Find out if your district could be a Great District for Great Teachers
We hope that the Great Districts work can help all districts become great places for teachers to teach, lead, and thrive. Our long-term goal is to prove every district is capable of greatness, no matter how vast the challenges they face. In order to help make that goal a reality, we've developed an online assessment for districts that will show how you perform against our criteria. You can see how you score in comparison to the qualifying districts NCTQ analyzed and learn more about areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.
About the online assessment
What will you do with the information I submit to get an assessment?Plus
NCTQ will not disclose to anyone the name or results of any district using this tool, or share any information you provide in a way that would be identifiable as your district's, without your consent. We may use the data to improve NCTQ's internal understanding of district policies and practices, or use it, in anonymized and aggregated form, in future NCTQ analysis and publications about district policies and practices. If you have any questions about confidentiality, please contact us to discuss.
How do the questions in the assessment match up to the categories listed on the results page?Plus
You can find a complete list of questions included in the assessment tool here. Questions are grouped by category.
How does the online assessment differ from the selection process for Great Districts for Great Teachers?Plus
The online tool uses a modified subset of the criteria used to select the Great District finalists. We have selected those criteria that are most important to making a district great, and for which it's feasible for districts to self-assess via a series of short questions. This means that we've removed some questions, such as those relating to the "Support for Students" category, that were used in the full selection process, as these questions require more holistic assessment than is feasible in this format.
We have adjusted the scoring rubrics and question weightings a little to compensate for these changes.
Selecting our Great Districts also involved virtual site visits to finalist districts to gather information from teachers and district staff. The online assessment doesn't include this stage.
Further information about the Great Districts selection process is here.
If you are interested in having your district go through a more detailed assessment, similar to that used to determine Great Districts, please contact our team.
The assessment says our district is a high performer. How can we be named a Great District?Plus
We plan to announce the timing of subsequent rounds of Great Districts for Great Teachers soon. In the meantime, if you work for a district and would be interested in participating, please contact our team.
The assessment says our district has a lot of room for improvement. How can we find out more about what we can do to get better?Plus
You can contact our team to discuss options for a more detailed analysis.
You can find more information about what makes a district great on our criteria page. Each criteria listed links to a summary of the best research available on the topic.
You might also like to read the profiles of our Great Districts winners to see how they're putting great policies into practice.
I made a mistake in one of my answers in the online assessment. What do I do?Plus
You can use the browser's back button to return to the relevant page of the assessment and change your answer.
I'm having a technical problem with the assessment tool. What do I do?Plus
Please contact us and we can help.
Are all the questions equally important to my assessment result?Plus
No. We have weighted the questions to reflect their relative importance to being a Great District. You can read more about our methodology here.
I don't agree with the assessment you gave our district. What do I do?Plus
This assessment is designed to provide you with a general indication of how your district compares to others across the country, based on selected criteria that we know are important to great teachers. It isn't able to provide a detailed analysis of the nuance of your district's policies and practices or take into account the views of teachers in the district. If you would like to discuss your assessment further, including options for a more detailed analysis, please contact our team.
I have a suggestion about how to improve the online assessment.Plus
Great, we'd love to hear it. Please contact our team and share it with us.
About Great Districts
What are the NCTQ criteria to determine what makes a district great?Plus
Our analysis focused on five broad categories that research suggests supports the recruitment, retention, and satisfaction of great teachers: a professional compensation structure, suitable professional support, effective management and operations, leadership and career opportunities, and support for students. For more information, visit the criteria page.
How can I get more information about the policies and practices that make a Great District?Plus
Please visit our criteria page in order to understand what policies and practices we reviewed in our analysis.
Why does this initiative focus on great teachers?Plus
Great Districts focuses on the policies that support our most talented teachers because these exemplars make such tremendous contributions not just to student achievement, but to the culture of the schools where they work: mentoring others, helping to develop lesson plans, and serving as an important teacher voice.
How can my district become a Great District?Plus
First, check out our assessment tool. This will give you a good sense of how well you score on our criteria. Once you've done that, please contact us if you would like to learn more. We're still in the process of finalizing how our next round of districts will be able to apply, but would be happy to discuss our current thinking with you.
How were the winning districts identified?Plus
First, many great teachers helped us to identify the features of their work environment which matter most to them that their districts can impact. Next, we used existing research and expertise to figure out how to measure the presence of those features in a district. After a rigorous, year-long evaluation involving three rounds of successively detailed analysis, we identified the winners. Our researchers carefully evaluated data from teachers' contracts and board policies, examined materials submitted by the district, and in the final stage we surveyed and interviewed teachers working in the district. Every district that met our bar for excellence was selected as a winner; we did not limit the number of winners. Click here for an infographic that describes process and visit the methodology page to learn more.