CSF 7: Increase Teacher Quality

Teacher quality focuses on the need to recruit and retain effective teachers while supporting and enhancing the knowledge and skills of current staff with job-embedded professional development. Over two decades of research has demonstrated a clear connection between teacher quality and increased student performance. The evidence shows that low-income students are more likely to benefit from instruction by a highly-effective teacher than are their more advantaged peers (Nye, Konstantoupoulos & Hedges, 2004). Students enrolled in successive classes taught by effective teachers show greater gains in student performance than student groups taught by less effective teachers (Sanders & Rivers, 1996). LEAs and campuses can have a direct impact on student achievement.

Supporting Components

Key strategies establish the foundation for each Critical Success Factor. The activities supporting each CSF must be thoughtfully developed by stakeholders to ensure each campus initiative is successful. The strategies noted here, when implemented correctly, can support the development of each Critical Success Factor. While the following is not a definitive list, the evidence-based components provided here are proven to show a high rate of success.

  • Instruction/Assessment Design and Implementation
  • On-going Job Embedded Professional Development
  • Recruitment and Retention Strategies
  • Systems for Teacher Evaluation and Feedback

ESEA Turnaround Principle: Ensure Effective Teachers

Ensuring that teachers are effective and able to improve instruction by (1) reviewing the quality of staff and retaining only those who are determined to be effective and have the ability to be successful in the turnaround effort; (2) preventing ineffective teachers from transferring to these schools; and (3) providing job-embedded, ongoing professional development informed by the teacher evaluation and support systems and tied to teacher and student needs.


Web pages


  • Improving Teacher Quality
    In partnership with About.com, Derrick Meador, shares seven ways effective principals can improve teacher quality through practices such as, conducting teacher evaluations, offering constructive feedback, and providing meaningful professional development.  The article also emphasizes providing adequate resources, providing new faculty with a mentor teacher, establishing regular communication with supervisors, and the use of reflection.
  • Teaching English Language Learners: A Complex System
    Authors of this article review policies for ELL instruction and the preparation of teachers to address the needs of ELL students.  It describes the key features of effective teaching practices of teaching language and content.  The authors provide recommendations for evaluating teacher preparation programs and in-services professional development.
  • Classroom Organization and Behavior Management Innovation Configuration
    This innovation configuration is included in Chapter 2 of the biennial report, America’s Challenge: Effective Teachers for At-Risk Schools and Students, and was created as a tool to improve classroom organization and behavior management. Specific uses of this tool include the following: professional development experiences, prompt of greater attention to classroom behavior management, and improvement in teacher performance.
  • Improving the Reading Achievement of America’s Children: 10 Research-Based Principles
    Research from the United States Department of Education supports the ten practices, which have shown to have a positive impact on reading achievement in students.  The principles range from home–based strategies to district-wide approaches to improving reading across grades.
  • Cooperative Learning
    In this issue of Classroom Compass, a resource brought to you by SEDL, the authors focus on cooperative learning and provide learning modules such as Jig-saw, group investigation, and heads together, for teachers to utilize with their students.  They provide a reading list for further investigation and other resources that may be used by schools.
  • Learning Without Walls (Field Experience Checklist)
    In this issue of Classroom Compass, a resource brought to you by SEDL, the authors focus on taking the learning beyond the classroom and into the field.  Authors share specific examples, resources and opportunities for classroom teachers to explore while teaching beyond the classroom walls, giving students field experience and providing a space for authentic learning.
  • Research-Based Strategies for Teaching Social Studies, Science, and Mathematics to ELs at the Secondary Level
    This article shares specific approaches that include explicit teaching of cognitive learning strategies, explicit vocabulary/concept instruction, pairing with native speakers, and graphic organizers to help English Language Learners in secondary Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • Teacher as Facilitator
    The authors of this article present the reader with strategies to teach in ways that look different from a classroom in where teachers lecture and students listen.  They share content, ideas, and resources that can move teachers to become guides of curriculum and instruction and students explorers of learning.


  • The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher – Harry K. Wong, Rosemary T. Wong
  • How to Be an Effective and Successful Teacher – Harry K. Wong, Rosemary T. Wong
  • Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College (K-12) – Doug Lemov, Norman Atkins
  • Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement – Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, Jane E. Pollock