About Us

The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) is a national content center dedicated to supporting states in their efforts to grow, respect, and support great teachers and leaders for all students. The GTL Center is part of the U.S. Department of Education's Comprehensive Centers program, which includes 7 national content centers and 15 regional centers supporting all 50 states. In October 2012, American Institutes for Research (AIR) and its partners-the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Public Impact-entered into a five-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to establish and lead the GTL Center.

In 2005, prior to the launch of the GTL Center, the American Institutes for Research, ETS and Vanderbilt University lead the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center), which served as the foundation for the GTL Center's current mission.


The GTL Center's mission is to foster the capacity of vibrant networks of practitioners, researchers, innovators, and experts to build and sustain a seamless system of support for great teachers and leaders for every school in every state in the nation.

Goals and Action Strategies

To fulfill this mission, the GTL Center has four crosscutting goals that focus and organize the Center's technical assistance efforts:

  • Listen: In collaboration with regional centers and state education agencies (SEAs), identify the most pressing state and district needs regarding teacher and leader systems of support.
  • Respond: Provide high-quality technical assistance to regional centers and SEAs that builds SEA capacity to implement state-led initiatives and support district- and school-level efforts aimed at ensuring that all learners have great teachers and leaders.
  • Collaborate and Coordinate: Facilitate collaboration and coordination of efforts among regional centers, SEAs, experts, national organizations, preservice and inservice education providers, and other relevant stakeholders to leverage existing capacity and resources to create efficiencies, avoid duplication of effort, and scale up successful practices.
  • Communicate: Raise public and policymaker attention and encourage support for state-led initiatives to build seamless systems of support for great teachers and leaders.

The GTL Center provides high-quality, responsive technical assistance through three key strategies:

  • General Knowledge Building through interactive online tools, high-quality print and online resources, annual workshops, and the GTL Center website
  • Networked Communities of Practice facilitating the deliberate connection of multiple communities working on similar regional or topical issues to share and leverage resources and knowledge
  • Just-in-Time Coaching that provides hands-on, individualized support through the GTL Center's large cadre of staff and expert consultants to fully address direct requests from SEAs and regional centers

Core Content Areas

The GTL Center provides technical assistance in content areas established through careful and continuous needs-sensing with SEAs and regional centers. The core content areas that currently organize the GTL Center's work include the following:

  • Implementing New Standards: building the knowledge and skills of teachers and leaders to implement college- and career-ready standards, including new science and CTE standards
  • Equitable Distribution: ensuring equitable access to effective teachers, especially in hard-to-staff and rural areas
  • Respecting Educators: recruiting, retaining, rewarding, and supporting effective educators
  • Building Supportive Systems: developing coherent human capital management systems
  • Creating Safe Schools: using human capital strategies that build teacher and leader capacity to create safe academic environments, promote positive behavior, and make use of appropriate discipline
  • Guiding Support Through Data: using data to guide professional development and instructional improvement

Advisory Groups

Critical to GTL Center success and impact are three advisory groups that oversee, inform, and enrich the Center's work:

  • GTL Center Advisory Board: members of leading education organizations and institutes of higher education whose expertise and affiliation steer the Center's goals, objectives, and technical assistance strategies
  • Communication and Coordination Council: ensures opportunities for conversations among organizations with similar missions to generate new approaches to improving educator effectiveness in response to state needs
  • College and Career Readiness Standards Technical Working Group: communicates and provides expert advice to support integration and alignment with educator effectiveness, human capital management, and college- and career-readiness reforms

GTL Center Leadership

  • Angela Minnici, Ph.D., American Institutes for Research
  • Lynn Holdheide, American Institutes for Research
    Deputy Director
  • Bryan Hassel, Ph.D., Public Impact
    Project Lead
  • Janice Poda, Ph.D., CCSSO
    Project Lead
  • Sabrina Laine, Ph.D., American Institutes for Research
    Senior Policy Expert
  • Laura Goe, Ph.D., ETS
    Senior Research and Technical Assistance Expert