Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance

This alliance seeks to use data and evidence to examine and address important issues related to educator preparation and evaluation. Alliance work includes developing a research agenda, conducting research, and supporting the use of data and evidence to improve practice, policy, and student outcomes.

Goals

  • Investigate characteristics of educator effectiveness and educator evaluation systems, including educator preparation programs and inservice professional development
  • Provide stakeholders in our region with research and capacity building to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of educator effectiveness systems and initiatives
  • Provide opportunities for educators interested in educator effectiveness systems to network, learn from one another, and share knowledge and lessons learned

Alliance Flyer

screen cap of alliance flyer

Alliance Contact

Doug Fireside, Alliance Liaison
dfireside@air.org

Work Updates

2017

Summer/Fall

During this period, the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance liaison and members communicated to discuss the alliance projects and to plan for sunsetting the alliance when the current REL Southwest contract ends in November 2017.

The alliance sponsored two bridge events during this period. The "Teacher Mentoring: Lessons Learned and Next Steps" webinar was conducted on August 30. The "Exploring Educator Movement Between Districts" webinar, hosted by REL Midwest and REL Southwest, was conducted on October 4. Both events will be archived online.

The alliance's Texas Teacher Supply and Demand technical assistance project was completed and the results shared with members. The alliance also received the preliminary results of the Descriptive Study of Teacher Mobility in Texas. The final report for this project will be published on the IES website late this year or early next year.

The alliance's final meeting was held on October 16 in Austin, Texas. REL Southwest staff shared the key findings of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) Rubric study. The final report for this study is available on the IES website.

In addition, the alliance liaison led members in a discussion about sunsetting the research alliance and ways that members can remain in touch. All members received certificates of appreciation to recognize their participation in and commitment to the alliance.

Spring

During this quarter, the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance liaison and members communicated regularly to discuss alliance projects and plan for upcoming meetings and events. Progress also continued on alliance projects. REL Southwest staff working on the Texas Teacher Supply and Demand technical assistance project began drafting a presentation to share the results with the alliance at an upcoming meeting. Staff also continued drafting the final reports for the Descriptive Study of Teacher Mobility in Texas and the Analysis of Data From the Pilot Implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) study. Both reports are expected to be published later this year.

Winter

During this quarter, the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance liaison and members communicated regularly to address questions, discuss alliance projects, and plan for upcoming alliance meetings and events.

Progress continued on alliance projects. Staff finalized the analysis for the Texas Teacher Supply and Demand technical assistance project and anticipate sharing the results with the alliance in spring 2017. Staff also began drafting the final report for the Descriptive Study of Teacher Mobility in Texas and continued work on the final report for the Analysis of Data From the Pilot Implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) study.

2016

Fall

On September 15, the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance's Planning-Leadership Team met to review the status of alliance projects, discuss proposed projects, and plan for upcoming alliance meetings and events.

On October 19, REL Southwest and the alliance hosted a bridge event webinar titled "Student Learning Objectives: Lessons Learned and Next Steps." This event presented district, state, and national perspectives on the use of student learning objectives under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The archive for the webinar is available online.

Progress also continued on alliance projects. Staff began preliminary analysis for the Texas Teacher Supply and Demand technical assistance project, completed data analysis for the Descriptive Study of Teacher Mobility in Texas, and made revisions to the final report for the Analysis of Data from the Pilot Implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) study to address IES feedback.

Summer

During this quarter, the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance liaison and members communicated regularly to address questions and concerns and to plan upcoming events. The alliance liaison and researchers communicated by phone and email with the Austin, Houston, Lake Travis, and Round Rock school districts and Education Service Center Region 13 in San Antonio to discuss and gauge interest in potential technical assistance projects.

Planning continued on the bridge event webinar "Student Learning Objectives: Lessons Learned and Next Steps," held October 19. Progress also continued on the Texas Teacher Supply and Demand technical assistance project and on the final report for the Analysis of Data from the Pilot Implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) study.

In addition, REL Southwest received approval to begin a new alliance project, the Descriptive Study of Teacher Mobility in Texas. This study will characterize the movement of teachers within Texas over five school years and identify any disparities. In addition, the study will examine the relationship between teacher mobility and effectiveness. The findings will inform state and district educator equity plans.

Spring

During this quarter, REL Southwest staff planned and conducted a workshop on logic models to increase Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance members' understanding of how they can be used to help develop and implement state educator evaluation systems. The workshop took place on May 16, 2016. Alliance members who attended learned about the logic model process and had the opportunity to apply it as they developed logic models for an educator evaluation project at their organizations. The workshop also provided an opportunity for the new alliance liaison to meet with the members. The liaison will continue to reach out to members by phone and email.

In March, REL Southwest received approval to conduct a Texas Teacher Supply and Demand technical assistance project. The goal of this project is to help alliance members and the Texas Education Agency characterize the supply and demand of teachers in Texas schools, districts, and geographic regions over a 5-year timeframe and identify any disparities.

Progress continued on the Analysis of the Pilot Implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) study, as staff finished data analysis and began preparing a report of the findings.

Winter

In November and December 2015, the liaison for the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance met with state education agency staff in Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma as part of ongoing efforts to expand the alliance from Texas to the entire REL Southwest Region. The efforts proved successful, as one or two key staff at each agency joined the alliance. The liaison followed up with the new members to share information about alliance meetings and activities.

