Bradford R. White
The purpose of this study was to investigate how Illinois charter schools are leveraging the flexibility they are provided by law to innovate in the area of human resource management, and to explore the relationships between HR practices and school outcomes. To do this, we conducted surveys and interviews with administrators from 27 Illinois charter schools to describe the ways they recruitment, develop, and retain teachers. We create a typology of four broad HR strategies that are utilized to a greater or lesser extent at each school: 1) incentivist reforms; 2) teacher support and empowerment; 3) information-rich decision-making, and 4) mission-driven practice. Next, we compare these HR strategies with data on teacher retention, school climate, and student achievement to measure the relationship between human resources practices and school outcomes. The analysis reveals evidence suggesting that incentivist practices may be associated with increased math achievement, but this is dependent on how achievement growth is measured. The study also shows that the newest charter schools were considerably less likely to use incentivist practices than their more established counterparts, and that teacher empowerment and information-rich decision-making practices were associated with certain measures to school climate.
Navigating the Shift to Intensive Principal Preparation in Illinois: An In-depth Look at Stakeholder Perspectives
Bradford R. White, Amber Stitziel Pareja, Holly Hart, Brenda K. Klostermann, Michelle Hanh Huynh, Mary Frazier-Meyers, and Janet K. Holt
This report from the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, in partnership with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (UChicago Consortium), assesses the progress of sweeping legislation to redesign the way school principals in Illinois are prepared, with the goal of improving schools statewide through higher quality leadership. The report summarizes findings from a two-year study assessing the progress of these ambitious reforms and describing the changes that occurred as a result of the new policy.
Restructuring Principal Preparation in Illinois: Perspectives on Implementation Successes, Challenges, and Future Outlook
Brenda K. Klostermann, Amber Stitziel Pareja, Holly Hart, Bradford R. White, and Michelle Hanh Huynh
The goals of the current mixed methods study—the Illinois Principal Preparation Implementation Review Project (I-PREP)—are to describe how the new policy is being implemented, learning which aspects of the implementation have been challenging and why they present challenges, and how programs are addressing challenges and realizing improvements in the preparation of their candidates. This report presents findings from the first phase of the study. Results of interviews with program representatives and key Illinois education stakeholders showed the majority of those interviewed support the goals of the new policy and have a positive outlook on its future impact of principal preparation in Illinois. Although some concerns about the implementation were expressed, most believe the redesigned principal preparation programs will ultimately create better prepared school administrators, improved student achievement, and more successful schools. The final report, due in summer 2016, will integrate the findings from this interim report, site visits with selected programs, and a survey with all programs to provide research-based insights in how to improve the policy and its implementation.
Eric J. Lichtenberger, Brenda K. Klostermann, and Daniel Q. Duffy
The main goals of this implementation study were to: a) examine how the grant recipients were implementing the changes set forth in their grant proposals; b) identify initial barriers to implementation of grant activities; c) identify catalysts that aided in goal attainment and/or partnership development; and d) consider the sustainability of the impact of the grant-related activities. Through structured telephone interviews, we solicited a brief description of major activities associated with the grant; catalysts and/or levers enhancing grant activities; barriers inhibiting implementation of grant activities; and successful strategies utilized to overcome barriers. There was also a specific emphasis on articulation activities within the partnerships, as articulation was considered a foundational component of the EPPI grants.
The Impact of Faculty Development on Teacher Self-Efficacy, Skills and Perspectives (Faculty Fellow Report)
IERC releases its inaugural faculty fellows report by 2013/14 IERC faculty fellow, Dr. Melodie Rowbotham. This study examined the relationship of faculty development on teaching to faculty self-assessment of teaching skills and their teacher self-efficacy.