Educator Effectiveness

Teaching quality is our most powerful lever to improve student learning. Of all the things that schools can control – including class size, curriculum, and textbooks – the quality of teaching that a child receives is the strongest determinant of student achievement. 

For years, Michigan has lacked a coherent strategy to improve and support our state’s teaching quality and school leadership.   

The roles and responsibilities in which many teachers serve—such as mentor, coach, master teacher and others—should be formally recognized and given opportunities for higher pay and greater recognition. 

To truly improve outcomes for all students, Michigan should also leverage data from the statewide teacher evaluation and support system to better support teachers and their needs as professionals. The system should be better used and tailored to ensure teachers have access to quality coaching and specific, individualized feedback and consistent support, especially early career teachers and new principals. Michigan leaders also should ensure systems of feedback, professional development and evaluation are strongly aligned with national standards of college and career- readiness and imagine innovative new strategies to leverage these data to inform supports to teachers and principals and ensure that students who are historically underserved have access to the state’s most effective educators. Teachers deserve and need honest feedback that is aligned with those standards – and parents deserve to know teachers and principals are getting such feedback. 

The national Education Trust has been a pioneer on the issue of teaching quality. Since Ed Trust-Midwest opened in 2010, supporting and improving the teaching profession — and developing innovative new ways to ensure all Michigan students have access to highly effective teachers — has been a top priority for the organization.