Research & Publications
NCTAF’s research and publications have positively impacted teaching quality in schools and districts across the country for almost 20 years. Our research has informed the growth of professional teaching standards, the birth of organizations that strengthen the teaching career from induction to mastery, and the national discussions about methods to encourage and develop teacher knowledge and skills.
NCTAF’s first groundbreaking report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future (1996)(pdf), called for “competent, caring, qualified teaching in schools organized for success” and sparked a national dialogue about the importance of high quality teaching.
NCTAF then documented entrenched practices that hinder successful teaching, especially in urban and poor schools, with No Dream Denied, A Pledge to America’s Children (2003)(pdf). This report called for schools, districts and policymakers to address the chronic conditions that make schools “hard to staff.”
Building on this strong foundation, NCTAF continues to produce in depth and influential research reports, such as:
- STEM Teachers in Professional Learning Communities: From Good Teachers to Great Teaching (2011).
- Team Up for 21st Century Teaching & Learning: What Research and Practice Reveal about Professional Learning (Condensed Excerpts) (2010).
- Who Will Teach? Experience Matters (2010).
- How Boomers Can Contribute to Student Success. (2010).
- The High Cost of Teacher Turnover (Full Report) (Policy Brief) (Infographic) (2007).
Building on our strong research foundation, NCTAF has released numerous articles and policy briefs. NCTAF is also committed to rigorous evaluation and collects qualitative and quantitative data about our impact on teacher practice, school change, and student achievement.
STEM Teachers in Professional Learning Communities: From Good Teachers to Great Teaching (2011). NCTAF and WestEd conducted a two-year analysis of research studies that document how and what happens when STEM teachers work together in professional learning communities to improve teaching and student achievement. This report summarizes the work, highlights promising models, and offers policy and practice recommendations. With support from the National Science Foundation.
Team Up for 21st Century Teaching & Learning: What Research and Practice Reveal about Professional Learning (2010). This report synthesizes the latest research on how learning teams positively impact school culture, teacher retention, teacher effectiveness, and student achievement, augmented by case studies written by practitioners in the field. With support from the Pearson Foundation.
A New Equation: How Encore Careers in Math and Science Education Equal More Success for Students (2010). President Obama has called for scientists and engineers to join teachers to improve STEM education. This report highlights ways Baby Boomers can contribute to improving student achievement and success in these fields. With support from Civic Ventures and the Deerbrook Charitable Trust.
How Boomers Can Contribute to Student Success: Emerging Encore Career Opportunities in K-12 Education (2010). As more than half of the nation’s teachers approach retirement, veteran educators and retirees from other sectors need to join forces with current teachers to help students achieve. This paper examines the benefits of encouraging experienced boomers to play new roles in classrooms and schools as adjunct teachers, mentors, content advisers, project coordinators and tutors, among others. With support from Civic Ventures and the MetLife Foundation.
Who Will Teach? Experience Matters (2010). Baby Boom teachers who made lifelong commitments to education are retiring, and in many cases are taking their hard-earned wisdom with them. This report provides a state-by-state analysis of the retirement crisis and suggests ways to ensure the stability of the education workforce. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Learning Teams: Creating What’s Next (2009). NCTAF’s research reveals the impending retirement of almost half the nation’s teachers. To avoid a potential school staffing crisis, NCTAF recommends Learning Teams, in which experienced veterans stay in teaching longer to work with and mentor new teachers and provide the coaching and instructional assistance that will help to improve student performance and reduce new teacher attrition. With support from the MetLife Foundation.
Building a 21st Century U.S. Education System (2008). This book brings together the visionary thinking of some of the nation’s finest education thought leaders and presents a diverse set of strategies and solutions to provide every child with a high-quality, world-class educational opportunity.
Reducing the Achievement Gap Through District/Union Collaboration: The Tale of Two School Districts (2007). This report documents the journey of two school districts to improve teaching quality and reduce gaps in student achievement through collaboration of the local teachers’ union and the school district.
Induction Into Learning Communities (2005). New teacher induction into strong schools can support a career of continuous professional growth. This paper examines data on the impact of induction on teacher retention and student learning and highlights models of strong mentoring programs.
Fifty Years After Brown v. Board of Education: A Two-Tiered Education System (2004): Over fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, our nation continues to have a two-tiered education system. Low-income students are consigned to schools with run-down facilities, high concentrations of inexperienced teachers, and inadequate technology. In this report, NCTAF provides recommendations for providing all students the opportunity to attend schools organized for success.
Solving The Dilemmas of Teacher Supply, Demand, and Standards: How We Can Ensure A Competent, Caring, and Qualified Teacher For Every Child (2002). States and communities that invest in the recruitment, support, and retention of well-prepared teachers in all schools are able to pursue excellence and equity. This report highlights policies for professional standards, teacher preparation, and retention strategies.