Improving the Front-End of the Teacher and Leader Pipeline

September 2011

This essay was written for the PIE Network 5th Annual Policy Summit, September 2011

Today's outcome-based system has made teaching a fundamentally different job than it once was; to prepare people for that job, the institutions and policies surrounding the teacher and leader pipeline need to be fundamentally transformed. This essay looks at the efforts in a handful of states that are moving to simultaneously reform and expand how they oversee the preparation and certification of teachers and leaders, including:

  • Collecting and using more performance data on prep programs
  • Offering more preparation options
  • Re-designing certification

These approaches require technical expertise and longitudinal data systems, and they can be politically and emotionally charged. But in order to improve the overall effectiveness of their teacher and leader workforce, states need to think not only about performance-based teacher evaluations and dismissals, they need to consider how to redesign the pipeline to ensure that the best possible teachers and leaders are entering the system in the first place.