Our Approach

The CIS Network is focused on collecting credible, actionable evidence so that educator-preparation programs can work together to enhance existing strengths and address challenge areas.

Built in partnership with teacher educators: From selecting and revising measures, to crafting implementation processes, to designing learning experiences, we work with faculty and program leaders at participating programs to ensure the CIS delivers high-quality evidence and learning opportunities that can help them catalyze and sustain improvements.

Thinking beyond compliance: The CIS Network ensures the data we collect are meaningful for improvement  by focusing on actionable evidence about what teacher-candidates know and are able to do at different points in their preparation. We support teams to use that information in ways that support deep inquiry and improvement in their programs.


What We Do

The CIS Network provides ongoing opportunities for members to learn from each other, analyze candidate evidence and lead others in assessing data to improve the instructional preparedness of beginning teachers:

  • Inquiry Institute: An annual gathering for members to collaboratively analyze their data, learn from other teams, and plan next steps based on what they’ve learned.
  • Shared Inquiry Tool: A customized dashboard that enables members to make quick and easy comparisons between their results on each common indicator and those of the network overall as well as similarly situated programs and candidates.
  • CIS Learning Series: Semi-monthly virtual learning opportunities to support members in developing and sustaining cultures of evidence-informed improvement in their programs. Examples include paired consultancy sessions on problems of practice and webinars to help leaders increase data fluency in their programs.  

Now in its third year, the Network collects data on more than 8,000 teacher candidates in 20 programs across 12 states using four common indicators of candidate preparation, pre-service perceptions and practice:

  • Student teaching observations using the CLASS observation rubric developed at the University of Virginia;
  • Teacher-candidate perceptions about their own abilities using a Teaching Beliefs and Mindsets Survey that draws on previously-validated scales of self-efficacy overall and with culturally-responsive teaching practice;
  • Feedback from recent graduates on their perception of the quality of the program that prepared them, using a survey developed by the University of North Carolina; and
  • Feedback from employers on the effectiveness of teachers they’ve hired, using a survey developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


What We’re Learning

 Confidence & Capability
Read insights from Year 2 of the CIS Network.

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Learning Together Through Evidence
Read insights from the CIS Network’s first year of data collection.

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Learning Together Through Evidence Technical Appendix
Read about the development, instruments and methodology behind the CIS Network.

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History of the Common Indicators System Network
Read about the journey and history of our Common Indicators System Network.

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