About the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching (IP) Initiative

After carefully selecting seven pilot sites (called intensive partnership sites, or “IP sites”) in several locations across the country, the initiative began with each site adopting measures of teaching effectiveness. These measures are weighted combinations of classroom observations, growth in student achievement, and other related information, such as student surveys of learning conditions or teacher professionalism. The effectiveness measure is then incorporated into a comprehensive system designed to improve the teacher workforce over time.

Working within this basic model, each of the IP sites developed its own approach to executing the IP initiative. They adopted new teaching effectiveness measures and made big changes to their human resources policies and practices—reforming hiring practices, teacher placement, professional development, pay structure, and more.

This strategy is expected to improve overall teaching effectiveness—and in particular—a district’s ability to pair the highest-need students with the most effective teachers. Together, these reforms should lead to higher student achievement, graduation rates, and postsecondary participation.

RAND and AIR are conducting three major studies to evaluate the initiative, and the key findings are reported annually to both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the IP sites. The cumulative program evaluation (slated for completion in 2017) will assess overall impact.