A research team from the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and the NC State College of Education has received a $249,909 grant from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to evaluate the impact of the teacher compensation models and advanced teaching roles (ATR) program on teaching and learning in the state. The evaluation will also include a comparative analysis of program implementation to identify and scale the most effective components of these programs.
Evaluating the Impact of ATR
The purpose of the project is to understand the impact of ATR on school culture, teacher retention, classroom instruction, and student learning. The project team includes co-principal investigators Shaun Kellogg and Lam Pham, as well as Sarah Bausell, Marie Himes, Emily Thrasher, James Birkett, Victor Cadilla from the Friday Institute, and Tamara Young from the College of Education.
ATR enables highly effective classroom teachers to assume accountability for additional students and allows local school administrative units to create innovative compensation models. The North Carolina General Assembly recently changed ATR from a pilot to a program with the intention of growing its use in all North Carolina schools. This evaluation will allow NCDPI to report on the efficacy of the plan to the State Board of Education and the General Assembly and establish expectations with the participating districts on what data collection requirements come with participation in the program.
“It is an incredible honor to serve as the evaluators of the advanced teaching roles program,” said Callie Edwards, acting director of the Program Evaluation and Education Research (PEER) Group at the Friday Institute and the project’s principal investigator. “Our group has a deep respect for the work of educators, and we had the privilege to evaluate the pilot program from 2016-2020. We are thrilled to continue this important collaboration with DPI, and we have assembled a dynamic team with expertise in qualitative, quantitative, and survey methods to answer our questions of interest.”
Conducting Comparative Analysis
The evaluation will consist of two phases of the comparative analysis of models and programs. Phase I will gather data through program documentation, surveys, and group interviews to describe compensation models and ATR approaches developed by public school units (PSUs) and gather perceptions of program impact and areas. Phase II will include site visits to a number of participating PSUs to conduct classroom observations with an eye toward impact of these programs on classroom instruction as well as how classroom conditions may support or impede the efficacy of these programs.
The evaluation team will examine the measurable impacts of ATR on student achievement and growth, teacher recruitment and retention, teacher effectiveness and instructional practices, and school culture. The team’s goal is to help identify and scale the most effective components of these programs to improve teaching and learning in North Carolina schools.
Expectations with Participating Districts
Once the State Board of Education approves the final version of the evaluation plan, it can be incorporated into the request for proposals that is conducted each year for new applicants. The evaluation will also establish expectations with the participating districts on what data collection requirements come with participation in the program.
“The team’s work will provide critical feedback to inform implementation and further refinement of the ATR model,” said Maria Pitre-Martin, NCDPI Deputy Superintendent of District Support. “We are looking forward to partnering with the Friday Institute and NC State College of Education on this important work.”
The ATR program has the potential to transform the way teachers are compensated and provide new career pathways that can help schools retain highly effective teachers. This evaluation will help identify the most effective components of the program to improve teaching and learning in North Carolina schools.