October 2011

How do you define and measure effective teaching, especially in high-minority, high-poverty schools? How do you end the intractable achievement and opportunity gap between affluent White students and their low-income counterparts of color? Last March, AISR’s executive director, Warren Simmons, participated in the Civil Rights Research Roundtable on Education, convened to address these questions by the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, University of California Berkeley School of Law.

Two broad approaches to teaching quality – sometimes seen as mutually exclusive – emerged from the Roundtable: performance management and instructional capacity building. This issue of Voices in Urban Education, produced in partnership with the Warren Institute, asks: What are the values, strengths, and weaknesses of each approach? Are there other alternatives? How can all these approaches work together to expand equal access to opportunity?