Policy & Research

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project over two years, from 2009-2011, to help districts across the country identify effective teaching in order to improve student achievement and help teachers ensure excellence in their profession. They believe this project is an important step toward supporting teachers and ensuring that all students have access to high-quality instruction.

“Evidence shows clearly what most people know intuitively: teachers matter more to student learning than anything else inside a school (MET).”

The ‘Irreplaceables’ are teachers so successful that they are nearly impossible to replace. They provide more engaging learning experiences for students, helping them achieve five to six more months of learning each year than students of low-performing teachers—academic results that can be life-changing.

This paper examines the real retention crisis that urban schools nationwide are facing: not the failure to retain enough teachers, but the failure to retain the right teachers. Solving the retention crisis requires a new approach that revolves around smart retention. This study examines the causes and the consequences and offers solutions to break the cycle of low-performing schools and to improve the quality of teaching.

As Connecticut is currently piloting a comprehensive educator evaluation and support system that considers educators’ contributions to student learning growth, there is greater need for more information about measuring an educator's contribution to student achievement.

This research & policy brief  released by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, provides information about factors to consider when identifying and implementing measures of student learning growth, particularly within non-tested grades and subjects. It provides considerations and suggestions based on current models and experiences from the field.

The Arts and Literacy Development is an annotated bibliography with links to current research literature that reveals exciting links between the arts and literacy development.

Through arts integrated literacy instruction:

  • Students find reading and writing more meaningful and become better able to tell their own stories.
  • English language learners find a powerful way to express their ideas.
  • Adolescents become more committed and competent in comprehending and interpreting complex texts.

The impact of these improvements is beginning to be evident in standardized test results. Students often viewed as "at risk" show the greatest gains.

Like text, visual art, music, theatre, and dance are symbol systems. Thus use of these symbol systems is a form of literacy and develops abilities needed for reading and writing. Benefits include:

  • Greater sensitivity to metaphors, symbols, and underlying themes
  • Greater commitment to expressing and finding meaning in text
  • Better abstract reasoning skills, used in reading and writing
  • Better spatial-temporal reasoning skills used in reading, verbal expression, and writing
  • Improved comprehension

Neag School of Education Study

As part of the educator evaluation and support system process, the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut will submit to the State Board of Education, no later than January 1, 2014, an implementation study and any recommendations concerning validation of the teacher evaluation and support program core requirements. The results of the study will help determine any changes needed to the Connecticut Guidelines (Core Requirements) and/or the SEED state model. More Info →