Melissa Tooley

Director, Educator Quality

Melissa Tooley is the director of PreK-12 Educator Quality with the Education Policy program at New America. She is a member of the PreK-12 team, where she provides research and analysis on policies and practices that impact teaching quality and school leadership. She primarily researches and writes on educator preparation, evaluation, development, and retention, but has also worked on college and career readiness policy. Tooley co-authored “Beyond Ratings: Re-envisioning State Teacher Evaluation Systems as Tools for Professional Growth,” “Skills for Success: Supporting and Assessing Key Habits, Mindsets, and Skills in PreK-12,” and “Time to Improve: How Federal Policy Can Promote Better Prepared Teachers and School Leaders.” Tooley and her work have been featured in The Atlantic, Education Week, U.S. News and World Report, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

Before joining New America, Tooley was a teacher quality policy analyst at The Education Trust. Tooley completed her master’s in public policy at the University of Chicago, during which time she interned with Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Academic Enhancement and the White House Domestic Policy Council. Prior, she worked in higher education policy at The Institute for College Access & Success, in health policy at the Epilepsy Foundation of New York City, and in market research consulting at Nielsen BASES. Tooley also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Drew University.

All Work

Disappointing Trends—and a Potential Divergence—in States’ Teacher Evaluation Findings

The first in a series of posts examining states’ initial forays into implementing new PreK-12 teacher evaluation systems.

Ten PreK-12 Debates to Expect in 2014

Over the next year be prepared for these battles in education policy.

Something is Missing from Discussions of New Teacher Career Paths

In recent years, government agencies, unions, policy wonks, and reform advocates have all weighed in on how to improve teacher quality.

Getting Teacher Observations Right: A Balance of Design, Implementation, and Use

Teacher Prep Says Profession Holding Themselves Accountable – But Are They?

Research has shown that many new teachers enter the profession underprepared to be successful in the classroom.

Is Money Enough to Keep More High-Quality Teachers in High-Need Schools?

Using financial incentives to encourage more teachers to work in high-need schools isn't going to close the teacher talent gap.