American Institutes for Research (AIR) bridges research, policy, and practice through its educator quality work to support the local design of educator talent management systems. AIR’s Performance Management Advantage service offers guidance to states and school districts on principal and teacher evaluation framework design, selection of multiple measures of educator performance, value-added modeling, student learning objectives development, educator hiring, and educator induction. They aim to create evaluation and professional growth systems that bridge the art and science of teaching and leading. The AIR team provides a national perspective and deep knowledge to help clients increase their understanding of best practices, implement tailored solutions to address their unique challenges, and bring about large-scale, lasting, and positive changes for educators and students. AIR walks clients along the “Performance Path”—a comprehensive approach for the design of revolutionary educator evaluation and professional growth systems. This path includes the following six steps.
- Prepare & Engage Leadership and Stakeholders
- Develop & Share Vision and Plans
- Select & Customize Tools, Training and Infrastructure
- Launch & Implement Appraisal Systems and Support
- Assess & Advance Practices and Progress
- Integrate Talent Management Systems
The initial phases of Observation Engine’s development were funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of its Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project. The MET project has collected thousands of hours of classroom videos, which are used in Observation Engine as part of its video library. Empirical Education also continues its analyses of the research data collected by MET to improve the validation of observational measures.
BloomBoard supports professional development by allowing teachers to set explicit goals and then share those goals with their administrators. The BloomBoard platform enables administrators to observe teachers’ practices and utilize the associated data to make recommendations to personalized actions or resources in their unique marketplace that help teachers achieve their goals.
“Using the scoring study to propel the development of observation skills has been amazing! Our feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m confident that we’ll continue to have…incredible results related to calibration growth.” –Kelly Montes De Oca, Bloomboard
McREL’s Center for Educator Effectiveness is working with Empirical Education to implement Observation Engine as part of an integrated solution for training, calibrating, and certifying teacher evaluators. For example, a recent implementation in Texas is supporting a Teacher Incentive Fund project in which it is essential to have well trained and reliable educator evaluators. As part of the combined solution, McREL has master coded videos in accordance with their research-based observation protocol for use in practice and certification testing. McREL is a non-profit education research and development corporation dedicated to changing the odds of success for all students. Since 1966, McREL has conducted research on what works in education and turned the findings into practical guidance, products, and services for educators. With offices in Denver, Colorado; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Melbourne, Australia, McREL’s expert researchers and consultants—who are former teachers, principals and district leaders themselves—work with schools, districts, and regional and state systems across the United States and around the globe.
School Improvement Network and Empirical Education have partnered to introduce the Calibration & Certification Engine (CCE)—a customized version of Observation Engine—to create consistency, reliability and accuracy in teacher evaluations. Founded in 1991 by teachers, School Improvement Network has spent decades researching and documenting the best practices and teaching strategies in education. From this research, School Improvement Network has developed the Educator Effectiveness System. This system delivers a process to improve teacher practice and teaching strategies, and gives educators a set of powerful tools to drive the process. Research shows that districts and schools that use the tools in the Educator Effectiveness System produce better teachers and, as a result, experience dramatic increases in student achievement, driving up student proficiency scores by an average of 19 percent in a single year. School Improvement Network works with thousands of schools and districts in every state and around the world and has visited over 3,500 classrooms to document best practices and teaching strategies in action.