Client Services │ Teacher Preparation and Performance

AIR's team of researchers and practitioners works with clients to achieve solutions to complex policy and practice problems and to identify and support effective approaches that help teachers thrive.

Our team supports clients in developing impactful policies and practices across teachers’ entire career, beginning with recruitment and preparation, and continuing through professional growth, evaluation, compensation, leadership opportunities, and teaching environments. AIR experts lead work in this area that includes, but is not limited to:

Learn more about these services below and explore examples of our work for each.

Recruitment, Supply and Demand, and Teacher Shortages

AIR supports districts’ efforts to strategically market their unique characteristics to attract highly effective educators. In order to improve the pool of high-quality candidates, AIR also assists states in actively supporting the development of a world-class educator workforce by identifying shortage areas. By promoting the education profession, AIR can help states and districts ensure the equitable distribution of highly effective educators within and across districts.

Oklahoma Study of Educator Supply and Demand: Trends and Projections

Massachusetts Study of Teacher Supply and Demand: Trends and Projections

Equitable Access Supports: Implementation Playbook and Equitable Access Toolkit

Teacher Preparation

AIR supports state and local education agencies, institutes of higher education, and non-profit partners to prepare teachers and school leaders for a positive and rewarding career through evaluation, research, and capacity building. A collaborative effort between educator preparation programs, states, districts, and non-profit partners can ensure that teacher candidates receive quality preparation in subject matter and through intensive clinical experiences. Stakeholders can be certain of new teachers’ competencies by embracing appropriate and targeted end-of-course assessments to assure that all children have a capable teacher.

AIR provides formative and summative feedback to preparation partners related to implementation and impact of the educator preparation programs. In addition, AIR builds the capacity of preparation partners to develop, implement, sustain, and scale highly effective programs to ensure new educators will be able to help students reach their full potential.

A Million New Teachers Are Coming: Will They Be Ready to Teach?

Professional Development, Growth, and Learning

AIR assists states and districts in providing high-quality, comprehensive support for teachers to help them become more effective. Educator development is one approach to retaining highly effective educators in the profession.

AIR recognizes that to be effective, induction and professional learning needs to be comprehensive and of high quality. Recognizing this need, we offer expertise and tools to support states in districts in assessing the quality of their professional learning offerings, strategies for improving professional learning systems, and support in analyzing human capital data to make smarter decisions regarding educator professional learning and growth.

Spotlight on Teacher Professional Learning

MyTeachingPartner-Secondary: Scaling and Sustaining a Research-Based Teacher Professional Development Program

Using Evidence to Support Innovation in Teacher Professional Development

Improving the Implementation of a Model for Instructional Coaching and Testing its Effectiveness

Teacher Evaluation

AIR’s approach to evaluation and growth is to make the performance evaluation process a meaningful experience rather than simply an exercise in compliance. An effective performance management system should

  • Distinguish between several levels of educators
  • Include a data-driven system that is connected to the other educator talent management components, particularly professional growth
  • Promote goal setting, inform appropriate interventions, and provide regular feedback as part of an ongoing, job-embedded professional development program
  • Be accurate, fair, and transparent

Student Learning Objectives Fact Sheet

The Art and Science of Student Learning Objectives: A Research Synthesis

Student Learning Objectives Database

Student Learning Objectives as Measures of Educator Effectiveness: The Basics

Using Student Learning Objectives in Performance-Based Compensation Systems: A Guide for Successful Implementation

Implementing Student Learning Objectives: Core Elements for Sustainability

Student Learning Objectives: Benefits, Challenges, and Solutions

Combining Multiple Performance Measures: Do Common Approaches Undermine Districts’ Personnel Evaluation Systems?

What We Know About SLOs: An Annotated Bibliography of Research on and Evaluations of Student Learning Objectives

Uncommon Measures: Using Peer Evaluation to Leverage Teacher Talent

Uncommon Measures: Student Surveys and Their Use in Measuring Teaching Effectiveness

Uncommon Measures: Using Teacher Portfolios in Educator Evaluation

Uncommon Measures: Teacher Self-Evaluation to Encourage Professional Growth

Proficiency or Growth? An Exploration of Two Approaches for Writing Student Learning Targets

Essential Components of Student Learning Objectives Implementation: A Practice Brief

What We Think Matters Most in Evaluating Teachers May Not Be So Important: Surprising Lessons from Redesigning an Educator Evaluation System

Creating Summative Educator Effectiveness Scores: Approaches to Combining Measures

Linking Teacher Evaluation to Professional Development: Focusing on Improving Teaching and Learning

Measuring Teachers' Contributions to Student Learning Growth for Nontested Grades and Subjects

Guide to Educator Evaluation Resources

Teacher Compensation and Incentives

An effective compensation system should directly support district recruitment, hiring, and retention goals by recognizing and rewarding effective teachers and teacher candidates. Increasingly, performance-based compensation systems also support career advancement and teacher leadership by establishing differentiated roles and responsibilities that drive additional compensation.

AIR understands that any adjustments to the structure of educator compensation must be closely tied to robust evaluation, hiring practices, opportunities for ongoing professional development, and opportunities for career advancement.

AIR’s approach to compensation and incentives includes short- and long-term considerations:

  • In the short term, compensation may affect the pool of individuals who even are willing to contemplate a career in education.
  • In the long term, compensation may affect the decisions of those already invested in the profession to enter, remain in, or leave.

Using Student Learning Objectives in Performance-Based Compensation Systems: A Guide for Successful Implementation

Indirect Compensation for Teachers

Capacity to Change: Data, Information Technology, and Payroll Needs in Alternative Compensation Systems

Compensation Models for Central Office and School Support Staff

Options for Including Teachers of Nontested Grades and Subjects in Performance-Based Compensation Systems

Combining Multiple Measures in Performance-Based Compensation Systems

Sustaining Alternative Compensation Models in Education: A Summary of Research and Practice

Performance-Based Compensation Structures: Considerations for Individual, Group, and Hybrid Programs

Teacher Leadership and Career Pathways

Teachers shouldn’t have to leave the classroom and become administrators to advance in their career. Effective teachers need opportunities to grow in their role across their entire career.

AIR knows the impact teacher leaders can have on a school and district’s climate and performance. AIR works with organizations, states, and districts to research and support teacher leadership structures.

Great to Influential: Teacher Leaders’ Roles in Supporting Instruction

Real Teacher Appreciation: Let Them Lead

Teacher Leaders: Many Titles, Big Impacts

The Future of Teaching Starts Now

Workplaces That Support High-Performing Teaching and Learning: Insights From Generation Y Teachers

Leading Gen Y Teachers: Emerging Strategies for School Leaders

Holding on to a New Generation of Teachers

Retaining Teacher Talent: Convergence and Contradictions in Teachers’ Perceptions of Policy Reform Ideas

Creating Coherence: Connecting Teacher Evaluation and Support Systems to the Common Core

Educator Environment

Promoting and ensuring a positive educator environment is one approach to retaining highly effective educators. AIR works with districts and states to improve the conditions for teaching and conditions for learning, including the implementation of social and emotional learning practices and the utilization of school climate data to monitor the educator environment.

The SEL School: Connecting Social and Emotional Learning to Effective Teaching

ED School Climate Surveys (EDSCS)

Eleanor Fulbeck Headshot
Senior Director