A New Approach to Professional Development

Customized professional development and support are critical to educators’ success in improving their practice and increasing student achievement. But what approaches to customizing professional development appear to be most effective?

Major Community Victory

As a result of many hours, days and months of organizing by Direct Action for Rights and Equality members, staff and the community at large, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee signed the Ban the Box legislation into law, making Rhode Island the 10th state to ban criminal-history questions on job applications.

SLO report available as eBook

CTAC’s study, It’s More Than Money, examines SLOs as a key means of measuring and improving teacher effectiveness and student academic growth.

Classroom work group

Helping teachers be more effective with more students

Findings from CTAC’s 14 years of field-tested practice and research on SLOs underscore the strengths that SLOs bring to teacher evaluation and compensation systems. They also shed light on how to craft federal, state and district policies that support successful implementation.

STEM and Student Learning Objectives

The Washoe County School District, the second largest district in Nevada, and CTAC are partnering on a new five-year $25.5 million Teacher Incentive Fund grant to improve student achievement by increasing the number of highly effective teachers and principals, with a special focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).


Groundbreaking Statewide Campaign

Through community organizing, the many victories of Ex-prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement (EPOCA) include helping lead and win a groundbreaking 6-year statewide campaign to reform the Criminal Offender Record Information System in Massachusetts.

Landmark Union-Management Collaboration and SLOs

A partnership of California’s Delhi Unified School District and CTAC has been awarded $8.1 million from the federal Teacher Incentive Fund to improve student achievement by attracting, developing and retaining effective educators in the district’s high need schools. The Delhi TIF proposal was the 7th highest ranked.

Teens at library

Breaking New Ground in Evaluation and Compensation Reform

The Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and partner LEAs are demonstrating that a collaborative developmental process, with the leadership of teachers and administrators, can result in a fair and transparent method of using Student Learning Objectives to measure student growth in new evaluation and compensation systems.


Meet Our New Grantees

Seven member-led non-profit organizations that engage in crucial community organizing in low-income communities have been selected from a strong pool of applicants to participate in the Small Grants and Technical Assistance Program.


Race to the Top – District Competition

Focused squarely on personalizing student learning, the Race to the Top – District Competition has explicit goals of closing the achievement gap and ensuring that each student is college and career ready.


SLOs that identify targets but do not require that teachers think through the content and instructional strategies to reach those targets are missing a key ingredient for success—the analysis of practice.

Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) – Round 4 Coming Attractions

The proposed TIF 4 regulations place emphasis on the core elements of both performance-based compensation and human capital management systems. Measures of student and teacher success under both TIF and new teacher and principal evaluation systems need to include measures of student academic growth.


Using SLOs in Teacher Evaluation Systems

Besides providing accountability, Student Learning Objectives provide instructional support. Driven by teachers themselves, they help strengthen teaching and improve learning.

Student Learning Objectives and Teacher Evaluation

Increased awareness of how much good teaching matters has led to a national momentum to find new ways to evaluate teaching. But how do you provide equity to teachers when not all subjects or grades are tested?

CTAC Partners Make Headlines

CTAC congratulates two of its partners whose successes in reform and student achievement gains made them headliners.


Evaluation of TIF Projects

Serious efforts to improve teacher compensation systems and student achievement must be guided, both in practice and in policy, by evidence and analysis of what is working and what changes need to be made to continually improve the district.

Raised arm in math class

Student Learning Objectives and TIF

Why do teacher-developed student learning objectives work? They connect directly to student learning, put the frontline educator in the driver’s seat, and enable teachers and principals to become more systematic and strategic in their instructional decisions.

More on Student Learning Objectives and TIF

Student learning objectives help teachers bring more science to their art, strengthen instructional support to the classrooms, and improve the quality of the outcome.


Evaluation of TIF Projects and Compensation Reform

When the high stakes universes of money and performance dovetail, the district and union/association need an evaluation that is credible, has a basis in science, and provides causal evidence to guide the compensation reform.

direction sign

Financial Sustainability and TIF

When preparing for financial sustainability in performance-based systems, it’s essential to use human resource and financial modeling to anticipate what the changed teaching force will look like over a period of years and what these changes will cost.


The Six Cornerstones of Effective Teacher Incentive Reform

The six cornerstones provide the framework for successfully implementing a compensation reform that contributes to and rewards effective teaching.


The Power of Community Organizing

The victories of the Latin American Workers Project include establishing a landmark strategic alliance with Local 10 of the Labor International Union of North America to unionize day laborers and provide access to health care, workers compensation and job training.

It’s More Than Money

It’s More Than Money, the paper commissioned by the Center for American Progress, describes the six cornerstones of performance-based compensation and provides the basis for developing district and state capacity to implement and sustain innovative practices, and to be accountable for improving student achievement.

Get Performance Pay Right: Six Cornerstones of Successful Compensation Reform

The six cornerstones of successful compensation reform provide the framework for moving reform away from the trend of adopting programs and concentrate instead on changing the conditions that make a fundamental difference for students and teachers.


Peril and Practice of Performance Pay

Authored by Donald B. Gratz, a member of CTAC’s Board of Directors, The Peril and Promise of Performance Pay provides a comprehensive look at the history, assumptions, and recent experience with performance pay for teachers.