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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Leadership coaching could help teachers boost student achievement by Laura Devaney

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Laura Devaney, Director of News writes, "The report’s authors say the program is unique because it focuses on middle-career teachers, while other efforts typically focus on new teachers, and offers leadership development for classroom teachers."

The fellows participate in a two-year training program consisting of a series of professional development sessions, school visits and meetings with a leadership coach. Fellows can be teachers as well as school administrators. In addition, fellows select other teachers to mentor at their own school. The teachers mentored by the fellows participate in meetings and workshops throughout the school year.

The findings are based on the 2011-12 through 2013-14 school years for fellows and the teachers they mentor located in New Orleans and Kansas City, Mo. Over the study period, there were 255 fellows and 916 teachers mentored. The RAND study focused on teachers that researchers were able to match to state databases for student assessment test scores, which included 75 fellows and 438 mentored teachers.

“Since the leader development program may influence students of the fellows or the other teachers they mentor, our team examined achievement outcomes from students across this wider group,” said Kata Mihaly, the report’s lead author and an economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

These early findings of the program are mixed, but suggest that the program shows promise in improving student achievement. Fellows who taught mathematics in New Orleans had a statistically significant positive effect on student achievement.

Additional resources   

Citation: Kata Mihaly, Benjamin Master and Cate Yoon. Examining the Early Impacts of the Leading Educators Fellowship on Student Achievement and Teacher Retention. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2015.  

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