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March 2011

What's New

IES Collaborates with Carnegie Foundation on 90-Day Research Cycles Aimed at Teacher Evaluation System Issues

Amanda DeGraff, an NCEE research scientist, attended training on rapid prototyping conducted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) on behalf of the Knowledge Alliance. Rapid prototyping was adapted by IHI from Proctor and Gamble's innovation method.

IES and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching are working together, through a 3-year cooperative agreement ("Learning from Emerging Teacher Evaluation Practices to Advance Teacher Quality") involving the use of 90-day research cycles, to address issues related to the technical and implementation components of teacher evaluation systems. NCEE Commissioner Rebecca Maynard called the project an "excellent opportunity to advance new and forward-looking research techniques that will inform the work of the Department and all institutions of education research."

This innovative, rapid prototyping research model was developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement with the goal of generating novel solutions for addressing existing problems within a 90-day research cycle. The cycle is segmented into three 30-day cycles which progress from scanning the literature and interviewing experts to focus and testing of the novel idea to summarizing and dissemination of the end result which, if useful, is considered a prototype. The prototype may then be used to inform further 90-day cycles or it may be used within full-scale research studies.

Results from two pilot cycles of the IES-Carnegie project are expected by the end of 2011. A website for the joint effort is under development by the Carnegie Foundation. For more information about the project, contact Amanda DeGraff at