Effective public policy depends on strong evidence from the field. CTAC’s research and evaluation services connect the real work of implementation and innovation to responsive policy changes. We have extensive experience informing and formulating policy improvements in partnership with educators and policy makers. We also assist leaders in framing policy change to build buy-in and maximize success.
CTAC’s research and evaluation informs policy changes at local, state, and national levels. Representative examples of our impact include:
Linking What Students Learn
to What Teachers Earn
In partnership with the Denver Public Schools and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, CTAC assisted Denver to develop, implement, and evaluate its groundbreaking performance-based compensation initiative. CTAC’s evaluation provided the base of evidence for district/union approval and $25 million of annual public support for the new compensation system. It also spurred Congressional approval of the Teacher Incentive Fund (now the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program).
Launching and Scaling
Student Learning Objectives
CTAC introduced and showed the effectiveness of Student Learning Objectives (SLO’s) in a groundbreaking initiative in Denver, CO, and subsequently helped Austin, TX and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC to implement SLO’s at an increasingly higher level of science. CTAC then assisted the U.S. Department of Education to adopt, and more than 40 states and several thousand school districts to embrace, SLO’s as a model for new teacher and principal evaluation systems.
Streamlining Planning, Services
and Funding for HIV/AIDS
CTAC supported implementation of a landmark national HIV/AIDS project that builds the capacity of communities to identify and connect HIV/AIDS funding streams and planning systems. This initiative strengthened Houston’s coordination and planned delivery of HIV/AIDS related services. Numerous communities nationwide use this approach as a model for delineating the scope and jurisdictions of funding streams and planning groups.
Achieving Success in
CTAC has provided technical assistance and evaluations within state-to-district interventions in New Jersey, Ohio, and California, with student achievement increases in all participating districts. Recognizing CTAC’s accomplishments in state-to-district interventions, the Council of Chief State School Officers asked CTAC to train and provide counsel to more than 45 state chiefs and leadership teams on intervening in and exiting from state-to-district interventions. CTAC also prepared and presented the nationally-recognized blueprint, Levers for Change: Pathways for State-to-District Assistance, to U.S. Congressional and state policy makers.
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) took a systematic approach to developing and implementing a new Teacher and Principal Evaluation (TPE) system throughout the state. CTAC, in association with the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center, conducted four evaluations and provided technical assistance to deepen the effectiveness of the system. This provided the evidence for MSDE to make improvements to the evaluation system which was successfully implemented by every district in the state.
School Leaders Statewide
The Missouri Leadership Development System (MLDS) is the most comprehensive state-wide effort to develop principals in the nation. MLDS builds the capacity of school leaders throughout the state at each level of experience in their careers. CTAC, as part of the Region 12 Comprehensive Center, conducts independent formative evaluations of MLDS. As a result, Missouri has enhanced the program’s strengths so that principals can respond effectively to the real-time complexities of providing high-quality school leadership during the pandemic.