Young, V., Wei, X., & Patel, D. (2015) Developing educations throughout their careers: Evaluation of the Rio Grande Valley Center for Teaching and Leading Excellence. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
The Rio Grande Valley Center for Teaching and Leading Excellence (the Center) was a partnership between IDEA Public Schools, a charter management organization, and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA). The Center aimed to strengthen support for new teachers, teacher leaders, and school leaders and to raise the quality of teaching for students in one of the poorest regions in the country.
SRI conducted the independent evaluation of this i3 development grant. The evaluation tracked implementation fidelity of new teacher training and teacher leader training over the 3 years of implementation under the grant. The evaluation also studied the impact of new teacher training on student achievement in core subjects using a randomized controlled trial for students in grades 4 through 8 in PSJA. Teacher outcomes included instructional efficacy, job satisfaction, and retention. Impact of the teacher leader training on leadership-related efficacy measures, job satisfaction, and retention derived from randomized controlled trials of teachers meeting the teacher leader selection criteria in each district. The evaluation included three cohorts of participants from each district for both the new teacher training and teacher leader training.
New teacher training participants in PSJA ISD reported slightly higher job satisfaction ratings than comparison teachers. No statistically significant differences were found between the students of new teacher training participants in PSJA and those of comparison teachers. Because the comparison teachers were more experienced on average, similar performance among students of new teachers and experienced teachers suggests that the novices received enough supports to promote student learning in their first year in the classroom.