Analysis of Long-Term State Investments in Teacher Quality

Principal Investigators

Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University
Barnett Berry, Southeast Center for Teaching Quality (SECTQ)


The purpose of this project was to assess teacher policy infrastructures and outcomes in states that in recent years pursued a teacher quality agenda. The project drew on analyses of the status of teaching reports developed by the state partners of the National Commission on Teaching & Americas Future (NCTAF) as well as on more in-depth studies of two state cases where substantial systemic work was done to overhaul teacher education and licensing, induction, and professional development. The two states were: North Carolina, with a focus on state investments in teacher development; and Connecticut, with a focus on state school finance, licensing, and induction reforms that enhance equity and build teacher development.

Main Research Questions

  • How have states built and sustained a policy strategy focused on the improvement of teaching over a period of years?
  • What have been the consequences of sustained teaching policy strategies for teaching, learning, and the development of a strong teacher force within the state?


Retrospective case study, document analyses




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  1. A Case of Successful Teaching Policy: Connecticut's Long-Term Efforts to Improve Teaching and Learning
    A Research Report by Suzanne M. Wilson, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Barnett Berry, February 2001.

    This Research Report describes 15-years' worth of successful effort by Connecticut to implement a comprehensive set of teaching quality policies to support improved student learning. The authors hypothesize that the power of Connecticut's teaching policy reform lies not simply in their comprehensiveness and in the state's political stability over the last decade but also in the power of policies to build capacity in teachers, students, administrators, teacher educators and state department staff. A Policy Brief based on this report is also available.

    PDFBriefAbstractOriginal Study
  2. Connecticut's Story: A Model of State Teaching Policy
    Policy Brief 4, June 2001.
  3. Related Article: Wilson, Suzanne; Darling-Hammond, Linda; Berry, Barnett (2001). Steady work: The story of Connecticut's school reform. American Educator, (Fall 2001), 34-39 & 48.