Sep 21, 2020
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with researchers from RAND and the American Institutes for Research, speculated that there were lessons to be learned from variation among schools within the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative sites because some schools had improved more than others. They conducted a qualitative study and a survey study to investigate factors that might be associated with positive student outcomes.
In 2018, The RAND Corporation and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) published an evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching (IP) initiative, which was designed to improve achievement among low-income minority (LIM) students. The initiative provided support for several reforms that were theorized to result in improved teacher effectiveness, such as teacher workforce conditions (e.g., hiring, retention, dismissal), teacher-evaluation policies, individualized professional development (PD), strategic compensation, and career ladders. However, the study found that the initiative did not meet its goals of improved teacher effectiveness and greater access to effective teachers among LIM students.
Although, on average, there was little improvement, the Gates Foundation, along with researchers from RAND and AIR, speculated that lessons could be learned from variation among schools within the IP sites because some schools had improved more than others. To investigate the factors that might be associated with positive student outcomes at the school level, researchers conducted a qualitative study and a survey study. For the qualitative study, the authors selected 11 pairs of schools from the original study that were similar at the beginning of the initiative but showed differing levels of improvement during the initiative. Researchers interviewed teachers and administrators at these schools and analyzed their responses to identify ways that improving and nonimproving schools varied from the staff perspective. In the survey study, the authors used teacher surveys that were administered in the spring of each year from 2013 through 2016 to look for relationships between staff beliefs and school-level improvement over the course of the IP initiative.
Methods for the Qualitative Study
Methods for the Survey Study