About Us: Our Work | OPE's Role


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Drawing on the expertise of nationally recognized leaders, Operation Public Education (OPE) - an organization based at the University of Pennsylvania - is dedicated to helping school systems develop new approaches to evaluating, rewarding, supporting, and empowering educators that ensure all students have access to effective teaching. Our book, A Grand Bargain for Education Reform, discusses an ambitious new system where new forms of accountability are introduced, but they go hand in hand with new rewards and access to enhanced forms of professional development.

Our work is focused in four key areas:

Evaluation system with multiple measures

  • Partnership with Charlotte Danielson for teacher evaluation
  • Clear definition for and use of student growth measures
  • Process for measuring student growth outside of tested subjects - Student Growth Objectives

Aligned reward structure

  • Clear career pathways for teachers and principals
  • Alignment between evaluation and compensation for teachers

Comprehensive system of supports

  • Peer assistance and review systems offer both new and struggling teachers the support they need to improve their instruction
  • The Giffin Model uses data strategically to match teachers based on strengths and improve the quality of instruction

Teachers as partners

  • Peer review and key part in support of novices and the remediation of their struggling colleagues
  • Equal say in major issues that affect their classrooms and key role in the design process of new initiatives


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OPE is particularly well positioned to help districts develop, implement, and evaluate new teacher evaluation, compensation, and support systems because of our expertise and proven track record in the following areas:

Extensive Knowledge & Partnerships

  • A published book, A Grand Bargain for Education Reform: New Rewards and Supports for New Accountability: Harvard Education Press 2009, with chapters written by the leading consultants in the realm of teacher evaluation - e.g., Bill Sanders from SAS on value-added assessment, Charlotte Danielson from the Danielson Group on teacher observation frameworks, Ellen Moir from The New Teacher Center on mentoring
  • An online toolkit documenting academic research and publications, case studies, and concrete resources for each of the key components of a new teacher evaluation system

Project Management & Facilitation

  • OPE serves as the project managers in the Aldine Independent SD, in Houston, TX, overseeing the design, implementation, and research evaluation of a sophisticated teacher evaluation system
  • OPE Advisors have consulted for the Houston Independent SD, Colorado's State Council for Educator Effectiveness, NJ Department of Education, Consortium of 21 Appalachian school districts in Ohio

Research Evaluation & Documentation

  • Expertise in mixed methods research. In particular: survey design and administration, quantitative data analysis of program impact on outcomes, focus group and interview analyses
  • In our work with school systems, researchers have collected data in several phases:
    • During the year - gathering feedback on strengths and weaknesses of current systems
    • End of the year - evaluating the impact new systems have on student achievement, teacher motivation, teacher effectiveness, and teacher retention
    • Ongoing - developing systems for ongoing data collection