Teacher Effectiveness Initiative Coaches' Report
Launched in 2009 as one of the Bush Foundation’s three priority funding areas for the next decade, the Teacher Effectiveness Initiative (TEI) was a bold and ambitious effort to reduce student achievement gaps and increase the percentage of students in the Foundation’s region (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography) who are on track to earn a degree after high school. The focus of this initiative was a select group of institutions of higher education (IHEs) and consortia, along with their district partners. A specific goal of the TEI was to produce 25,000 effective new teachers by 2020.
Shortly after announcing this initiative, the Bush Foundation engaged FHI 360, a nonprofit human development organization that has worked at the nexus of IHEs, schools, and communities for more than 50 years, to provide customized coaching to the partner IHEs and consortia and broader technical support to foundation staff, advisers, and cross-site work groups. This report, written by the FHI 360 coaches with support from the Bush Foundation, is designed to share knowledge gained from the TEI with grantmakers, teacher educators, and other external audiences that could apply learning from the TEI to future investments and initiatives. Drafts of the accomplishments, challenges, and lessons sections were sent to at least one representative of each of the partner IHEs for input that subsequently informed the final version of this report.
This report begins with an overview that: 1) describes the pillars that served as the organizing framework for the TEI; 2) identifies the organizations and entities that played major roles in the TEI; and 3) summarizes the processes used to select the sites that received TEI funding. The next two sections summarize major TEI accomplishments and the challenges encountered during TEI implementation. These summaries are followed by a brief analysis of how the TEI unfolded across three chronological phases in its 10-year duration. The report concludes with key lessons from the TEI for grantmakers, university-based teacher education programs, and P-12 partners.