In 1997, The Center for the Study of Teaching & Policy was established as a national consortium of several major research universities, with a grant from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (U.S. Dept. of Education). Its mandate was to develop insights into system-wide efforts to improve teaching and learning and to develop a highly capable and committed teacher workforce.
CTP set about this task by undertaking a wide-ranging program of research, built around several large, long-term studies and a number of smaller scale investigations under three topics:
A "core study" and related analyses examined connections between teaching and the state, district, and school policy environments in selected systems within California, New York, North Carolina, and Washington State.
CTP contributed to a long term, comprehensive Study of Instructional Improvement, guided by CTP scholars at the University of Michigan. This investigation aimed to advance a theory of instruction and instructional improvement through an analysis of instructional practice and teacher learning in 125 elementary schools engaged in several kinds of comprehensive whole-school reform.
A series of smaller scale studies and analyses explored questions about the preparation and induction of teachers, transitions into teaching, teacher community, and teacher career paths.