Publication Year: 2017

Washington's Teacher and Principal Evaluation System: Examining the Implementation of a Complex Policy

Published July 2017

Washington state’s new teacher and principal evaluation system (TPEP) represents one of the most substantial changes in statewide education policy in recent years. Districts and schools face distinct challenges in trying to implement a complex evaluation system like TPEP. Using a backward mapping strategy to investigate the implementation of TPEP, this study examined issues associated with an evaluation policy that seeks to serve dual purposes of accountability and instructional improvement. In this study, we investigated factors that impact the quality, substance, and sustainability of the new evaluation policies.

Examining Beginning Teacher Retention and Mobility in Washington State

Published May 2017

In this study, we examine the characteristics of beginning teachers and look at factors associated with their retention and mobility.  We also examine a specific set of beginning teachers who began their first year of teaching in districts that received BEST (Beginning Educator Support Team) grants from the state to support teacher induction.  This report serves as a companion piece to the report issued in January 2017 regarding retention and mobility of all teachers in Washington state.

Understanding Principal Retention and Mobility in Washington State

Published January 2017

The work of a school principal is complex and multi-faceted. Expectations for the role are steadily rising, and questions have surfaced regarding the capacity of principals to meet all of these expectations. In recent years, Washington state has engaged in numerous instructional improvement and accountability initiatives, including revisions to the way in which educators are evaluated. A sizable portion of the workload associated with these initiatives rest on the shoulders of school principals and assistant principals. A recent study noted that principals work an average of 59 hours per week (Lavigne, Shakman, Zweig, & Zeller, 2016).  Little systematic and statewide knowledge exists about the nature of the school administrator workforce and the career patterns of principals in Washington state. This study aims to provide insight into the demographics of principals and assistant principals, their retention, mobility, and career patterns, and the equity issues associated with differences across schools in Washington state.

 

Understanding Teacher Retention and Mobility in Washington State

Published January 2017

Teacher retention and mobility are part of a larger state and national conversation about trends in the teacher workforce. This study aims to provide insight into the demographics of Washington teachers and their retention and mobility patterns, and to offer educators and policymakers in Washington state information to inform and enhance decision-making regarding teacher quality policies and practices.  

 

 

Publication Year: 2016

The Role of a District Teacher Leadership Program in Supporting School and District Improvement Initiatives

Published November 2016

Distributed leadership and collaboration was the focus of one district’s investment in teacher leadership as a way to improve instruction and better serve a changing student population. The district’s five-year teacher leadership initiative became a vehicle to introduce new programs, recognize the expertise of teachers, and provide teacher leaders with opportunities to be involved in implementing changes in their classroom, school and district. This study examined the school and district impact of the program in developing teachers’ leadership skills and the ways in which teachers subsequently engaged in school and district leadership activities.

 

Publication Year: 2010

Examining the Impact of Reduction in Force (RIF) Notices in Washington School Districts: 2009-2010

A Report Prepared for The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession, March 2010
Published January 2010

Nearly half of Washington school districts issued layoff notices to teachers and other school staff during the 2008-09 school year. This report examines the impact of Reduction in Force (RIF) notices issued in Washington state during this time. Among teachers who received a RIF notice, 87 % were rehired in the K-12 education system in Washington in the subsequent year. The study examines the characteristics of individuals who received RIF notifications, the types of schools and districts that issued notices, and the impact of RIF on the retention and mobility of the educator workforce.

Study of the Incentive Program for Washington's National Board Certified Teachers

A report prepared for Washington State Board of Education, June 2010.
Published January 2010

This study examines the impact of Washington state's incentives for teachers to attain National Board Certification and to work in challenging schools. Using surveys and secondary analyses of state databases, we examine the workforce both prior to and following recent changes in the incentive program. The study considers the nature of NBCTs' assignments, their distribution, retention and mobility patterns compared with other teachers statewide, and the views of teachers and principals regarding NB certification and the state's incentives. The study concludes with policy implications and options for future consideration.

