Mission and Focus

Mission

The Educator Impact Laboratory helps state and local education leaders develop and apply the latest tools and methods to measure the impact that educators have on their students, put these findings into context, and use them to improve education.

Focus

Decision makers at the state and local levels can turn to the Educator Impact Laboratory for the latest tools, information, and thinking from leaders in the field. We can help state and local education agencies use research to answer questions about educator impact to improve education.

Here are just some of the challenges we can address with state and district leaders.

+ Measuring teacher impacts on students

  • How can we give teachers credit for their contribution to the growth in student learning?
  • How can we minimize the burden of standardized tests and still measure the progress that educators help students make?
  • Is teacher effectiveness portable across grades, subjects, and schools?
  • Do teacher impacts on socio-emotional learning vary?
  • How can we measure educator impacts on short-term measures of study habits, organization, and persistence?
  • What does it really mean to adopt a multiple measures evaluation system and how are different indicators reconciled?
  • Is it possible to measure teacher impacts on students several years after students leave the classroom? For example, what is a kindergarten teacher’s impact on her students’ ability to succeed in upper elementary grades? What is a high school teacher’s impact on her students’ graduation rates, college and labor market success, and long-term well-being?

+ Measuring principal impacts

  • Is there a difference between school performance and principal performance?
  • Is it possible to measure principal impact on student learning?
  • Do principal evaluation rubrics measure what we want them to measure?

+ Assessing educator impact and equity

  • How much access do disadvantaged students in my district have to effective educators?
  • What policies can improve access to effective educators for the most disadvantaged students?

+ Harnessing data collection advances to improve measurement of educator impact

  • How can emerging technologies for measuring teacher and principal impact be used to address the accountability provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?
  • How can student and parent surveys be used to measure teacher and principal effectiveness?
  • How can classroom observation rubrics and student learning objectives contribute to “multiple measures” evaluation systems?
  • How can we attribute student learning gains to individual educators in a complex environment of team teaching with student and teacher mobility?
  • How can we measure teacher impacts over time during periods of transition to different student assessments, like those of the Common Core state standards-aligned testing consortia?
  • How can interactive data visualizations and dashboards be designed to support personnel decisions about teachers and principals?

+ Assessing teacher and principal training programs

  • How can measures of teacher impact be used to gauge the effectiveness of educator preparation programs?
  • How can measures of principal impact be used to gauge administrator pipeline and training programs?
  • How can we better align pre- and in-service measures of teacher performance to improve teacher impact?