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Educator Workforce

Access to effective teachers and school leaders impacts school and student success. EPIC’s work explores the distribution, employment, effectiveness, and retention of teachers, school leaders, and other educators.

Elementary school kids sitting around teacher in a classroom

Equitable Distribution of Effective and Diverse Teachers in North Carolina

With sponsorship from the Belk Foundation, EPIC examines the distribution of effective, well-credentialed, and diverse teachers to K-12 students in North Carolina. We focus on the distribution of teachers to students who are economically-disadvantaged, of color, and low-performing and seek to understand the extent to which variation in access to high quality teachers is attributable to between district, within district, and within school mechanisms. This study aims to elevate the issue of equitable access to teachers among more stakeholders in North Carolina. Please contact Kevin Bastian for more information.

Project Reads

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) provides training for educators and administrators working with children in Pre-K-fifth grade through the Early Literacy Program. To that end, NCDPI utilized ESSER III to support participation in the LETRS training program for all teachers working with children in Pre-K-fifth grade. This collaborative research study between the UNCC and EPIC will examine the overall impact of participation in the LETRS training on teachers’ and administrators’ knowledge of effective literacy instruction, as aligned with the Science of Reading. Through surveys, interviews, and instructional observations, this study will determine the extent to which participation in the LETRS training has impacted teachers’ instructional practices; examine how administrators’ leadership practices to support literacy may have changed as a result of their participation in LETRS training; and identify contextual factors that may have influenced teachers’ level of participation in LETRS training and implementation of LETRS content. Please contact Jillian La Serna for more information.


The Effectiveness of Participate Learning Ambassador Teachers in North Carolina

Participate Learning brings a global focus to North Carolina classrooms through the recruitment and placement of international teachers, the creation and support of dual language programs, and the provision of curricular resources. To better understand the impacts of their work, Participate Learning has partnered with EPIC to assess the effectiveness of Participate Learning Ambassador Teachers. Ambassador Teachers are international educators who are sponsored to teach in the United States by Participate Learning and for whom Participate Learning provides assistance with exchange visas, onboarding, and on-going professional support. EPIC is assessing the value-added estimates of Ambassador Teachers, relative to teachers with other forms of preparation and support, and examining Ambassador Teacher effects on key student subgroups. This work can help Participate Learning further evaluate their practices and better enable North Carolina education leaders to make data-informed decisions regarding educator pipelines. Please contact Kevin Bastian or Sarah Fuller for more information.

Back To Normal? The Long Run Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Student, Educator, and School Outcomes

During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools closed abruptly, transitioned to remote instruction, and in many cases, have remained in remote or hybrid learning throughout the 2020-21 school year. A comprehensive understanding of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is vital as schools begin to recover and move forward with new approaches.  In this study, supported by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, EPIC researchers use statewide data to examine the short- and longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on student, educator, and school outcomes using a framework of social vulnerability and resilience from the disaster literature.  We use administrative data on all students, educators, and schools in a large statewide school system in the years before the pandemic, the years of the pandemic, and the years following the pandemic.  We also use survey data on approaches to remote learning and student support during the pandemic from a statewide survey of educators and district-level data on remote or hybrid learning models. This study uses descriptive statistics, quantile regressions, and quasi-experimental regression methods to understand the complex effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in schools. Please contact Sarah Fuller or Kevin Bastian for more information.