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Educator Pipeline Research Alliance

About the Alliance

The Educator Pipeline Research Alliance (RA) is a cross-state group of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners who share a common goal of supporting the development and retention of effective educators, which in turn will lead to improvements in student academic outcomes. To meet this goal, alliance members in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming concentrate on three focus areas within the educator pipeline: Educator Preparation; Educator Evaluation; and Educator Mobility.

Focus Areas

Educator Preparation Icon

Educator Preparation: focuses on increasing the preparedness of teacher candidates to enter the classroom and improving teacher practice.

Educator Evaluation Icon

Educator Evaluation: focuses on supporting the growth and development of excellent teachers and education leaders.

Educator Mobility Icon

Educator Mobility: focuses on using research findings to understand teacher mobility, identify solutions, and inform policy and practices to retain quality teachers.


Summary of Related Projects

Events

 Webinar: Examining the Reliability and Validity of Teacher Candidate Evaluation Instruments

Research Projects

Examination of the Reliability and Validity of the Kansas Clinical Assessment Tool (K-CAT)
Open Project
Stakeholders from the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and Kansas educator preparation programs (EPPs) developed the Kansas Clinical Assessment Tool (K-CAT) to provide feedback to teacher candidates and to inform teacher licensure decisions. The K-CAT is a teacher candidate performance assessment designed to align with the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) performance standards and the KSDE professional education standards. This study will examine the extent to which the K-CAT demonstrates evidence of validity and reliability and meets the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation requirements for EPP-developed teacher candidate evaluation instruments. To the extent that such evidence is generated, Kansas stakeholders will use the information to support the continued use of the K-CAT and to demonstrate to external audiences that K-CAT data are a valid and reliable source for candidate feedback and EPP improvement.

Technical Support

Development and Implementation of the Kansas Student Observation Assessment Record (SOAR)
Closed Project
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation standards call for the collection of valid and reliable evidence of educator preparation program outcomes. The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and Kansas institutions of higher education have been collaboratively developing a teacher candidate observation instrument, called SOAR, which is important for examining the outcomes associated with the student teaching experience. REL Central is partnering with KSDE to examine the reliability and validity of the SOAR instrument, develop processes to collect and analyze SOAR data, and create guidance on implementing and using the instrument. This project will support consistent use of the SOAR instrument, thereby strengthening its reliability and validity.

Examination of Educator Preparation Program Implementation and Outcomes in South Dakota
Closed Project
The South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE) collects little information to systematically describe implementation and outcomes of educator preparation programs (EPPs). This project supports SD DOE to develop data collection and reporting plans to understand EPP performance that may be used to guide program improvement and highlight effective practices. REL Central is partnering with SD DOE to create logic models, identify research questions, determine data needed to address those questions, and develop data collection instruments and analysis plans. This project will build SD DOE staff capacity to study the implementation and outcomes of their EPPs.


Technical Support

Piloting the Wyoming Teacher Evaluation System
Open Project
The Wyoming SEES draft was completed in December 2019 and consists of professional practice standards for teachers organized into four standards: Instruction and Assessment; Learning Environment; Communication and Engagement; and Ethics and Professionalism. WDE is pilot testing the Wyoming SEES during the 2020-21 school year. REL Central is supporting WDE partners in refining research questions, devising a sampling plan, developing instruments for collecting data, analyzing collected data, interpreting results, and using the results to refine the evaluation system. The project will support WDE partners to create a valid and reliable educator evaluation system that can support the growth and development of excellent educators and meet the needs of districts and schools across the state.

Developing State Guidelines for Leadership Evaluation
Closed Project
Wyoming schools and districts in need of improvement are legislatively required to submit plans for implementing education leader and teacher evaluation systems. The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is working with a committee of education stakeholders (education leaders, teachers, and district staff) to develop rules and supports for evaluation system implementation. REL Central is building the capacity of WDE and the committee of education stakeholders by increasing their knowledge and understanding of evaluation systems. In particular, this support includes helping stakeholders determine how components of evaluation systems can build the skills of education leaders and teachers, using data as evidence of effectiveness. Furthermore, REL Central is supporting WDE and the committee of education stakeholders by offering suggestions on how data related to evaluator training, use of multiple measures, and establishment of professional goals can be used as evidence in the evaluation process to demonstrate implementation fidelity. Lastly, REL Central is supporting WDE staff as they define an ineffective educator, based on evidence drawn from evaluation system results. WDE will use this definition for the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reporting requirements.


