Our Approach

Deans for Impact believes data are a necessary tool to support improvement within educator preparation — necessary, but not sufficient. It’s as important to know how to use the data to improve. We believe efforts to gather empirical evidence must be coupled with support that empowers leaders at all levels to engage in cycles of inquiry that will improve teacher-candidate readiness and, ultimately, student outcomes.


What We Do

We bring together leaders at all levels of educator preparation — including deans, assistant deans, directors of data and assessment, department chairs, teacher-educator faculty, cooperating teachers, and others — and help build their capacity to use evidence to improve outcomes. We do this in two ways:

1. Common Indicators System Network

The Common Indicators System (CIS) Network is a national effort to gather evidence of candidate knowledge and skill using common measures across diverse educator-preparation programs. Data collected through the CIS Network allow faculty and program leaders to learn with and from one another as they seek to improve their own programs and contribute to building a more robust evidence base about what’s working to prepare future teachers.

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2. Customized Support

Many states and programs already have robust sets of data that could be used for improvement, but need building buy-in and capacity to make that happen. We offer three types of customized support to help foster data-informed improvement:


  • States:  We partner with state departments of education to provide technical assistance to educator-preparation programs to helps them implement processes to make better use of data to improve teacher-candidate readiness.
  • Networks of educator-preparation programs:  We convene networks of educator-preparation programs in a given state or region and help them to use data to identify problems of practice and test innovations to address them. We tailor our support to the focus area identified by each network, such as ELA and math instruction, culturally-responsive pedagogy, or use of learning sciences.
  • Individual educator-preparation programs:  In limited circumstances, we help leaders within an individual program create new systems to use data to improve teacher-candidate readiness. We help these leaders identify and analyze data to understand what’s working and what needs to improve, and translate these insights into a vision for improvement.

To learn more about the support we provide and how it can help your state or program, contact Tracey Weinstein at tweinstein@deansforimpact.org.

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