Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Gates Foundation initiative to improve teacher effectiveness did not meet expectations to help both teachers and students according to a new report from RAND.
• What can the Gates Foundation do to learn from mistakes or gaps in the initiative? Can other foundations replicate the programming but succeed with implementation?
• Read about the specific lessons learned from the Gates initiative.
A seven-year, nearly $1 billion education initiative centered on improving teaching quality in low-income schools — and bankrolled in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — largely failed to help students, according to a new report from nonprofit policy think tank RAND.
By 2015, six years into the initiative, “student achievement, access to effective teaching, and dropout rates were not dramatically better,” than in schools that didn’t participate in the program, according to the RAND study.
In 2009, the Gates Foundation, along with local partners, selected three school districts and four charter school networks in California, Arkansas, Florida, and Pennsylvania for the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative, which aimed to improve teacher effectiveness by changing the way schools recruit, retain, and reward teachers.
The hope was that by monitoring and improving teacher effectiveness, students would get a higher quality education. That, in turn, would improve graduation rates, and college acceptance for low-income and minority students.
Over the seven-year cycle of the initiative, RAND found little-to-no evidence that participating schools were likely to hire more effective teachers.
Students in participating schools also didn’t show any real improvement in test results and graduation rates. “Our analyses of student test results and graduation rates showed no evidence of widespread positive impact on student outcomes six years after the IP initiative was first funded in 2009-2010,” the RAND study said.
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The study concluded that the initiative fared poorly because the schools got better over time at implementing measures of teacher effectiveness, rather than using these measures to actually improve student outcomes.
“We’ll no longer directly invest in teacher evaluation, but we’ll continue to gather data on the impact of these systems and encourage the use of all of those tools that help teachers improve their practice,” Gates said.
Read the full article about teacher effectiveness by Jeremy Berke at Business Insider
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