September 7, 2016
In response to research showing the critical role that teachers play in student learning and the inadequate job that districts have historically done judging teachers' effectiveness, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative. The initiative involves three school districts (Hillsborough County Public Schools [HCPS] in Florida, Memphis City Schools [MCS] in Tennessee,1 and Pittsburgh Public Schools [PPS] in Pennsylvania) and four charter management organizations (CMOs) based in California (Aspire Public Schools, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Green Dot Public Schools, and Partnerships to Uplift Communities Schools). These sites have worked over a multiyear period to align teacher evaluation, staffing, professional development, compensation, and careerladder policies to boost teaching effectiveness and increase low-income minority (LIM) students' access to effective teaching.2 The initiative's goal is dramatic gains in student achievement, graduation rates, and collegegoing, especially for LIM students. At the core of these changes is each site's adoption of a definition of effective teaching and development of a rigorous measure of effectiveness that combined classroom observation, gains in student achievement, and other factors to rate every teacher. Each site used its vision of effective teaching and the new evaluation metrics to improve its management of its teacher workforce, including hiring, placement, professional development and support, compensation, retention, and career advancement.