Education Reform Hub Monthly: August 2015

ISSUE NUMBER TWENTY-FOUR • AUGUST 2015

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Welcome to the 
Education Reform Hub Monthly!

This monthly update from the U.S. Department of Education will alert readers to new resources that inform policy and practice across several areas of education reform. 

Highlighted Resources

Leading Indicators for School Improvement: A Review of State Education Agency Practices

Leading Indicators

Studies indicate that it can take three to five years for turnaround efforts to have an overall impact on student achievement, but leading indicators provide early evidence of progress and guidance for mid-course corrections. The Reform Support Network’s brief, Leading Indicators for School Improvement: A Review of State Education Agency Practices, examines current SEA practices for collecting and using leading indicators, and identifies emerging promising practices in States, including Colorado and Rhode Island.

Incorporating Retention of Effective and Highly Effective Teachers in Principal Evaluations

Incorporating Retention

The quality of a teacher’s instruction is widely understood to be the most important school-based factor in student learning. By taking steps to retain their strongest teachers, principals can maximize the impact of teacher retention on instructional quality. A new brief from the Reform Support Network, Incorporating Retention of Effective and Highly Effective Teachers in Principal Evaluations, explores promising State and district approaches for incorporating teacher retention standards into principal evaluation frameworks.

Implementing Differentiated Compensation Systems for Educators

Implementing Differentiated Compensation Systems

On April 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee, the Reform Support Network brought together leaders from State education agencies planning to make educator compensation a key element of their State Plans to Ensure Equitable Access. The convening featured presentations by the Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee district leaders and researchers concerning the State’s efforts to support district-based compensation reform. The Reform Support Network has published Implementing Differentiated Compensation Systems for Educators to summarize the discussions at the convening and the work undertaken since by participating States.

Using Observations to Improve Teacher Practice: How States Can Build Meaningful Observation Systems

Using Observations to Improve Teacher Practice

Classroom observations give teachers the opportunity to receive meaningful and direct feedback about their practice, but many observers still struggle to accurately assess teacher performance and give high-quality feedback. The Reform Support Network has published Using Observations to Improve Teacher Practice: How States Can Build Meaningful Observation Systems, which summarizes three strategies to manage these challenges and offers examples of how States have addressed them in the field.

Sustainability Resources

How can State and local education leaders ensure the impact of the reforms they make on student achievement and their durability in the face of changing contexts? The Reform Support Network has developed a suite of Sustainability Resources to help State and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) assess and sustain their reforms. The tools include:

Sustainability Rubric for LEAs

The Sustainability Rubric outlines 19 elements of sustainability: see the SEA version at this link and the LEA version at this link.

 

Sustainability Rubric Summary for SEAs

The Sustainability Rubric Summary is a condensed version of the rubric that serves as a quick reference guide: see the SEA version at this link and the LEA version at this link.

Sustainability Self Assessment Workbook for SEAs

The Sustainability Self-Assessment Workbook provides exercises to help teams assess the sustainability of a reform: see the SEA version at this link and the LEA version at this link.

Great State Leaders

Great State Leaders: A Competency Framework for Growing Talent in a State Education Agency offers a framework with exercise guide to support SEA leaders in building their internal capacity.

The Reform Support Network webinar to introduce the tools is available at this link.

PROGRESS: 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools

PROGRESS: 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools

The PROGRESS blog recently launched a series of interviews with principals and teachers representing 14 of the 337 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2014. The National Blue Ribbon program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps across groups of students. Interview themes include high expectations for student achievement, a collaborative culture, openness to new ideas and using data to inform decision-making.

IN THIS ISSUE

This month we highlight new resources from the U.S. Department of Education.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Explore toolkits, practical guides, case studies, summary briefs and highlights on key topics and issues that States identify as important to their work at the U.S. Department of Education’s Reform Support Network resources webpage.  

View past issues of the Education Reform Hub.

To join our mailing list, click here or email info@reformsupportnetwork.org.

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