Career Pathways & Tiered Certification

Transforming Schools: How distributed leadership can create more high-performing schools

Based on the premise that distributing responsibility for developing teachers across a group of talented teachers yields improvements in teaching and learning, this report identifies successful “distributed leadership” models and the five key principles that distributed leadership models share, and outlines best practices for phasing in a successful distributed leadership model. 

Taking Charge of Principal Preparation: A Guide to NYC Leadership Academy’s Aspiring Principal Program

This guide provides an in-depth look at the elements of a 14-month research-based leadership development model designed to train aspiring school leaders in New York. The program requires participation in simulations, team activities, and an experiential component that is undertaken under the guidance of an experienced and trained mentor. Candidates must demonstrate that they meet leadership standards clearly identified within the program in order to graduate.

National Board Certification and Teacher Effectiveness: Evidence from Washington

This study evaluates the effectiveness of teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). A detailed analysis finds evidence that NBPTS-certified teachers are more effective in improving math and reading student outcomes than non-NBPTS-certified teachers. Results vary by subject and grade but are strongest for middle school math certificate holders. 

Teacher Pay and Career Paths in an Opportunity Culture: A Practical Policy Guide

This policy guide by Public Impact shows how districts can design teacher career paths that will keep excellent teachers in the classroom and extend their reach to more students, for more pay, within budget. The guide discusses how districts, when using these career paths, create opportunities for excellent teachers to reach more students either directly or by leading teaching teams and for all teachers to receive the support and development they deserve.

Teacher-Led Professional Learning website

This website, developed by a team from the Pahara-Aspen Teacher-Leader Fellows, offers overviews and links to resources from schools, districts, and support organizations to help teachers and their schools, unions, and districts design high-quality collaborative, job-embedded, teacher-led professional learning that leads to better student learning.

Creating Sustainable Teacher Career Pathways: A 21st Century Imperative

Published by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) and the Center for Educator Effectiveness at Pearson, this report provides a vision of teacher career pathways designed to attract and retain excellent Generation Y teachers. The report reviews recent initiatives that promote teacher role differentiation, and, based on the findings, recommends strategies for creating the necessary conditions to develop sustainable teacher career pathways and make teaching a more attractive career option.

Incentives, Selection, and Teacher Performance: Evidence From IMPACT

This research report, published by the Calder Center at American Institutes for Research, examines the effectiveness of IMPACT—the District of Columbia’s teacher evaluation and compensation system—which provides individually targeted and high-powered incentives linked to performance (measured by multiple scores). The report found that the program improved the effectiveness of the D.C. Public Schools’ teacher workforce, both through the exit of low-performing teachers and through the performance gains evident among those who remained.

Finding a New Way: Leveraging Teacher Leadership to Meet Unprecedented Demands

This paper, by Rachel Curtis of Human Capital Strategies for Urban Schools, gives examples of school systems that have created unique teacher career pathways as part of a larger vision to transform the culture of teaching and learning within schools. Through these profiles, Curtis outlines a process to help school systems develop new roles for teachers and create and implement systems and structures to support teacher leadership efforts.

New Leaders Emerging Leaders Program

The Emerging Leaders Program by New Leaders is designed to strengthen leadership skills of teachers, coaches and assistant principals with the ultimate goal of putting participants on the path to principalship while building leadership capacity across a system. The goal is to develop the mindsets and skill sets to drive achievement gains in schools immediately. 

Teacher Career Paths

This Public Impact webpage provides information on how school models that extend the reach of excellent teachers to more students can create new roles that enable teachers and paraprofessionals to pursue a variety of career paths.


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