A US programme intended to boost pupil achievement by providing teachers with two years of professional development, including formal training sessions and meetings with a leadership coach, is showing signs of potential, according to a new RAND Corporation report.
The Leading Educators (LE) Fellowship programme, selects mid-career teachers through a competitive application process. To examine the impact of LE, researchers are comparing pupil achievement gains for teachers who participated in the programme as fellows or mentees with the pupil achievement gains of other teachers.
According to RAND, early findings of the programme are mixed, but suggest that it shows promise in improving pupil achievement. Specifically, they report:
Among fellows, there are both some statistically significant positive and negative programme effects on pupil achievement, with results that vary across states, subject areas, and model specifications.
Among mentee teachers, for whom sample sizes are larger, there is some suggestive evidence of impacts on pupil achievement — in particular, marginally significant and significant positive programme effects among mentees who teach maths and social studies, respectively, in Louisiana.
The impact of the programme on teacher retention is unclear, with no consistent pattern of retention impacts across cohorts or states.
The authors note that the current results are based on few years of data and on a small sample of teachers, and results may change when there are more fellows and mentored teachers included in future studies.
Source: Examining the Early Impacts of the Leading Educators Fellowship on Student Achievement and Teacher Retention (2015), RAND Corporation.