Publication Year: 2009

Building Systems of Support for Classroom Teachers Working with Second Language Learners

A Report Prepared for The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession by Ana M. Elfers, Tom Stritikus, Kristin Percy Calaff, Kerry Soo Von Esch, Audrey Lucero, Michael S. Knapp, & Margaret L. Plecki, July 2009
Published January 2009

Taking Stock of Washington's Workforce: An Assessment of Conditions Prior to the Economic Downturn

A Report Prepared for The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession, November 2009.
Published January 2009

This report provides baseline descriptive statistics and recent trend data on Washington's teacher workforce prior to the recent economic downturn. The trend data includes information regarding teacher age, experience, race/ethnicity, and retention and mobility, as well as school and district characteristics. In addition, district retention and mobility data is included for each school district and Educational Service District in Washington state. From this baseline, we can examine the extent and nature of the impact of current and future fiscal stress on the state's teacher cadre.

Publication Year: 2008

Undergraduates' Views of K-12 Teaching as a Career Choice

A Report Prepared for The Professional Educator Standards Board by Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki, Elise St. John, Rebecca Wedel
Published January 2008

Publication Year: 2007

High School Teachers in the Workforce: Examining Teacher Retention, Mobility, School Characteristics and School Reform Efforts

A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki and Michelle McGowan, July 2007.
Published January 2007

Teaching Math in Washington's High Schools: Insights from a Survey of Teachers in High Performing or Improving Schools

A Research Report by Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki, Michael S. Knapp, Gahram J. Yeo, and Michelle McGowan, June 2007
Published January 2007

Using Sociocultural Theory to Link Individual and Organizational Learning Processes: The Case of Highline School District's Instructional Improvement Reform

An Occasional Report in collaboration with The Spencer Foundation by Chrysan Gallucci, January 2007.
Published January 2007

Who's Teaching Washington's Children? A 2006 Update

A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Margaret L. Plecki, Ana M. Elfers, and Michael S. Knapp, January 2007.
Published January 2007

Publication Year: 2006

Examining Teacher Retention and Mobility in Small and Rural Districts in Washington State

A Research Report by Ana M. Elfers and Margaret L. Plecki, November 2006.
Published January 2006

National Board Certified Teachers in Washington State: Impact on Professional Practice and Leadership Opportunities

A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Hilary Loeb, Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki, Brynnen Ford, and Michael S. Knapp, October 2006.
Published January 2006

Publication Year: 2005

Preparation and Support for Teaching: Teachers' Response to State Education Reform

A Working Paper prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Ana M. Elfers, Michael S. Knapp, Amrita Zahir, and Margaret L. Plecki, March 2005.
Published January 2005

Teacher Retention and Mobility: A Look Inside and Across Districts and Schools in Washington State

A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Margaret L. Plecki, Ana M. Elfers, Hilary Loeb, Amrita Zahir, and Michael S. Knapp, March 2005.
Published January 2005

Teachers Count: Support for Teachers' Work in the Context of State Reform

A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Michael S. Knapp, Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki, Hilary Loeb, and Amrita Zahir, August 2005.
Published January 2005

Publication Year: 2004

Development and Deployment of a Fast Response Survey System in Washington State: Methodological Notes

A Working Paper commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Ana M. Elfers, Michael S. Knapp, and Margaret L. Plecki, with Beth Boatright and Hilary Loeb, April 2004.
Published January 2004

Preparation and Support for Teaching: Support for Teachers' Professional Learning

A Working Paper commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Ana M. Elfers, Beth Boatright, and Michael S. Knapp, with Margaret L. Plecki and Hilary Loeb, June 2004
Published January 2004

Preparation and Support for Teaching: Teachers' Assignment and Certification

A Working Paper commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Ana M. Elfers, Michael S. Knapp, and Margaret L. Plecki, with Beth Boatright, and Hilary Loeb, April 2004.
Published January 2004

