Our Approach

Deans for Impact launched the Common Indicators System Network as an effort to systematically transform teacher preparation at scale. What makes the CIS approach unique is that, for the first time, institutions that prepare future teachers are gathering common evidence, using common instruments, about what makes those teachers more (or less) effective. After two years of development, programs are now working together to transform their programs making use of CIS data.


What We Do

Participants in the CIS network are collecting data on four distinct dimensions.

First, programs have agreed to use a common observation instrument for observing student-teaching — and have been specially trained to use this instrument. Second, programs are using a single co-constructed instrument to evaluate teacher-candidate’s beliefs and mindsets about teaching (what some in the field call “dispositions”). Third, programs are using a commonly agreed upon survey of recent graduates of teacher-prep programs. Finally, programs are similarly using a commonly agreed upon survey of employer who have hired teachers prepared by participating programs.

Each of these instruments were selected by the CIS participants after a rigorous evaluation period that focused on selecting tools with research evidence to support their validity and reliability.

To learn more about the two-year journey to create the CIS Network, click here.


Inquiry Institute

A key component of the CIS Network is our annual Inquiry Institute, which brings together Network participants for several days of carefully sequenced and structured inquiry into data collected over the prior year. The Institute creates protected space for Network members to investigate their data and also gives them a model they can use to lead shared inquiry at their respective institutions. In August 2018, leaders from a dozen educator-preparation programs came together for our inaugural “Inquiry Institute” to explore data on 3,500 aspiring teachers, and to use this information to develop action plans for their programs. “The transparent sharing of similar experiences and challenges is especially powerful,” one participant said.



The CIS Network is currently limited to Deans for Impact member-led programs, but we plan to open participation to interested programs in the future. For more information about how to get involved, please contact Tracey Weinstein at tweinstein@deansforimpact.org.


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