The focus of school improvement strategies has shifted from reforming whole schools to improving the quality of instruction in individual classrooms.
- Education projects
- Teacher and Principal Effectiveness
- Strengthening and Disseminating Research
- Effective Data Use
Alison Wellington has expertise in rigorous evaluations of large-scale education projects.
Currently, she plays a key role in two national random assignment evaluations sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Wellington is the project director for an evaluation on the impact of departmentalized instruction in elementary schools and the deputy project director for an evaluation on the impact of providing feedback to teachers based on videos of classroom instruction. These evaluations focus on strategies to improve teacher effectiveness and thereby improve student achievement.
In the past, Wellington was the project director for national evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund and deputy project director on an evaluation of the impact of data driven instruction. These evaluations assessed the impact of teacher and principal pay-for-performance bonuses on educator effectiveness and student achievement, and the impact of data driven instruction on student achievement, respectively. Wellington also led major efforts for the What Works Clearinghouse, a large-scale project to promote informed education decision making, and was a key member on a national evaluation to evaluate the impact of teachers from Teach For America and Teaching Fellows programs on secondary student math achievement.
Prior to joining Mathematica in 2007, Wellington had a 17-year career as an economics professor focusing on labor and health economics. She has published in the Journal of Human Resources, the American Sociological Review, Contemporary Economic Policy, Labour Economics, and Research in Labor Economics. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.
Impact Evaluation of Departmentalized Instruction in Elementary Schools
Study of Feedback for Teachers Based on Classroom Videos
This evaluation is examining whether video-based observations and feedback help novice and early career teachers enhance classroom practices and student achievement.
Secondary Math Teachers from Teach For America and the Teaching Fellows Programs
Students assigned to TFA teachers scored higher than those assigned to comparison teachers, with the difference roughly equivalent to an additional 2.6 months of math instruction. Students taught by Teaching Fellows teachers had about the same math scores as peers taught by comparison teachers.
Pay-for-Performance: Evaluating the Teacher Incentive Fund
This study is evaluating these performance-based compensation systems to examine issues like the impact of pay-for-performance on student achievement and educator effectiveness, and helping to answer pressing policy questions about how the programs are designed, communicated, and implemented.
Feasibility and Conduct of an Implementation and Impact Evaluation to Inform High Quality Data-Driven Instruction (DDI)
Mathematica is conducting an experimental impact evaluation of the effects of data-driven instruction (DDI) on student achievement. This involves the implementation of high quality DDI professional development and estimating its effects on student achievement.