REL Southwest staff met with members of the Alliance Planning-Leadership Team to plan a workshop on developing and using logic models. The request for this workshop came from members who are involved in piloting, implementing, and refining the Texas Educator Evaluation and Support System. The workshop was held May 16, 2016, in Austin.

In February 2016, the alliance convened by webinar for its quarterly meeting. Agenda items included the expansion of the alliance to other states beyond Texas, current and new alliance projects, and an update on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Progress continued on the Analysis of the Pilot Implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS).

2015

Fall

The alliance held its quarterly meeting in September 2015. At the meeting, REL Southwest staff shared the preliminary findings of the Policy Scan of Educator Evaluation Systems in the REL Southwest Region, including the state profiles developed as part of the project. Alliance members discussed the states' different approaches to educator evaluation across the region, the components of the states' evaluation systems, and the potential implications for the educator evaluation system in Texas. Members then participated in a related exercise, in which they reviewed the individual state profiles, noted the commonalities and differences in educator evaluation systems across the region, and shared ideas about what a regional profile might look like. This feedback informed REL Southwest's development of a visual one-page regional profile of state educator evaluation systems, including implementation challenges and lessons learned from all five states.

Several other alliance activities took place during this quarter as well. The alliance liaison conducted a site visit to the Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in Austin, Texas, to meet with an alliance member on staff. The liaison learned about the agency's work and discussed the alliance's research agenda.

Alliance members at Sheldon and Taft Independent School Districts discussed with the liaison the possibility of holding logic model capacity-building workshops for the alliance. These workshops would focus on supporting the implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) in that part of the state. The idea is under consideration.

In addition, alliance members received the first two of five briefings on the Analysis of the Pilot Implementation of T-TESS study. The briefings included an overview of the study's background, goals, research questions, major activities, timeline, and potential implications as well as a literature review and annotated bibliography.

In keeping with the original plan for the alliance, the liaison also began working on expanding the membership to the remaining four states (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma) in the REL Southwest Region. For each state, the liaison contacted the educator effectiveness lead at the state education agency. Representatives from New Mexico and Oklahoma have agreed to join the alliance; outreach is ongoing with the other states in the region.

Summer

The newly established Alliance Planning-Leadership Team met in May and June 2015. The team consists of 12 members who represent the various stakeholder interests of the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance. At the May meeting, the team discussed and agreed on member roles and responsibilities. In addition, the team reviewed and updated the alliance’s research agenda, discussing in detail the alliance’s education priorities in Texas and highlighting three key topic areas for the research agenda: educator evaluation systems, educator preparation program effectiveness, and educator recruitment, retention, and mobility (linked to the Equitable Access to Excellent Educators initiative).

At the team’s June meeting, REL Southwest staff presented state profiles developed as part of the Policy Scan of Educator Evaluation Systems in the REL Southwest Region. The presentation briefly described the evaluation systems being implemented in the five states REL Southwest serves, along with lessons learned and challenges faced during implementation. In addition, members received updates about an alliance project in progress—Analysis of the Pilot Implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS).

During this quarter, REL Southwest researchers also made progress on the alliance’s Descriptive Study of the Texas Educator Evaluation and Support System Pilot. The Texas Education Agency has completed its survey of district staff participating in the pilot, and REL Southwest researchers are preparing to begin data analysis.

Spring

In January 2015, Patricia Balana joined REL Southwest as the new alliance liaison for the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance.

The alliance held its quarterly meeting in March 2015. Members participated in professional learning on Equitable Access to Excellent Educators and discussed the impact of the federal requirements for Equity State Plans. This discussion focused on the implications of the equity work for the REL Southwest Region and Texas in particular. The Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) shared with alliance members the work being undertaken to support the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in developing and refining its Equity State Plan. Members discussed the equity work in the context of the Educator Effectiveness research agenda, shared ideas for conducting research to support equitable access to excellent educators, and reflected on how to collect data on root causes behind equity gaps. In addition, members received information and updates about alliance projects in progress and gave detailed feedback on the Analysis of Pilot Implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS).

At the meeting, alliance members also agreed to establish an Alliance Planning-Leadership Team to guide alliance work and represent the interests of the wider alliance. The newly formed team consists of 13 members who represent the various stakeholder interests of the alliance. In April, the alliance liaison conducted ongoing discussions with the planning team members regarding their roles, responsibilities, and representation as well as the alliance's research agenda. Plans were made to hold the first planning team meeting in May.

During this quarter, REL Southwest researchers also began work on two analytic technical support projects: a Descriptive Study of the Texas Educator Evaluation and Support System Pilot and a Policy Scan of Educator Evaluation Systems in the REL Southwest Region.

2014

Fall

The Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance was launched in August 2014 with a kickoff meeting in Austin, Texas. Attendees learned about the REL work and discussed the alliance's proposed research agenda. The alliance, which will focus initially on Texas, includes more than 35 members representing school districts, regional education service centers, state agencies, education associations, and universities.

In October, the alliance held its second meeting. Members discussed and finalized the alliance goals proposed at the kickoff meeting in August, reviewed and finalized the refined alliance research agenda, and discussed and provided feedback on the proposed alliance technical assistance projects and studies for the coming year.