We make feedback useful. We advance evaluations that set clear performance standards and identify teachers’ strengths and weaknesses. Whether we’re designing evaluation tools or training evaluators, TNTP paints a clear picture of how teachers are performing in their most critical role: helping students learn. Since 2009, our work has shaped evaluations for half a million teachers—fully 15 percent of all teachers nationwide.
We help teachers grow. We give teachers personalized support and chances to practice key skills. We set a high bar for excellent instruction and offer teachers new ways to reach it, such as real-time coaching and video feedback. And we’re embracing rigorous content, preparing teachers for the Common Core and rethinking professional development.
Detroit: Reaching the Youngest Students > ˅
In Detroit, 3 in 5 children under five live in poverty, putting them at a tremendous educational disadvantage without early interventions. Yet, in a 2013 assessment, only two percent of Detroit’s early childhood education programs earned top marks.
In 2013, TNTP partnered with Excellent Schools Detroit to improve the quality of teaching in early childhood, from birth to age eight. The effort will reach teachers across Detroit—including those in traditional public schools, private schools and the charter sector.
TNTP is designing an intensive summer curriculum for early childhood teachers on delivering rigorous instruction and supporting students' development. Coaches of early childhood teachers will receive both a summer training and ongoing support in the fall.
In 2014, 100 early childhood teachers and 25 coaches will complete the pilot training, which has the potential to advance our understanding of early childhood education and set Detroit’s youngest students up for academic success.
Louisiana: Improving Teacher Feedback > ˅
To grow as professionals, teachers need feedback on all aspects of a lesson—both on how they teach, and the rigor of the content they cover. Louisiana is one of the first states to tackle both areas.
In 2012, TNTP partnered with the Louisiana Department of Education to roll out a new teacher and leader evaluation system, COMPASS, in more than 70 school districts. In three months, we trained 6,500 school and district leaders on the new system, and on the skills they need to provide constructive feedback.
As educators began using COMPASS, we realized that teachers and leaders needed to see examples of excellent instruction to fully understand the higher expectations for students—and teachers. And with Louisiana adopting the Common Core in 2014, teachers needed guidance and support on how to teach more rigorous content.
So we created a video library with clips of excellent, Common Core–aligned instruction. Teachers can use them for personal growth or collaborative planning, and principals can cite examples of excellence. Together, these consistent expectations and resources help 49,000 teachers across the state provide more challenging instruction for Louisiana’s students.
Memphis: Coaching the Coaches > ˅
Shelby County Schools, which served the suburbs of Memphis, has long trained teachers to coach their peers. But when it merged with nearby Memphis City Schools in 2013, Shelby County needed to scale its coaching model from 51 schools to 218.
In 2013, Shelby County engaged TNTP to develop a consistent approach to coaching in Tennessee’s now-largest district. Working with the professional development department, we’re designing trainings for more than 400 coaches—all full-time teachers—and creating the systems to manage their work.
TNTP is building data systems to track what’s working across the district: what teachers are growing, and why? As promising trends emerge, we’re rapidly refining the district’s approach, encouraging a focus on direct feedback and active practice of new skills.
We’re also helping the district manage its coaches. We’ll train 32 coach managers on how to select the right coaches, ensure consistent observations, and evaluate coaches on their performance.
By 2014, Shelby County should have the systems to support a strong coaching team and well-defined coaching strategies that deliver real results for teachers—and their students.