From 2010 through 2015 I led the implementation of one of the nation’s largest efforts to improve teacher quality in a public school district. It was an $80M effort across more than 50 city schools supported mostly by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United States Department of Education.
Working with hundreds of teachers, union leaders, community organizations and national experts, we developed a teacher evaluation system capable of accurately capturing important differences in teacher performance. We used that information to provide feedback to help teachers improve, make decisions about pay and promotion, and exit low performing teachers who didn’t improve. You can learn a lot about this effort on Pittsburgh Public Schools website.
As part of this work, I launched Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Office of Teacher Effectiveness and served as Executive Director, Human Resources. I was responsible for all aspects of the district’s most high profile change projects including strategy, project management, finance, policy change, and partnerships.
While we had some big successes, we also hit some major barriers and fell short of the ambitious goals described in our original plan. Recently, I’ve spent time reflecting on this process and its implications for the field. You can read my “How to Improve Teaching” report here.