers.s an illustration, consider 4th-grade mathemat-ics. esearchers at the highl regarded research rmD analzed student results on six well-knownstandardized math tests. The determined howmuch the tpical student progresses between rdand 4th grade.1 We can think o this amount o  progress as “a ear’s worth o learning” or 4th grade.eparatel, researchers have compared the learning achieved b students assigned to dierent teachersor 4th-grade math in two o the nation’s largestschool districts, ew ork it and os ngeles.n both studies, students assigned to the bestteachers (those in the top  percent o all teachers,or the “top quartile”) learned ar more than thoseassigned to the worst (those in the bottom percent).11ow much more? tudents with top-quartileteachers learned nearly twice as much as thosetaught by the bottom 25 percent o teachers. tu- ven i we achieve our boldest currentgoals or top-teacher recruitment anddismissal o low perormers, the greatmajorit o children will still lackaccess to eective instruction.Good teachers do not generate the learning  progress needed or lagging students. Onlgreat teachers get the job done.
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