Educators and policymakers in the Northeast and Islands Region want to know how to develop and implement evidence-based approaches to measuring educator effectiveness and retaining educators deemed to be effective. Several states are making significant investments in new educator evaluation systems, largely because of the federal Race to the Top competition, which spurred a shift in states from simply tracking teacher qualifications to actually measuring teacher effectiveness. Implementation of this major policy change requires methodological innovation, understanding of the technical aspects of measurement, and engagement with rapid developments in this field. It also requires a deep understanding of the complexities of local implementation, educators’ professional-development needs, and the process of policy adaptation in local contexts.
The Northeast Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance is bringing together state administrators with the shared goal of improving educator effectiveness. These educators are aware of the limitations of their data systems for supporting new kinds of evaluation and are actively seeking solutions to enhance them. The sources of evidence, however, to be used for evaluative purposes are not fully apparent, and states have much do to conceptualize, design, implement, and support these new evaluation systems.