United Way Worldwide provided grant funds to 14 United Way agencies in three states to increase the demand for teacher effectiveness. The underlying assumption of this initiative is that creating policies that promote the training, recruitment, and retention of effective teachers will lead to increased student success. Furthermore, it is assumed that elected officials, policy makers, parents, and a diverse array of other community members will drive the demand for effective teachers.
The Center’s evaluation plan focused on assessing the agencies’ efforts to build a diverse coalition of stakeholders, documenting the development of the communication and advocacy plans, determining if the plans were implemented as intended, and evaluating whether or not the plans show promise for achieving the intended results, namely, to increase the demand for teacher effectiveness. The lessons learned from this evaluation serve to inform the development of a more standardized implementation plan across sites that could be analyzed using more rigorous evaluation methods, such as an quasi-experimental design with comparison communities, to determine the impact attributable to the initiative.