Education Reform Hub Monthly: March 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

Equitable Access to Effective Educators

In response to Secretary Duncan’s Excellent Educators for All initiative, the RSN recently released three new publications to assist States in submitting plans to ensure that all students have access to excellent educators. This suite of publications recommends ways for States and districts to improve policies and practices that promote equitable access to highly effective teachers and leaders. It recommends examining the root causes of inequitable access and developing responsive strategies and offers illustrations from State experience.

State Plans to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators - Guidance and Examples for States

State Plans to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators: Guidance and Examples for States uses draft equity plans developed by three Reform Support Network pilot States to demonstrate several approaches to the development of State equity plans. It summarizes how the State education agencies approached each component of the equity plans, their insights into plan development and the lessons learned throughout this early cohort’s work.

Promoting More Equitable Access to Effective Teachers

Promoting More Equitable Access to Effective Teachers: Strategic Options for States to Improve Placement and Movement outlines strategies States and districts can use to address the issue of inequitable access to effective teachers. These strategies emerged from a December 2013 convening of experts from education organizations, research centers on labor economics, corporate human resource departments, the military and the health industry.

Promoting More Equitable Access to Effective TEachers- Problems and Root Causes

A companion piece, Promoting More Equitable Access to Effective Teachers: Problem and Root Causes, defines the problem of inequitable access to effective teachers and explores some of the root causes for how and why inequities occur in schools and districts across the country.

School Turnaround Performance Management Toolkit

PM Toolkit

As States and school districts work together to turn around their lowest-performing schools, they face the challenge of identifying successful turnaround strategies and sustaining results. A strong system of performance management is one way to address this challenge and ensure quality and progress toward meeting school improvement goals. The Reform Support Network’s School Turnaround Performance Management Toolkit was recently updated to include additional tools, templates and other artifacts from State education agencies implementing performance management systems for school turnaround. The annotated tools offer practical advice about addressing the day-to-day challenges of managing a complex change process and driving improvements.

PROGRESS: Tennessee's TEAM Coaches

Progress - Tennessee Principal Coaching

Tennessee provides coaching to its principals to help them use the State’s teaching rubric to make their observations of teaching more accurate and helpful, the PROGRESS blog reports. When it analyzed the results from the first year Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM) performance evaluations, the Tennessee Department of Education discovered mismatches between student achievement results and the observation scores of teachers provided by principals. The State hired eight coaches over the next two years to work with the principals at 116 schools with the biggest gaps between principal observations and student achievement. After coaching, principals gave teachers more useful feedback, teacher performance improved and student learning accelerated, according to a State analysis.

Blended Learning Readiness and Progress Rubric

Blended Learning Readiness and Progress Rubric

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement has released the Blended Learning Readiness and Progress Rubric, a tool developed in collaboration with national experts and Race to the Top – District (RTT-D) grantees. The rubric is a research-based tool designed to assist school, district and State leaders in planning and evaluating blended learning initiatives, providing an opportunity to chart a strategic direction in all stages of implementation, ranging from early to advanced. The rubric provides a comprehensive perspective on blended learning programs at both the building and system levels; a common language for blended learning implementation strategies; and a continuum describing good-to-great blended learning programs. It frames five core constructs to identify and assess key actions in a successful blended learning initiative.


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

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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.  

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