Optimal Leads Pilot Data Collection Effort on ED’s Evaluation of Moving High-Performing Teachers to Low-Performing Schools
For Immediate Release: February 2008
To address the lack of evidence of the impacts of specific policy interventions on the effective teacher retention and recruitment initiatives, the U.S. Department of Education has contracted Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) and subcontractors The New Teacher Project (TNTP) and Optimal Solutions Group LLC (Optimal) to refine the design, implement, and rigorously evaluate an innovative demonstration program to induce high-performing teachers to transfer to low-performing schools. The Master Teacher Residency Program (MTRP) will first be introduced in two districts in a two-year pilot. If successful, it will then be implemented in 10 districts and an evaluation of the program’s impact on student achievement will be conducted.
To implement such a design, the team will first identify high-performing teachers using value-added analysis. The low-performing schools will be determined by having at least one vacancy in tested grades and subjects and randomly assign the schools to a treatment group that participates in the MTRP or to a control group that does not. Optimal will assist with the recruitment of districts and lead the collection of student and teacher data that will be used both to identify potential master teacher candidates as well as evaluate the impact of the master teachers on the students in the low-performing schools. Optimal is also tasked with the development and implementation of a survey for district human resource personnel who will verify the employment of master teachers as a requirement for receiving the incentive payments. The survey will be implemented when Optimal calls to verify participating teachers’ employment.
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Optimal Solutions Group, LLC is a nonpartisan, public policy research consulting firm in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. Optimal is committed to supplying insightful program evaluation, cost-benefit and effectiveness analyses, custom econometric modeling, and market analyses for decision makers in both the public and private sectors.
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