Few educators receive adequate professional learning on grade-level standards and the curricular materials they use with students, hindering students’ access to lessons that meet their full potential. The evidence is evolving on which types of professional development models show improvements in teacher practice and student learning, with more work to be done to identify effective models.
Leading Educators works with school systems to design research-based cycles of professional learning that build teachers’ knowledge, skill, and confidence in using their curriculum effectively and equitably over the school year.
Leading Educators has participated in a series of studies that examine the model’s impact on both teachers and students, in an important contribution to learning about what works in teacher professional development. A quasi-experimental study conducted in 2022 produced emerging evidence that Leading Educators’ support for teachers and school leaders may increase the likelihood that students achieve proficiency or above on state math and ELA exams.
Also in 2022, Leading Educators conducted a randomized controlled trial focused on its Chicago, IL-based professional development program, Chicago Collaborative, to study the impact of teacher learning and coaching on student achievement. The rigorous RCT study design, which allows Leading Educators’ model to meet “Tier 1” evidence standards established by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), assessed the program’s impact on student achievement, and produced suggestive evidence of impact on students’ math scores after one year.
The commitment by Leading Educators to learn about its impact on key outcomes has also supported Leading Educators’ growth in service delivery. Over the past year, the organization has increased its educator reach by 568 percent, bringing impactful professional learning to more than 7,000 teachers and teacher leaders/coaches across the country.
Overdeck Family Foundation has funded Leading Educators’ work since 2016. Our general operating support has allowed Leading Educators to build its research and data capacity and unlocked opportunities for more scale and funding. Through our capacity-building strategy, we are also assisting Leading Educators in conducting a market assessment to identify which aspects of its model are best positioned to further scale impact.