Events

 Webinar: Diversifying and Widening the Teacher Pipeline with Grow Your Own Programs

 Webinar: Understanding What Influences Teacher Mobility

Tools

 Infographic: Teacher Mobility in Rural Settings

 Infographic: What Influences Teacher Attrition: Teacher Characteristics

 Video: An Introduction to the Study of Teacher Recruitment, Retention, Mobility, and Attrition: Understanding Terminology

Research Reports

Factors related to teacher mobility and attrition in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota
Closed Project
This report describes teacher and school characteristics related to teacher movement within and out of public school systems in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota. Stakeholders in each of these states expressed interest in better understanding teacher mobility and attrition and related factors. The authors used administrative data provided by state education agencies to examine the characteristics related to the likelihood that teachers would move to different schools or leave state public school systems from 2015/16 to 2016/17. Results suggest that the likelihood of teachers either moving or leaving was most strongly related to age, years of experience in their schools or districts, special education teaching assignments, average salaries, school demographics and performance, and school state accountability designation. Information about factors that contribute to moving and leaving may help decision-makers improve the policy and practices aimed at attracting and keeping teachers.
Report: Factors related to teacher mobility and attrition in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota (2019)
Snapshot: View Study Snapshot
Study Brief: View Study Brief

Understanding Retention, Mobility, and Attrition of School and District Leaders in Three States
Closed Project
Educators in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota are concerned about the retention, mobility, and attrition of school and district administrators, particularly in rural areas. REL Central is partnering with stakeholders from these states to conduct a study that will provide detailed information about administrator retention, mobility, and attrition. Educators will be able to use the study findings to identify needs for recruiting and retaining administrators, target workforce improvement strategies, and inform supports or incentives to enhance administrator preparation, recruitment, and retention in areas of greatest need.
Report: Understanding Retention, Mobility, and Attrition of School and District Leaders in Three States (2020)
Snapshot: View Study Snapshot
Study Brief: View Study Brief
Appendices: View Study Appendices

Understanding Rural Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Four States
Closed Project
Educators in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota are seeking to examine teacher mobility and attrition in rural settings in order to better understand the dynamic and geographic nature of the teacher workforce. REL Central is partnering with stakeholders from these states to conduct a study that will provide detailed information about teacher entry, retention, mobility, and attrition, as well as the factors related to those issues. Administrators will be able to use the study findings to identify needs, develop strategies, and inform improvements for teacher recruitment and retention.
Report: Teacher retention, mobility, and attrition in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota (2019)
Snapshot: View Study Snapshot
Study Brief: View Study Brief

Technical Support

Sustaining an Examination of Teacher Mobility Findings
Open Project
Teacher mobility and attrition have been associated with negative consequences for students and schools. These consequences have included lower achievement, lack of equitable access to high-quality teachers, and significant financial costs. To help states in the central region address such issues, REL Central conducted a study resulting in two reports:Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota; and Factors Related to Teacher Mobility and Attrition in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota. This project follows up on the study by supporting state education agencies in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota as they recreate the analyses described in the two reports to provide ongoing, actionable data about teacher mobility. REL Central will assist teams from each state in identifying factors of teacher retention, mobility, and attrition that are most pertinent; generating or refining research questions; identifying the data needed to address the research questions; and developing and using a data dashboard to support analysis and decision-making.

Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Three States
Open Project
This project addresses the need of state education agency administrators in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota for information about current research on teacher retention, mobility, and attrition as well as on factors associated with teachers’ decisions to remain in or leave teaching positions. REL Central recently completed a study resulting in two published reports: Rural and Nonrural Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota; and Factors Related to Teacher Mobility and Attrition in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota. REL Central is conducting training sessions with representatives from the four states involved in the study. The training sessions will engage partners in co-interpreting the findings from the reports. As a result of the project, partners from the four states will increase their capacity to interpret and apply research on teacher retention, mobility, and attrition.

Using Data to Understand Rural Educator Retention, Mobility, and Attrition
Closed Project
Educator Pipeline Research Alliance members across the REL Central region have expressed concerns about teacher and administrator mobility and identified the need for more reliable information on the factors that influence educators’ decisions to stay in or leave positions. This project entails two virtual trainings on using state education agency (SEA) data to understand educator retention, mobility and attrition. The first training will review approaches to using SEA data to address questions on teacher retention, mobility, and attrition; decisions regarding the analysis of SEA data; and the implications of, and potential solutions to, common challenges and limitations when using and interpreting SEA data. The second training will review research findings on administrator retention, mobility, and attrition; outline the characteristics of five studies that use district- and state-level data to examine these issues; and identify implications of the research for SEA data systems and data analysis activities. The project will increase participants’ understanding of the research related to teacher and administrator mobility and the ways in which they can use SEA data to examine these issues.