Aspen Institute Publications
Aspen Institute publications are listed below. Many are available for purchase through Google Checkout, a secure system for handling credit card transaction online. For assistance with ordering publications, please contact our Publications office by email or by phone at (410) 820.5433. Please note: Orders are shipped two times a week from our warehouse in Queenstown, MD, on the Eastern Shore.
Forging a New Partnership: The Story of Teacher Union and School District Collaboration in Pittsburgh
Forging a New Partnership: The Story of Teacher Union and School District Collaboration in Pittsburgh documents Pittsburgh's transformation from a typical, adversarial district-union dynamic to one of deep, substantive collaboration over the course of several years. This work has catapulted Pittsburgh to the vanguard of efforts to improve teacher effectiveness, and helped secure more than $80 million in philanthropic and federal grants. Through the voices of the principal participants, Forging a New Partnership tells the story of Pittsburgh's breakthrough collaboration and highlights important principles that can be applied in other contexts. Download publication
As new performance-management-related policies go from idea to implementation, policy makers and education leaders need to flesh-out what are still broad principles in many areas. This represents a significant inflection point for the teaching profession and the management of public school systems. Early decisions will determine whether the new evaluations form the basis of a new, more productive way of working in public education, or yet another policy pronouncement with little impact on outcomes.
In 2010, the Aspen Institute convened a diverse group of stakeholders -- senior leaders from districts, states, and the federal government; union leaders from both the AFT and NEA; technical assistance providers, social entrepreneurs, and scholars -- to discuss these issues. The workshop focused on designing and implementing teacher performance management systems.
This new Education & Society Program paper is a discussion of key themes and takeaways from the workshop. A set of 6 core principles emerged for guiding the development and implementation of new teacher evaluations and performance management policies. Using examples from the field, the paper expands on the principles and challenges policymakers to focus on comprehensive systems rather than "fixes" for discrete problems.
Ambitious reforms across the country are reshaping teacher evaluation and performance management. Designing new systems for measuring teacher effectiveness and using that information to increase student achievement are at the heart of these efforts and at the center of important policy debates. Yet little information exists about how these systems work in practice and how to use evaluations in concert with other levers to improve teaching and learning.
As policymakers and education leaders seek to accelerate reform in this area, it is essential to learn from efforts already underway. The Education & Society Program published three new reports: profiles of the performance management work in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and the Achievement First (AF) charter school network; and a synthesis of issues that emerge from the two profiles. Both DCPS and AF are at the forefront of efforts to re-design teacher evaluation, performance management, and compensation policies. The commonalities, distinctions, and early lessons learned in these initiatives represent an important learning laboratory for the field.
Building Teacher Evaluation Systems: Learning from Leading Efforts [Summary report]
An Analysis of Proposals by the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $350 million in Race to the Top funding to the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calls "next-generation" assessment systems. The proposed assessment systems will have significant implications for how states and districts organize and support the challenging work of principals and teachers to improve student outcomes. This comparative brief describes the major elements of each assessment system and is designed to assist system leaders in gearing-up for implementation.
This publication is the product of a workshop on accountability policy held in Aspen, Colorado in July 2009. This paper recommends a set of six core accountability principles to help frame future conversations about the next generation of accountability policies in education.
Strategic Staffing for Successful Schools: Breaking the Cycle of Failure in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
As the federal Race to the Top initiative and current Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization discussions focus on the importance of turning around low-performing schools, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District provides an instructive example for how effective turnaround can be accomplished on the district level. CMS is combining the use of effectiveness data and strategic staffing to create a coherent, systemic approach to school turnarounds – and getting gains in student achievement as a result. Strategic Staffing for Successful Schools: Breaking the Cycle of Failure in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, is a case study released by the Aspen Institute and Education Resource Strategies, Inc. (ERS). The study focuses on how CMS uses principal and teacher effectiveness data in its school turnaround efforts.
Edited by Rachel E. Curtis and Judy Wurtzel, foreword by Michael F. Bennet, Senator from Colorado
Teaching Talent presents a framework for human capital development that draws on a two-year initiative by the Aspen Institute Education and Society Program to research sectors that have effective, well-developed human capital systems and point the way toward human capital innovations in public education. The book first identifies the elements of a robust human capital strategy in education—teacher recruitment and career development; the principal’s role in ensuring teacher quality; and the district’s role in creating the conditions necessary to support effective human capital management. It then offers a comprehensive, visionary framework that weaves these elements together. More.
This paper focuses on coaching as an effective professional development practice to improve teaching and learning.