Educator Effectiveness

What is educator effectiveness?

Effective educators engage students and drive their learning and achievement. Schools filled with great educators don’t happen by chance. Promoting educator effectiveness means bringing transformative teachers, principals, and administrators to every school and district. To do this, we will have to improve the way that we recruit, foster, and retain talented individuals. We must strengthen educator preparation programs, create evaluation systems that provide actionable feedback, provide more targeted professional development, and consider rewarding top educators with leadership opportunities and other incentives.

Why does it matter?

As President Obama once remarked, “From the moment students enter a school, the most important factor in their success is not the color of their skin or the income of their parents, it’s the person standing at the front of the classroom…America’s future depends on its teachers.” Research has shown this to be true, and more recent studies have even found that students with highly effective educators are more likely to attend college, attend higher-ranked colleges, earn higher salaries, live in more economically stable neighborhoods, and save more for retirement.

What is Advance Illinois doing?

Advance Illinois is a member of Teachers for Illinois’ Future, a coalition of teachers, K-12 administrators, higher education institutions and advocacy organizations formed in February 2018 to address the state’s urgent need to increase the number of teachers and elevate the teaching profession.

Vision: All students, especially those who need the most, have access to the teachers they need to prepare them for college and career.

Principles: What do we deeply believe, regularly defend, and fight to advance? Any solution would do the following:
1. Ensure students have the teachers they need in order to learn.
2. Support teachers’ growth from exploration of profession and throughout their career.
3. Increase the respect for and the desirability of the teaching profession.
4. Provide school and program leaders with systemic flexibility to meet their students’ needs.

Teachers for Illinois’ Future is a campaign led by Advance Illinois, Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools, Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University, Equity First Superintendents, Faith Coalition for the Common Good, the Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents, League of United Latin American Citizens Illinois, Northern Illinois University, Roosevelt University, Stand for Children Illinois, and Teach Plus.

More on Advance Illinois’ approach:

  • We supported the passage of the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) and Senate Bill 7, both of which promoted the development and implementation of improved performance evaluation systems and supports for teachers and school administrators.
  • We supported the Illinois State Board of Education’s revamping of its teacher licensure system, under which teaching candidates undergo more demanding coursework and focus more closely on the age group that they will be certified to teach.
  • We support the P-20 Council’s development of a Diverse Educator Learning Exchange aimed at recruiting, preparing, fostering, and retaining a teaching force more reflective of the student population of Illinois. Research shows that a more diverse teaching force can improve cultural awareness, raise student achievement and attainment, and decrease new teacher attrition in high needs schools.
  • We have worked with an advisory council to monitor the implementation of and track response to edTPA, a performance-based assessment for teacher candidates developed by educators.
  • We created our Educator Advisory Council which brings together award-winning educators from across the state to provide on-the-ground perspectives that inform our policy initiatives. Our EAC authored the report Transforming Teacher Work: For a Better Educated Tomorrow, which lays out a plan that explores the changes needed to remake the teaching profession into one that attracts, develops, and recognizes the types of leaders we need to catalyze our children’s futures.
  • We support the state’s efforts to improve teacher and principal evaluation through our participation on the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council.


The National Bureau of Economic Research working paper on The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers highlights teacher value-added and student outcomes in adulthood.

The Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness (SCEE) engages cross-state action on key education workforce issues.

The New Teacher Project’s report, The Widget Effect, is a wide-ranging report that studies teacher evaluation and dismissal through survey responses from approximately 15,000 teachers and 1,300 administrators.

The 2014 State Teacher Policy Yearbook/Illinois by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) spotlights the critical issue of teacher preparation in our state.

Education at a Glance, the annual publication by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), reports on the state of education around the world.