Preparation and Support for Teaching: Working Conditions of Teachers

A Working Paper commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Hilary Loeb, Ana M. Elfers, Michael S. Knapp, and Margaret L. Plecki, with Beth Boatright, May 2004.
Published January 2004

Preparing for Reform, Supporting Teachers' Work: Surveys of Washington State Teachers, 2003-04 School Year

A Summary Report commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Michael S. Knapp, Ana M. Elfers, and Margaret L. Plecki, with Hilary Loeb, Beth Boatright, and Nick Cabot, August 2004.
Published January 2004

Publication Year: 2003

Meeting the Needs of Failing Readers: Cautions and Considerations for State Policy

An Occasional Paper by Marsha Riddle Buly and Sheila Valencia, April 2003.
Published January 2003
Abstract:

<p>Every year thousands of students fail state reading tests and every year policymakers and educators search for strategies to help these students succeed. In this study, we probed beneath students' failing scores on a state reading assessment to investigate the specific reading abilities that may have contributed to student performance. We found that scores on state tests mask distinctive and multifaceted problems having to do with word identification, fluency, and meaning. Our findings are a caution to policymakers and educators who may be tempted to treat the same all students who score below standard on statewide reading assessments that now proliferate the education landscape. To do so is to miss the different instructional emphases called for by the underlying skills, strategies, and needs of failing students. Such a practice not only limits individual student progress; it may lead to an oversimplification of reform efforts and evaluation. This report presents reading profiles of failing students and discusses five areas-instruction; multiple indicators; alignment among standards, assessment, and instruction; allocation of resources; and evaluating reform-as potential policy levers for improving student performance in reading.</p>

In this CTP Occasional Paper, the authors' findings are a caution to policymakers and educators who may be tempted to treat the same all students who score below standard on statewide reading assessments. By probing beneath student's failing scores on a 4th-grade state reading assessment, the authors found that scores masked distinctive and multifaceted problems having to do with 1) word identification, 2) fluency, and 3) meaning. To have treated the same all students who had failed would have been to miss the different instructional emphases called for by their underlying skills, strategies, and needs. The paper presents reading profiles of failing students and discusses five potential areas as potential policy levers for improving student performance in reading.

Understanding Reading Test Failure: Challenges for State and District Policy

Policy Brief 8, July 2003
Published January 2003

Who's Teaching Washington's Children? What We Know-and Need to Know-About Teachers and the Quality of Teaching in the State

A Technical Report commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Margaret Plecki, Ana Elfers, and Michael S. Knapp, August 2003
Published January 2003

Publication Year: 2001

District Policy and Beginning Teachers: Where the Twain Shall Meet

A Research Report by Pamela Grossman, Sheila Valencia, and Clarissa Thompson, June 2001
Published January 2001
Abstract:

<p>This analysis considers what role district policy environments play in the lives of beginning teachers. As part of a longitudinal study of teacher learning in the language arts, the authors followed 10 teachers from their final year of teacher education into their first three years of teaching. In this paper, they examined the role that policies concerning curriculum, professional development, and mentoring in two reform-active districts played in shaping the experiences and concerns of three first-year language arts teachers. The questions asked in the study locate it at the intersection of two distinct literatures—the literature on beginning teachers and the literature on the relationship of policy and practice. Whereas other studies on beginning teacher concerns have taken a psychological perspective, focusing on the individual teacher as the explanatory factor, this study employs a more sociocultural view, looking at the broader contexts in which individual teachers work. The authors found that the two districts served powerful roles as teacher educators. The tasks the districts assigned the teachers, the resources they provided, the learning environments they created, the assessments they designed and the conversations they provoked proved to be consequential for what the teachers came to learn about language arts teaching and teaching in general.</p>

This Research Report looks at the role that policies concerning curriculum, professional development, and mentoring in two reform-active districts played in shaping the experiences and concerns of three first-year language arts teachers.