The Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching

Research suggests that effective teaching is the single most important school-based factor influencing student achievement and other student outcomes. And it may be particularly important to low-income and minority students.

Since 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative. The initiative was designed and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was a multiyear effort to dramatically improve student outcomes by increasing students' access to effective teaching. Participating sites adopted measures of teaching effectiveness that included both a teacher's contribution to growth in student achievement and his or her teaching practices assessed with a structured observation rubric. The measures were to be used to improve staffing actions, identify teaching weaknesses, and overcome them through effectiveness-linked professional development, and employ compensation and career ladders as incentives to retain the most-effective teachers and have them support the growth of other teachers.

AIR and RAND evaluated the initiative, which ran through the 2015-2016 school year.

Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching Enhanced How Teachers Are Evaluated But Had Little Effect on Student Outcomes (February 2019)

This brief, based on the final report, summarizes the findings of the evaluation and offers some possible reasons the initiative did not achieve its goals for students.

Improving Teaching Effectiveness: Final Report (June 2018)

As detailed in this final report, the AIR and RAND evaluation team found that, despite the sites’ efforts and considerable resources, the initiative failed to achieve its goals for improved student achievement and graduation, although the sites did implement improved measures of teaching effectiveness. With minor exceptions, student achievement, low-income minority students’ access to effective teaching, and graduation rates in the participating districts and charter management organizations were not dramatically better than at similar sites that did not participate in the initiative.

Improving Teaching Effectiveness: Implementation (June 2016, PDF)

View the Executive Summary (PDF) or the Appendices (PDF).

This report summarizes the implementation of the initiative from 2010 through 2014, and addresses the interests of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners who want to understand the potential benefits and challenges of adopting new teacher-evaluation systems and related reforms.

Michael Garet
Vice President and Institute Fellow
Principal Researcher