Managing Schools to Improve Teacher Performance

The conversation about how to improve American education has often taken on an increasingly confrontational tone. The caricature often presented in the press depicts data-obsessed reformers who believe in getting rid of low-performing teachers, standing off against unions who do not trust any teaching metric. One promising area that can potentially serve as a middle ground is developing classroom-tested, replicable, and scalable approaches to teacher training.
We focused on the challenges facing educators working in urban settings, guided by presentations from leading thinkers. Discussion topics ranged from in-the-classroom techniques for using feed back to increase student motivation, to larger design questions around how to convince the many constituencies involved to put change into practice, with the aspiration of finding and implementing ways of improving schools.


Valerie Purdie-Vaughs speaking at podium
Click here to view photos from the event.

Social Enterprise Leadership Forum:
Managing Schools to Improve Teacher Performance

In this half-day meeting, we brought together leaders from a range of education-focused organizations to exchange ideas on how to best help teachers to improve student performance. 

Friday, May 10, 2013
8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Time Event
8:00–8:25 a.m.


8:25–8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Ray Fisman
Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise
Co-director, Social Enterprise Program
Columbia Business School

8:30–9:30 a.m.

Keynote Address

John King
Commissioner of Education,
President of the University of the State of New York

9:30–10:30 a.m.

Can we identify effective teachers?

Thomas Kane
Professor of Education and Economics,
Harvard Graduate School of Education;
Faculty Director,
Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research

10:30–11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 –12:00 p.m.

Designing student feedback

Valerie Purdie-Vaughns
Assistant Professor of Social Psychology,
Columbia University;
Intergroup Relations and Diversity Laboratory (IRDL)

12:00–1:00 p.m.

Training the Next Generation of Teachers

Norman Atkins
Co-founder and President,
Relay Graduate School of Education

1:15–1:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Emary Aronson
Managing Director of Education,
Robin Hood Foundation

1:30–2:30 p.m.

Working lunch

Executive Directors who would like to attend future Social Enterprise Leadership Forums can contact: [email protected]

Research Report

Download document (PDF)




John King

Thomas Kane

Valerie Purdie-Vaughns

Norman Atkins

Emary Aronson